As Hurricane Katrina’s smashing blows fell on the Gulf Coast, commodity traders did what they always do when uncertainty hits the pits: They sold.
The end of central Illinois’ heat-stoked, rain-starved summer is being whispered in the yellow leaves rattling on my backyard’s black walnut trees.
Killed the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921. Largely gutted the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s mandate to “promote fair and competitive trading practices for the overall benefit of consumers and American agriculture.
While Albert Einstein proposed the theory of relativity nearly a century ago, today’s Congress and White House have perfected its application.
Baseball has its winter hot-stove league when teams and players wheel and deal in hopes of improving their World Series chances.
In its rush to blow out of steamy Washington D.C. for a month of cooler temperatures and cooler tempers, Congress ran the legislative meat grinder hard in the final days of July to crank out enough fat-laden sausage to sate even the hungriest special interest.
The last week of July and first week of August were always the longest and hottest weeks of the year on the southern Illinois’ farm of my youth.
Most freelance writers are born moochers.
With no corporate travel budget behind them and a flood-or-dust income stream in front of them, the art of mooching – traveling, dining, drinking and vacationing on other peoples’ tabs – quickly becomes a way of life.
To hear the major newspapers and farm groups tell it, the world of private property rights collapsed June 23.
Hemingway went to Paris to discover, he once explained, if “I could write two good sentences.”
While there, however, Papa wrote two good books, The Sun Also Rises and Farewell to Arms.
Once, while researching the amount of grain the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corp. had in storage, I hit the brick-solid bureaucratic wall of silence.
The harder anyone scratches the Central American Free Trade Agreement pushed by the White House, the worse the smell in American agriculture gets.
After a sip of (Brazilian) orange juice and a nibble of bacon (from a market hog farrowed in Canada), U.
You know you’re far off the reality map when the American Farm Bureau’s former president, Iowan Dean Kleckner, publicly praises the Humane Society of the United States for its support of Central American Free Trade Agreement.
If you think schoolchildren dread summer school, consider the eight-week summer session agriculture’s friends in Congress face.
After the U.S. Supreme Court surprised both sides of the beef checkoff court fight May 23 by declaring the $80-million-per-year mandatory tax constitutional, opponents and proponents alike offered a dizzying display of spin.
The finances of Dairy Farmers of America are souring faster than cream in a July sun, according to a May 9 Moody’s Investors Service report.
Standing atop the sweeping farm ridge 70 miles north of Berlin, the stiff wind off the Baltic Sea painted my cheeks apple red in minutes.
Thirteen years ago this week a thin packet containing four agricultural columns hit the cluttered desks of 124 newspaper editors and publishers in 14 Midwestern states.
It happened again the other week at a local public forum on agriculture.
The panel of speakers included me, two farmers and a state Farm Bureau economist.