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Farm and Food File Results

Managing food supply past 2050

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Type the phrase “farmers feeding world” into Google’s search engine and “about 15 million results” pop up in “0.12 seconds.” Some results may surprise American farmers who, in good old U-S-of-A modesty, may have thought they had been, were and will be feeding the world. Not so, suggests the hunter-gatherers at Google. Every farmer matters […]

Conversion can happen to anyone at any time; ask Judge Richard Posner

Thursday, February 25, 2010

In the ever-expanding galaxy of American jurisprudence, few stars shine as brilliantly as Richard A. Posner, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago. The best Everything about Posner screams the best: Yale undergrad, Harvard Law, Supreme Court clerk, Stanford law professor, federal judge since 1981, author of more […]

Farmers should be honest, open about what they do

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Talk is cheap but words have meaning. In a mid-January speech to the 400 or so farmers, vendors and state officials at the 10th annual Minnesota Organic Conference in St. Cloud, I spent most of my hour talking about words like “elitist,” “educate,” “farmer,” “producer,” “customer” and even “mule.” Attack I thought the talk went […]

Money creates intriguing coincidences

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Like Henny “Take my wife — please” Youngman, Steven Wright has built a comedy career on one-line jokes. A classic Wright one-liner unblinkingly and unsmilingly asks: “Twenty-four hours in a day, 24 beers in a case — coincidence?” The question is clever and rhetorical; laughter is its only answer. Lots of coincidences January seemed to […]

NCBA reaches for more checkoff cash

Thursday, January 28, 2010

When the cowboys of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association ride into San Antonio for the Cattle Industry Annual Convention and NCBA Trade Show Jan. 27, the hottest topic of the four-day meeting won’t be stale markets, packer shenanigans or another ground beef recall. No, the biggest bone to chew will be NCBA’s plan to put […]

And this little piggy squealed …

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Roosters crow, cows moo and pigs squeal. To be more precise, proud roosters crow, contented cows moo and, contrary to popular folklore, scared pigs — not happy ones — squeal. In fact, the more scared the pig, the louder the squeal. This simple piece of farm knowledge was confirmed, again, in a squeal-packed, Jan. 5 […]

Iowa ag titans clash over Leopold Center leader

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Iowa’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture starts 2010 embroiled in controversy over its next director.

I coulda’ been a contender

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rare is the new year that begins without me wondering how I took a wrong turn on the road of life and became a writer rather than a highly paid, universally respected, heaven-bound meatpacking executive. Of course it wasn’t my fault; my farming parents bear complete responsibility. Great shortcoming I mention this great shortcoming on […]

“A consistently dour columnist…”

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Come on, you don’t want to end this year reading what an aging aggie like me thinks the “Best Stories of 2009″ are. Easy as it might be — health care, global warming, cap-and-trade, Uncle Honey… What, I already wrote about all those things? OK, how about what you wrote on what I wrote to […]

I can tell you crow tastes like chicken

Thursday, December 17, 2009

One of the worst meals of my life occurred on a stormy June evening in the early 1980s at Milwaukee’s Pfister Hotel. The main course that night was a stringy, tasteless filet of me that my bosses at Successful Farming magazine served up to an unhappy advertiser, Allis Chalmers. The sin that put me on […]

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