Of all the political hot rocks farm groups are juggling now in Washington, D.C. — cap-and-trade, cuts in crop insurance, shrinking farm program budgets — I’ll bet you a cup of coffee you cannot name the issue that recently united ag heavyweights as diverse as the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union. That […]
Not one new rule, not one new regulation and not one new knuckle-rapping regulator was created in 2009 to rein in the knuckle-draggers that traded an estimated $592 trillion, or 12 times the world’s total economic output, in over-the-counter, in-the-dark derivatives last year.
Sometime shortly after March 1, winter lost its frozen grip on my backyard and brown blotches of lifeless grass and small mats of soggy hickory leaves began to emerge from their cemetery of snow. It didn’t come as a surprise, though, because for a week the loud, love-sick calls of flaming red cardinals had drifted […]
Farm seed prices almost tripled in four years and, unlike other big input markets, now show no sign of backing — or even letting — up. Columnist Alan Guebert wades in to the ag competition fray.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]