Friday, July 29, 2016

An unwritten motto of a former employer, market adviser Professional Farmers of America, was that it's easier to turn journalists into economists than economists into journalists.

One of the oldest truisms in agriculture noted that "when farmers make money, everybody in town makes money.

While other prophets and forecasters fill the first week of January - and endless inches of newspaper space - with predictions of what will happen this year, permit me 600 or so words to predict what won't happen in 2008.

Every fence or barn built by a rancher, every tractor purchased by a farmer is an act of faith in the future because that fence, barn or tractor is an investment in 20, 30, maybe even 50 years of tomorrows.

'Tis the warm-wish sending season; the once-a-year time when family, friends and former neighbors post colorful cards and newsy letters to the lovely Catherine and me detailing their lives since last Christmas.

Of the many memories I have of Christmas on the farm, I don't have a single memory of ever telling Santa what I wanted for Christmas.

Before the cheerless rush to abandon Washington, D.C. hits, here are a few suggestions for our hired hands in Congress on what they should not give farmers, ranchers and the rest of us in rural America this holiday season.

American humorist Will Rogers once cracked that Americans are the only people in the world to drive themselves to the poor house.

Even by its Olympic standards for hyperbole and hypocrisy, the performance of the U.S. Senate during the fruitless, pre-Thanksgiving farm bill debate was breathtaking.

Despite Thanksgiving's late November arrival, neither we nor the neighbors of the southern Illinois farm of my youth were done with harvest by the harvest holiday.
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