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More Astroturf on global warming war

Thursday, October 29, 2009

If the generals and admirals within the concentric walls of the Pentagon — hardly a bastion of greenie weenies — view global warming as a “serious threat to national security,” exactly who does the American Farm Bureau Federation view as the enemy in its latest Astroturf war against climate change legislation? For its part, the […]

FSA Andy for Oct. 29, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hello again, friends! Halloween at my house usually brings a pleasant diversion from harvest, or lack of harvest as the case may be. The kids always start planning their Halloween alter-egos several weeks in advance. Of course, there is some parental guidance. “No, you can not be a belly dancer” and “No, you can not […]

Soil quality and pasture management

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A small farm livestock owner recently asked me about the benefit of pasture aeration and the application of fertilizer and lime. To answer the question, I had to do some review of studies that investigated pasture aeration and fertilization. That started me thinking about soil quality, pasture condition and the effect that pasture management might […]

Autumn is a time for reflection

Thursday, October 29, 2009

“We worked in the woods for nearly 10 hours today, falling trees, sawing lumber. I could have worked 10 more. There is something invigorating about work in the deep forest, the type of work of which I never tire.” – Alexander Smalley diary entry, 1880 Autumn is the perfect time for reflection, for a walk […]

Keep your eyes open for several fall visitors

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A day after the first hard frost of the season, a flock of nomadic cedar waxwings appeared in the backyard. I counted 42, but probably missed a few. They were filling their bellies with fruits from a bittersweet thicket. More handsome than beautiful, waxwings always seem immaculately groomed. Only the distinctive crest disrupts the body’s […]

Observations on riding out low dairy prices

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hello dairy farmers. It has been a long year for our dairy industry. As we inch closer to the December 2008 anniversary of when milk prices took their dive, I find myself thinking as I milk cows each morning about how much longer can many of our dairy operations hold on? These are not pleasant […]

Lessons learned along life’s path

Thursday, October 22, 2009

“There is a little man in that child who has already stood his ground with the stubborn calves in the barn and the pigs in the feed lot, but there is also the heart of a saint, for he has learned to be patient and kind to those that others consider dumb animals.” – Sedonia […]

FSA Andy for Oct. 22, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hello, friends! October is always one of the most active months of the year around my house. Routines are being set for school, fall sports are getting into high gear and, of course, the combines are in the field. We try to take a little time out each year to go on one of the […]

Don’t know much ’bout economics

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In the transition from farm boy to student to journalist, I skated and stumbled through several academic departments at the Big U. For example, at the height of Watergate scandal in the early 1970s, I studied political science. A visit home during fall harvest that year, however, cured me of that silliness; I missed the […]

The “I don’t mean to be mean” girls

Thursday, October 22, 2009

There is a point in life when you realize that you never do, in fact, outgrow high school. Worse, you never really get over junior high. We sent the baby off to “middle school” this year. In my day, middle school (AKA junior high) didn’t start until seventh grade. Today it starts in fifth grade. […]

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