An amazing thing happened last week while you were busy milking, feeding, repairing, resting or doing whatever other chores keep farmers busy in bleak midwinter. An army of “agvocates” — farm advocates — were on their computers creating a ruckus on your behalf. And it was an online vocal maelstrom that spread like wildlife, finding […]
Farmers often harbor insecurities when plopped in a room with bankers or small business owners or lawyers. Too often, farmers feel like they don’t belong in that crowd, like their chosen profession is somehow less important or worthy than the others’. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Does your state (county, borough, village, township, fill in the blank) like its farms? Does it realize the economic impact of agriculture? Is there a welcome mat out for new farms? Do the powers that be understand the value of green space, of a “viewshed,” that a farm contributes? Or is agriculture snubbed and ignored […]
Now is the time for agriculture to communicate its advantages, as well as re-evaluate its traditions.
Top food trends of 2010: The last time I checked, farming had something to do with food, so I wanted to know what was tapped to be “hot” this year, and whether or not farmers could benefit.
(Note: This column first appeared in Farm and Dairy 16 years ago. I offer it here again this year, because its message never dims. Merry Christmas to all.) If you walked by Edith Troyer’s third grade class at Walnut Creek Elementary School during December, it wasn’t unusual to hear voices of the young students singing […]
When Thomas Paine wrote those famous words, he inspired Americans to continue their battle for independence from England. The late 1700s were certainly a different time than today, but the quote speaks to many of us in agriculture right now. These are the times that try men’s souls. Farming in 2009 has been enough to […]
We’re often challenged to explain why agriculture deserves special treatment, and those are always good questions. But it’s very simple: Farming is the only sector that is wholly irreplaceable.
It will be several years before farm incomes return to 2007 or 2008 levels.
Earlier this fall, Baltimore City Public Schools initiated its “Meatless Monday” menu that includes a cheese sandwich or cheese lasagna or a bowl of vegetables, but no meat options. None. “We hope Baltimore will become a national model for each school system in the nation to follow,” said Robert Lawrence, director of the Johns Hopkins […]
I’m not a Scrooge, really, I’m not. So I can’t blame it on the upcoming holiday season. Maybe it’s just because I’m getting old(er). Or maybe I just need more chocolate. But for whatever the reason, I seem to be getting less tolerant of some of the news that crosses my desk. For example, there […]
We need to get ready for the coming HSUS battle. Their war chest is deep and their p.r. machine is slick. Issue 2 was a cake walk compared to what’s coming.
Our most basic need is food — we can’t alive without it — and we want to spend less money to buy it.
When it comes to farming, why don’t we see more sentences with the words “sustainable” and “productivity” in them? They are the only things that will keep food on all our tables.
Economists like the markets to fix the world’s ills, so maybe that’s why so many of them back the cap-and-trade solution to greenhouse gas reduction. After all, why not use market signals to motivate action? I’m a free trader at heart and supporter of the market economy, but I’m not convinced cap and trade will […]
You are not alone. Whether or not you realize it, you have a team — your vet, your lender, your extension educator, your nutritionist, your friends, and even another farmer you respect. Ask them the right questions and challenge them to ask you good ones in return.
If we dropped Congress in the middle of a no-access zone, how quickly do you think we’d have broadband Internet access nationwide?
“Parents, if you want to worry about what’s going on in our public schools, you’ve got a lot more to be concerned about than our president attempting to encourage your child to get an education.”
I’ve had it. Just when I thought I could stop preaching about the importance of food and agriculture and sharing our message, another slanted, “we’re going to hell in a handbasket and it’s all farmers’ fault” piece came out in a major magazine. Time published its article, “Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap […]
We can’t continue to make ag progress — scientific or technological progress — unless we confront the role of public opinion in today’s agriculture.