After a few tough months at home – falling poll numbers, staying at Rancho del Lazio while New Orleans flooded, Harriet “Who?” Miers – the Bush Administration sought to get its mojo working again by dropping an agricultural trade bomb in Geneva Oct.
When word leaked Sept. 15 that the USDA planned to close more than 700 of it 2,353 Farm Service Agency offices around the country, reaction among Capitol Hill aggies was swift and mostly unkind.
Since early spring, Republican aggies in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have warned their farm and ranch constituents that farm program spending will be cut $3 billion over five years, beginning with the 2006 federal budget.
Of all the lessons beaten into America by crashing Katrina, one of the biggest is that the nation’s energy policy, past as well as present, is an absolute scandal.
More than most months, September delivers farmers key numbers – yield per acre, weaning weight, price per pound or bushel – they will live with for the coming months.
As Hurricane Katrina’s smashing blows fell on the Gulf Coast, commodity traders did what they always do when uncertainty hits the pits: They sold.
The end of central Illinois’ heat-stoked, rain-starved summer is being whispered in the yellow leaves rattling on my backyard’s black walnut trees.
Killed the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921. Largely gutted the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s mandate to “promote fair and competitive trading practices for the overall benefit of consumers and American agriculture.
While Albert Einstein proposed the theory of relativity nearly a century ago, today’s Congress and White House have perfected its application.
Baseball has its winter hot-stove league when teams and players wheel and deal in hopes of improving their World Series chances.
In its rush to blow out of steamy Washington D.C. for a month of cooler temperatures and cooler tempers, Congress ran the legislative meat grinder hard in the final days of July to crank out enough fat-laden sausage to sate even the hungriest special interest.
The last week of July and first week of August were always the longest and hottest weeks of the year on the southern Illinois’ farm of my youth.
Most freelance writers are born moochers.
With no corporate travel budget behind them and a flood-or-dust income stream in front of them, the art of mooching – traveling, dining, drinking and vacationing on other peoples’ tabs – quickly becomes a way of life.
To hear the major newspapers and farm groups tell it, the world of private property rights collapsed June 23.
Hemingway went to Paris to discover, he once explained, if “I could write two good sentences.”
While there, however, Papa wrote two good books, The Sun Also Rises and Farewell to Arms.
Once, while researching the amount of grain the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corp. had in storage, I hit the brick-solid bureaucratic wall of silence.
The harder anyone scratches the Central American Free Trade Agreement pushed by the White House, the worse the smell in American agriculture gets.
After a sip of (Brazilian) orange juice and a nibble of bacon (from a market hog farrowed in Canada), U.
You know you’re far off the reality map when the American Farm Bureau’s former president, Iowan Dean Kleckner, publicly praises the Humane Society of the United States for its support of Central American Free Trade Agreement.
If you think schoolchildren dread summer school, consider the eight-week summer session agriculture’s friends in Congress face.