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Farm and Food File Results

Dear Mr. Apples and Oranges

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another final column of the year and, as is the custom, another year where readers will have the final word. Some of their words are bitter, some are sweet and all arrive with either red hot passion or cold blue conviction. Take the mid-August email that started, “You didn’t do a very good job of […]

The ‘level playing field’ of trade

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Some phrases just make the heart flutter. “Call the vet,” was one that always tripped my father’s ticker. “Level the playing field of trade,” has the same effect on me. Level the playing field of trade. Strategy Hmm, is it a negotiating strategy, a goal, an ideal? Wait a second; don’t I want an unlevel […]

Hog producers not going to have a very merry Christmas this year

Thursday, December 9, 2010

As Christmas approaches, some seasonal elves will shop, some will bake, some will string a couple of megawatts of colorful lights from the front porch to the barn. I hope to avoid most of this season-pushing by burrowing into my den of paper to wait out all this buying, baking and beautifying. Three weeks from […]

Cattle industry flying for 79 floors

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Twice a week, New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman drives political and economic policymakers into full rant on topics as opposite as global free trade (he loves it) and national industrial policy (he loves it, too). Kiss him or kick him, Friedman can turn a phrase. A current Friedmanism notes that “If you jump […]

Always cows; usually a turkey

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

On the 100-cow, southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth, two hearty helpings of Holsteins were always on the Thanksgiving Day menu. In between came other entrees — church, usually a turkey, pie, a nap and, often, a pinochle game. The turkey was the “usual” dinner centerpiece, but not always, because I remember one or […]

This isn’t going to be a tea party

Thursday, November 18, 2010

If ascendant Republicans act on what they say was the clear message sent by voters Nov. 2, the 112th Congress ain’t gonna be a tea party. Boiling pigs Oh, something will boil, all right. It may be the fat most politicians claim is stored in all those pork barrels on Capitol Hill. After that, maybe […]

Proposed GIPSA rules may be a good thing for packers in future

Sunday, November 7, 2010

If you only quote the Amen Corner, the only reply you’ll ever hear is “Hallelujah!” And so it was in late October when yet another hired preacher of the Meatpacker Gang, a Brooklyn, N.Y., outfit named John Dunham & Associates, claimed proposed rules to bring meatpackers into compliance with the Packers & Stockyards Act will […]

Lucas likely to head Ag Committee

Thursday, October 28, 2010

If the current political forecast holds, Nov. 2 will deliver House Democrats their biggest pasting since 1994. With over 60 of their seats either leaning or already lost to GOP challengers, House Dems appear headed for the political weeds. That could be especially so for Dems from corn and cattle country. Several mid-October polls show […]

I believe in Santa Claus. No, really.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Like an over-filler auger wagon, I cannot carry this load anymore, so, for the record, let me say this plainly and sincerely: I believe in Santa Claus. This admission may surprise friends who treasure my many rare abilities and foes who fear my modesty. Who, after all, is more rare or more modest than me? […]

Universities can’t serve two interests

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A September piece in The Economist, the esteemed English business and political weekly, makes the bold statement that “America’s universities lost their way badly in the era of easy money. If they do not find it again, they may go the way of GM,” the global automotive giant that became a global lemon in less […]

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