The first hint of spring brings big iron and big irony to the winter-rested Illinois prairie.
The scene, often repeated these bitterly political days, was straight out of Alice in Wonderland.
On March 3, U.
It was an embarrassing moment for the White House and its free trade acolytes.
There, hat-in-hand before the agriculture commissioners, secretaries and directors of each state and four U.
The trick in getting farmers to read farm magazines, a long-time editor of mine repeatedly admonished, is to put numbers in the headline, the lead and every paragraph thereafter.
As the White House and Congress pout, parry and plot over the 2006 federal budget plan of President George W.
Presidential budget proposals usually are about two things, politics and mathematics. Both elements carry equal weight.
For generations, U.S. meat and egg producers joked about the earthy aromas emanating from their farms.
By tradition, an outgoing president leaves just one item – a letter to the incoming president – on the Oval Office desk when departing the White House for the final time.
No American group has more to lose in Social Security reform than farmers, ranchers and other rural dwellers, according to USDA demographic and income data.
After spending the last four years marrying the U.S. cattle market to Canada’s cattle market – the new family’s name is “the integrated North American beef market” – the USDA is now saddled with its handiwork.
The only thing worse than the USDA’s timing in the announcement of new rules to permit Canadian live cattle and cow beef imports into the U.
When bidding my first, large freelance writing job decades ago, I telephoned an experienced friend for guidance.
There is no shortage of American grain; current cash prices prove it.
Corn is marking time at $2, wheat hangs just above $3 and soybeans, at $5.
(Author’s note: The following column was first published the week of Christmas 1994. Now, by tradition, it returns.
A few days after his presidential nomination to replace Ann Veneman as secretary of agriculture, Nebraska Gov.
For nearly two years, U.S. farmers and ranchers watched as the second shoe grew bigger and bigger.
Based on the e-mails, brickbats and live grenades sent me the last few weeks, it’s time to come clean: I kidnapped the Lindbergh baby.
Even before Ann Veneman quietly submitted her resignation as secretary of agriculture Nov. 12, the Washington grapevine hung heavy with a long list of likely replacements.
The first political wisdom ever sent my way came from the gravelly throat of Everett Dirksen.
During Dirksen’s 1968 reelection stop in my southern Illinois hometown, I asked the white-maned Senate Minority Leader how he’d outflank Mayor Daley’s Chicago vote machine.
Just before midnight Nov. 2, the empty Guinness cans in my kitchen sink rattled.
Two (of the three; there would be more later) fell.