American humorist Will Rogers once noted that he “wasn’t a member of any organized political party” because “I am a Democrat.” The crack is dead-on funny because it’s bulls-eye true. Just ask any Democrat.
Moving just six miles from a small central Illinois farm town to an even smaller, rural enclave in 2005 took the lovely Catherine and me from a drafty, big house on a leafy, wide street to a tighter, smaller house in a leafy, wide woods. Fabulous.
It’s just a fact that some people see the proverbial glass half-full rather than half-empty and some people say tomahto, others tomato. These tomahto/half-fullers aren’t knuckleheads. They simply view the world from a different angle and, often, that difference offers fresh insights and solutions others can’t see given their never changing, tomato view. Read part […]
Just before this weekly effort began 21 years ago this month, its two founders, the lovely Catherine and me, compiled a list of nearly 30 words we thought its title could include. Two words, however, shouted to be in every permutation of every possible title: farm and food. The point of farming was — is […]
By ALAN GUEBERT If you’re a regular reader of the American agricultural press you already know that the three greatest threats to U.S. farmers and ranchers are the nut-eating vegans at PETA, HSUS and Chipotle Mexican Grill. You were thinking drought, flood and low prices, right? Nope. When the apocalypse arrives, according to we in […]
What will Wal-Mart’s new organic sales mean for farmers?
Some interesting facts on food, ag policy and ethanol.
The recent U.N. climate change report was big news for everyone everywhere except, it seems, U.S. farm and ranch groups and their members.
Farmers and ranchers, on the other hand, aren’t in the cheap business.
When Vladimir Putin sent his nation’s armed, but unmarked, troops into sovereign territory of Ukraine, he became the latest in a long line of Russian Little Big Men to punch Eurasia’s famed breadbasket in the gut. First came the imperial czars, then the revolutionary Bolsheviks and, right behind them and most brutally, Soviet leader Josef […]
The tall, mostly dead red oak on the eastern edge of the farmette still stands this late, long winter, saved mostly by this late, long winter. The majestic, strong-armed tree, my age or a little more, had a date with the saw and maul as soon as the weather turned cold. Deep snow and face-cracking […]
On Jan. 5, 2011, www.gop.gov, the website for the “House Republican Majority,” trumpeted news that its members had acted on their “promise” to “ensure that bills are debated and discussed in the public square by publishing the text online for at least three days before coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives.” […]
Early February was not a good time to be an American carnivore. First, on Feb. 8, Rancho Feeding Co. of Petaluma, Calif., announced it was recalling 8.7 million pounds of beef carcasses and cuts. That’s virtually every pound of the company’s 2013 throughput. Reason The reason for the recall, explained the Feb. 11 Los Angeles […]
If you’re an ag-dependent advertising agency, a commodity organization hired hand or an ag journalist who can’t do math, commodity checkoffs are a gift that just keeps on giving. The most recent checkoff gift comes courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General. The OIG released a 29-page report Jan. 31 on […]
Columnist says the new farm bill does not justify the time and work it took.
The farm bill may be settled, but the process was ugly.
You wouldn’t order a new pick-up truck without reserving the right to amend—choose—how the truck is equipped inside and out. The same goes for a new combine or an operating loan. After all, it’s your farm or ranch so, naturally, you’ll choose what’s right for you and it and not let some ratchet-jawed salesman dictate […]
Claims of food stamp fraud just don’t match up with reality.
A week or two into every new year, most folks review, often regretfully, their list of resolutions already bent, broken or buried. That never happened on the big southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth for one simple reason: We never made any New Year’s resolutions. We didn’t. Honest. In fact, I can’t recall one […]
Every year ends on Dec. 31. Every baseball season ends with the World Series. Growing seasons end with a hard freeze and the opera season is over when a large, round lady sings. Today’s ag political season, however, never ends. Farm bills take more than two years to write and they’re still not written. Negotiations […]