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Farm and Food File Results

Auld Lang sighs as 2012 begins

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Before this 2012 thing gets too far down the road, let’s take a sober second or two to review some of the more inventive ideas from 2011 and see if we can’t make them work in the coming 12 months of political and economic stalemate.

Farm and Food File: Readers respond in year-end column

Thursday, December 29, 2011

As we slip into the sweet week between Christmas and New Year’s there’s only one task to complete before clearing the desk and brain of all things 2011: readers having the last word in the last column of the year.

Farm and Food File: Christmas joy in the gymnasium

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A month ago I enjoyed a church dinner in the gymnasium of the grade school I attended 50 years ago. Back then, the gym sparkled with newness because, like the school itself, it was brand new, finished just weeks before I reported to the first grade as an equally new student.

Food or fuel: What do you believe in?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the world has never produced more food, fed more people and, simultaneously, never had so many hungry people.

Farm and Food File: Listen up, hired hands in Congress

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How do you explain Congress’ public approval rating of only 9 percent and still not one hint of any change in the collective behavior that has made the institution and its members as popular as chickenpox?

‘… the least of these my brothers…’

Thursday, December 1, 2011

As the Sunday, Nov. 20 network news’ yakkers were working hard to fix the blame for the Super Committee’s failed attempts to fix last summer’s failed attempts to fix Congress’s failed attempts to fix the federal budget, 25 or so Americans gathered in a central Illinois church to hear their pastor explain that day’s Gospel, Matthew 25: 31-46.

Walking with giants in our Capitol

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

This Thanksgiving day, like the previous three November holidays, will find the lovely Catherine and me about as far east from the harvested Illinois fields as one can get and still be on American soil. In fact, we’ll be on federal soil, just seven blocks from the U.S. Capitol, at daughter Gracie’s place in Washington, […]

Farm and Food File: It’s a real bonfire of the boneheads

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Earlier in the week, USDA acknowledged its role in stacking the deck to favor Big Ag’s new poodle, U.S Farmers & Rancher’s Alliance.

Farm and Food File: How did this happen? Pogo politics

Thursday, November 10, 2011

TV talkers and radio ranters briefly bloviated last week on the world’s population topping 7 billion. While 7 billion is a big number it isn’t the biggest part of the population story.

Unfortunately, I’m not a carpenter

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Some serious outdoor carpentry this fall quickly proved, again, the enormous amount of woodworking skills I did not acquire on the southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth. It’s easy to peg the origins of this deficiency: Working with wood on our farm usually meant picking up the remains of a gate or fence that […]

Farm and Food File: Again with the crop insurance?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Suggestions on how to change the 2012 farm bill are popping up faster than jack-o’-lanterns. Like this gap-toothed hallmark of Halloween, however, most are hollow, scary and shed little light.

Farm and Food File: Leader-sheep ‘reform’ rings hollow

Thursday, October 20, 2011

When Chairman Frank Lucas gaveled the full House Ag Committee to order Oct. 12, aggies who depend on commodity futures markets to price their crops, livestock and dreams might have thought the hearing would center on what its title suggested: “To Review Legislative Proposals Amending Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.” The hearing would do no such thing.

Let’s talk ‘socialism for capitalists’

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Today’s politics are dominated by the inside-out logic that doing nothing is better than doing anything. We even pay dozens in Congress at least $174,000 per year to ensure it

Siren song of home is hard to resist

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The usual six-mile drive home from Sunday church took a pleasant turn some weeks ago. As I headed back to the farmette for more coffee and more newspapers, my mind went a different way and, without one turn of any wheel, I was on my way to the southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth. […]

A vital part of history: the Homestead Act

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Already deeply engaged in a bloody war, a young, untested president– whose thin resume noted but a handful of undistinguished terms in the Illinois General Assembly and a brief stint in Congress — did not hesitate when Congress delivered legislation that might spark a new beginning for a tiring nation. When Abraham Lincoln signed the […]

Farm and Food File: Economic woes piling up

Thursday, September 15, 2011

So corn is rockin’ north of $7, beans are toyin’ with $14, cattle look to be headed to who-knows-where and hogs, well, bacon is sellin’ for what steak used to.

Once again, here come the trolls

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A day does not pass without some Big Ag chieftain or Capitol Hill yakker parting their perpetually pursed lips to unleash total nonsense on you, me and the body politic. To wit the following quote, an answer given by a member of the U.S. Senate to an Aug. 25 question on who will be dominate […]

Wrong cure, wrong problem

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The official name for the group of 12 U.S. House and Senate members charged with finding “at least” $1.5 trillion in cuts to the federal deficit by Thanksgiving is the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction. Super Unofficially, the group usually is called the Super Committee. Not Super Group, Super Committee. A Super Group would be, […]

Farm and Food File: Coincidence?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bloggers might do coincidence; journalists don’t. We do irony, maybe even allegory. Sometimes we stray into ennui and pathos. Coincidence, however, features facts that aren’t tied as tightly together as we like. My Oxford Desk Dictionary agrees.

A real worker finds something to do

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The undercooked thought and overbaked talk that endlessly paralyzes Washington would not have gone far on the southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth before someone, boss or hired hand alike, would have condemned the yak and urged all to “get to work.”

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