Hedge ’em, hide ’em or howl at ’em, facts are facts. Trim ’em, trash ’em or trip over ’em, they still are facts. What they aren’t is opinion, a difference often overlooked by radio foamers and politicians, especially if honest facts clash with honest opinion. Debt ceiling For example, on July 12, Speaker of the […]
Six months have passed since readers have had their say about me, my work and its effect on their digestive system. Turns out the first two often riles the third as in a mid-April emailer, who signed his missive “All Small Farmers,” noted.
The mid-June Congressional action on ag programs seems to confirm why Washington D.C.’s streets feature roundabout upon roundabout: moving left or right — a big deal on Capitol Hill now — usually lands you back where you started.
You and I know that if we put the horse before the cart the chances of going anywhere are a million times better than if we put the cart first.
With an E. coli outbreak in Germany having sickened over 2,500, afflicted 650 or so with acute kidney failure and, as of June 8, killed 25, now might be a good time for the blinkered show horses on the House Appropriation Committee to reconsider their deep cuts to the nation’s food safety budget. Sure, budget-busting […]
In the decade-long, tens-of-billions-of-dollars effort to sell the world on a global free trade deal, several things did not happen. Didn’t come close. First, a global trade deal didn’t happen; in fact, it never came close to happening. Second, contrary to predictions, world trade did not end even though multilateral talks did. Indeed, worldwide merchandise […]
On this Memorial Day, remember Abraham Lincoln’s challenge: “It is for us the living to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus so nobly advanced.”
Squeeze almost any official of almost any agbiz or farm group and the words “Feed the world” will cross their lips. The phrase is this century’s “Manifest Destiny,” a near-imperative, a cornerstone of our export-directed ag policy. But this ambition, according to the number-crunching crew in Daryll Ray’s ag shop at the University of Tennessee, […]
Politicians are so good at the muddled math of their budget game that they can turn the equation upside down and make it work in reverse: $1 of budget savings today can be legislated into $2 of tax cuts tomorrow.
In a Jan. 27 conference call with Wall Street analysts, the president and CEO of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the world’s leading supplier of potash, couldn’t offer “an exact number” where potash prices might nick demand.
Farm groups, commodity organizations and most ag checkoffs have spent 25 years and billions dollars refining and repeating their modern message: American agriculture is a business and farmers and ranchers are business people. In the process, cowboys became beef producers and hog farmers became pork producers and a half-million or more of each became no […]
Sure, Rep. Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, has a 10-year plan to take this country back from the poor, the uninsured, the elderly, the hungry and all the unemployed that threaten to make America a warmer Iceland. But, I ask, does Ryan’s plan go far enough in reining in this earmarked, […]
For 35 years I have returned to Indian Farm, when I can, to replenish what it first gave me as a child.
By law and by USDA’s failure “to restore operational integrity” to the checkoff, NCBA remains the single, biggest benefactor of checkoff cash.
In Congress, the House aggies aren’t exactly tied up with policy debates to address, say, today’s soaring food prices, the nation’s perilously thin food stocks or a dysfunctional federal dairy policy.
Families, careers, whole lives take turns that are completely unpredictable. I mean, one minute you’re looking out the window of your third-floor college dorm room in sleepy boredom and the next minute you can’t breathe because, on the sidewalk below, is the lovely, curly-haired creature you absolutely must meet and marry. Hey, it happens. Then, […]
It’s not the choices you make in the bad times that usually cause you the most trouble. It’s the choices you make in the good times that often lead to the biggest disasters.
As has been noted here before, most journalists get into the writing game because they cannot do math. I don’t mean the hard stuff like differential equations; I mean the incredibly hard stuff like subtraction and division. Math-challenged as we ink blots might be, we are Nobel Laureates compared to the sausage grinders on Capitol […]
On Dec. 20, 17 people from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including Secretary Tom Vilsack, 10 from non-governmental organizations, 10 from seed and food firms and 18 from industry groups like the American Farm Bureau Federation and the Biotech Industry Organization met at USDA to discuss “Alfalfa Production Co-Existence.” The benign title belied what many […]
After hiring into the market newsletter biz 30 years ago, my new bosses informed me that I’d sink or swim on how well I learned either fundamental or technical market analysis. I had two weeks to master one. Since fundamental analysis centers on farm and ranch facts and figures and technical analysis relies on charts […]