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.
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 — food so any comment, conversation or column about one had to include the other. The latest publication to arrive at that same crossroads is National Geographic.
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.
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. Ag Republicans on Capitol Hill, however, are working feverishly to take the title from Rogers' Dems. Earlier this month, festering differences between the party's right wing and never wrong (just ask 'em) wing over ag policy broke into the open. The heated fight featured mud, tea and invective, but no resolution. The fight has been a long time coming.
There are facts on which the world operates and there are facts on which politics operate. Spoiler alert: the two are not the same. For example, key Republicans in both the U.S.
Who knew ... ... that Bill Gates, the Harvard drop-out who co-founded Microsoft, owns 8.4 percent of Deere & Co., worth about $2.5 billion and "at least 100,000 acres of farmland in California, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana and other states" that includes a 490-acre Wyoming ranch once owned by William "Buffalo Bill" Cody. Gates also holds a stake (oh my) in Beyond Meat, a California company whose mission is "to create mass-market solutions that perfectly replace animal protein with plant material"? Who knew that on Aug.
What did individuals and political action committees believe they were buying when, according to Sept. 30 totals compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, they contributed $755.1 million this election cycle to Republican and Democratic candidates for the U.S. House and $415.2 million to Republican and Democratic candidates to the U.S.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stunned the cowboy crowd Sept.
All right, listen up! We've got a lot to sort out here and little time to do it. First off, sure, you're confused. Hey, your neighbor is confused. Your uncle's confused. Your dog's confused. Fact is, everyone's confused. But we've been confused worse than this before and we all managed to somehow find our way to less confusion by working it out together.
In a series of toughly-worded articles published in Choices, the quarterly journal of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA), nearly every major element of the 2014 farm bill — from its expanded crop insurance program to its impact on global trade negotiations — comes under fire as either "perverse," "false," "vacuous," "absurd," "failing" or "wasteful." The seven articles, overseen by Vincent H.