Jenny Schlecht / Agweek Staff Writer
"It's really, really a small percentage that are doing it right." I saw that quote while perusing Twitter. The speaker, apparently, was actress Natalie Portman on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, talking about animal agriculture in June. It's disheartening, of course, for those of us involved in raising livestock to see people believe we aren't "doing it right." It's more disheartening when it seems unlikely that either of the people involved in the conversation has ever spent the night doctoring a sick calf or rushed an old cow to the veterinarian.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., says the kind of bipartisan, across-the-board support the U.S. Senate's version of the farm bill received doesn't happen often. "That doesn't happen for anything but basketball resolutions," she says. "The vote ... shows the rest of the world that America has the backs of our rural communities."
I was just innocently standing there, watching the kids run around at a 4-H meeting and social event. That's when a couple other parents started asking if my daughter was going to bring one of her bottle calves to the fair.
KARLSRUHE, N.D.—When Nancy Beck visited California farms, she heard complaint after complaint about what wasn't working with Environmental Protection Agency regulations. But in North Dakota, that wasn't the case. "These guys are making it work," she said. "I think it's refreshing." Beck, who oversees the EPA's chemicals and pesticides program, was one of 12 EPA officials to come to North Dakota as part of the North Dakota Grain Growers Association's 25th annual E-Tour.
On more than one occasion in recent weeks, I've been somewhere in public and overheard discussions regarding "kids today." They spend too much time on their phones. They don't spend enough time reading. They don't know how to socialize properly. Whatever will become of them? I kept my mouth shut then, but if you've ever found yourself complaining about the state of our youth, I want you to know that you don't need to worry.
What started the trade spat between the U.S. and Canada over dairy? Blame consumer demand for higher fat products.
On my first visit to my then-boyfriend's farm, some of the main things I remember are cats. There were cats at the barn, and cats on the steps. Cats that followed a person around, and cats that were a bit standoffish. That was about 12 years ago. In that time, I've married the then-boyfriend, had two kids and moved to the farm. And the number of cats around here dwindled to nothing.
Despite recent rains, the latest U.S. Drought Monitor has portions of both North Dakota and South Dakota in severe drought and moderate drought, while abnormally dry conditions persist in part of Minnesota and Montana. Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said he met on Thursday, June 7, with Bill Northey, U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service, "to get prepped for potential drought problems" like the region experienced in 2017. "We pray that it doesn't happen," Cramer said.
MANDAN, N.D. — Though soybeans have been grown in every North Dakota county, the crop's spread in southwestern North Dakota has been slower because of a previous lack of easily obtained crop insurance, few marketing options and a drier climate. Now more farmers in southwestern North Dakota are adding soybeans to their rotations, finding new varieties and crop insurance options, combined with the financial viability of the crop, make them a good fit in rotations, says Nancy Johnson, executive director of the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association.
SHIELDS, N.D. — The grass shines deep green in southwestern North Dakota. Some fields of small grains have begun to push out of the ground. Alfalfa is up nearly half a foot in some fields. And farmers continue to progress on planting after a slow warm up in the spring. Everything is slow so far in 2018, says Darrick Frank.