From the Column

Real Rural Development: Local Food

Unlike most farmers and ranchers today, Scott Laeser and Chelsea Chandler can see all their livestock and nearly every acre of their farm from their kitchen’s windows. It’s not an expansive view. The entire farm, nestled in southern Wisconsin’s Driftless region a few crooked miles west of Argyle, is a 77-acre quilt of wetlands, prairie, […]

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Where’s The Love?

While kids always choose Christmas as the best holiday of the year, Christians everywhere celebrate Easter as the most important because, they teach, the anniversary of Christ’s “victory over death” on the hilltop called Calvary proves both His divinity and the promise of salvation. Indeed, if you are Christian, Easter is where the ultimate sacrifice […]

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Oink If It Smells Like Free Trade

Here’s what everybody knows about Paul Krugman: The openly partisan, twice-weekly columnist for the New York Times won the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Here’s what hardly anyone knows about Paul Krugman: The fiercely liberal Democrat and an unrepentant Keynesian is an avowed supporter of free trade. No way, right? Oh yeah, way. […]

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The Numbers Never Add Up

There’s little mystery to why many Americans distrust Congress: the numbers its members offer as hard facts are often exposed as pure fiction. Take the numbers offered recently by Rep. Aaron Schock, the Illinois Republican who resigned his House seat, effective March 31, “following revelations of lavish spending, payments to donors for flights on private […]

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What Your Friends Are Saying About You

“Nine GOP White House contenders did their best to sound more compelling and better-versed on farm-related matter than their competitors Saturday [March 7] as they were quizzed during and unusual showcase of agriculture policy on the presidential campaign trail.” (Des Moines Register, March 8.) (Links to all stories are posted at http://farmandfoodfile.com/in-the-news/.) “The mood in […]

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Please, Just Bruce, Not Kingmaker

We will not be attending the “Iowa Agricultural Summit,” March 7 in Des Moines because, oh dear, this is embarrassing, we were not invited. Yes, many non-farming, political types were invited and will be there. Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, and Jim […]

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Food Guidelines and Average Old You and Me

No one in farming or ranching buys a bag of seed corn or a couple of young bulls hoping for an average corn crop or an average calf crop. Both buy what each believes will best fit their farm and ranch’s unique circumstances to achieve the best results because average is, well, average. Moreover, since […]

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Past Present, Present Future

As winter’s icy hands again strangle most of the country, I toss another log in the stove and grab the stack of old newspapers, aging magazines, and new books that has grown tall during winter travels. The newspapers take little time. No trick to reading a two-weeks-old daily newspaper: headline… headline… recycling bin. The magazines […]

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Who Wrote This Mess?

The low whimpering and muffled whining heard in farm country this month are not the gripes and grunts of corn and soybean growers trudging through 2015’s purgatory of under-$4 corn and less-than-$10 beans. Instead, it’s the rising complaints of cranky farmers as they trudge out of dull meetings where Land Grant experts and Farm Service […]

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Diverse, Concentrated–Big Ag, New Ag?

The Progressive Farmer magazine’s February issue resembles most mid-winter issues of most U.S. farm magazines. It features stories on how to grow more corn, how to whip soybean aphids, and how to “Drain Water in the Hydraulics.” Interspersed between these tried-and-true farm favorites, however, are three stories that mark just how incredibly diverse our farm […]

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