From the Column

Fixed bayonets

So just what was Congress, and especially, the U.S. House of Representatives, doing when it entered the final week of its high-speed game of chicken with the White House and three out of four Americans who said loudly and clearly that they did not want a government shutdown?
One part of the answer, the political part, […]

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You can’t make this up

A month ago an editor friend replied to a draft copy of one of these weekly efforts with the simple email comment: “You’ve got to be kidding.”
My reply assured him I wasn’t kidding because, “No one, not even me, can make this stuff up.”
For example, could you make up the fact that when the circus, […]

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High mileage chicken

Just before the Labor Day weekend began Friday, Aug. 30, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced that China was welcome “to export processed, cooked chicken to the United States.”
If USDA hoped this little nugget might get overlooked during summer’s last, languid holiday, that thought was deep-fried by noon when Politico, the fast-rising […]

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OK, but how many people?

Our good friends at Progressive Farmer magazine fill 15 pages of their September issue with a well-researched, very well-written “special report” on “Feeding the World.”( http://www.dtnpf-digital.com/#&pageSet=26)
The four-color, four-story  package hits all the humane highlights U.S. farmers and ranchers expect in these stories of manifest destiny and when “the world will look to the U.S. to help […]

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Shut up, butt out, get lost

On Aug. 27, the late summer heat of Washington, D.C. was spit-roasting locals and tourists alike up and down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Inside the U.S. District Courthouse, a half-block off the main thoroughfare and just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol, however, all anyone from Mexico to Canada could talk about was COOL, the American law that […]

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The Other Red Meat

A lean hog is not a fat chicken but the marketing geniuses hired by the National Pork Board sure sold a lotta’ hams, bacons and butts when, in 1987, they began to promote pork as “The Other White Meat.”
Now, 25 years after that brilliant slight of hand, the pork crowd wants to be known as […]

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The last supper

The weekly newspaper from my hometown bring news that the small, rural Catholic church near the big southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth will close its doors next year, a casualty, according to its distant bosses, of too few priests and too many parishes.
It’s a judgment day that many of the old timers mostly […]

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From Russia with Love

The July 30 news that Uralkali, the huge Russian potash producer, was pulling out of the global fertilizer cartel might be that nation’s richest gift to American farmers since the Great Grain Robbery in 1972.
Unlike the grain-buying deal that carried grain prices to 125-year highs 41 Julys ago, this July’s move will drain potash prices […]

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Time to Make Hay

As this July forever fades into this August and the sweaty, hardworking part of high summer slides into the sleepier, dog days of late summer, our hired hands in Washington, D.C. have less than 20 legislative days to put up a year’s worth of hay before Congressional winter begins September 30.
They won’t make it. The […]

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