Posted on November 11, 2020
If there is such a thing as a 76-year-old poster child, Collin Peterson, the chairman of the House Ag Committee, could be the weatherworn face of today’s red-and-blue political divide in rural America. His qualifications for the job are, well, colorful.
For example, he’s a 15-term, incumbent Democrat in a rural Minnesota congressional district […]
Posted on October 28, 2020
Somewhere in southern Illinois there’s a high school yearbook that contains a photo of me and another student leaning against a classroom wall on either side of a 1972 campaign poster of a smiling Richard Nixon. The caption writer, another student, notes that my buddy and I are “standing” with our man, the then-incumbent president.
Posted on September 30, 2020
While “zombie ideas” isn’t a phrase you often see in farm publications, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has popularized it to describe a uniquely American political condition.
Zombie ideas, the 2008 Nobel winner in economics explained in a 2018 column, are “ideas that should have died long ago, yet still keep shambling along, eating politicians’ brains.”
Posted on September 17, 2020
There are many reasons to dislike JBS USA, the world’s—and America’s—largest meatpacker.
In 2017, for example, JBS heirs and bosses, Joesely and Wesley Batista, cut a plea deal to escape prosecution in a bribery scandal that involved an incredible 1,829 politicians in their native Brazil. Both, however, later served six months in jail on […]
Posted on August 27, 2020
One trillion is one thousand billion or one million million. In money terms, $1 trillion is a stack of $100 bills 631 miles high.
Now consider that the three coronavirus relief bills already approved by Congress will collectively spend about $3 trillion, or a $100-bill stack 1,893 miles high.
But wait, Congress isn’t done. Its […]
Posted on August 14, 2020
Two generations ago, no one in the cattle business ever thought “herd immunity” was a solution to bovine brucellosis. Instead, farmers and ranchers, often with the help of U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinarians, blood-tested every animal they could find to discover, trace, and isolate the disease’s source and spread.
It was hard, dirty work but […]
Posted on July 20, 2020
While the coronavirus pandemic was hammering global trade earlier this year, the various U.S. bureaucracies devoted to trade barely skipped a beat before returning to their usual grind.
For example, the U.S. and the United Kingdom (U.K.) just began talks on a bilateral trade pact prior to the U.K.’s Oct. 31 “Brexit” from the […]
Posted on July 6, 2020
Some observers see the Black Lives Matter movement as a tidal wave washing away America’s original sin, slavery, and the systemic racism it fostered for more than 400 years.
Maybe, but as the last 75 years of the American civil rights movement has proven time and again—and often in blood—rooting out hatred requires more […]
Posted on June 10, 2020
While Tyson Foods says it’s “feeding you like family,” we recently learned that it and the rest of America’s Big Meat members sometimes need a war-like White House declaration just to cut a fat hog.
More striking than the order itself was its effect: it didn’t work.
A week after President Donald J. Trump ordered […]
Posted on June 10, 2020
For over a month now, nearly anyone who can lift a fork has asked what the “new normal” in American agriculture will be after Covid-19 loosens its terrible grip.
Six weeks later, we now have a pretty good idea that ag’s new normal will look like ag’s old normal even if it takes a […]