• Rod Swoboda

    Urging Action On Propane Shortage

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on January 27, 2014

    An unprecedented jump in propane prices (doubling within a couple days last week) has some rural Iowans wondering if they'll be able to pay their heating bills this winter. State and federal leaders have vowed to get to the bottom of the LP-gas price explosion. Propane prices hit $5 per gallon in some areas of Iowa, according to a special survey by the Iowa Department of Agriculture. The statewide average rose to a record $4.18 a gallon on Thursday January 23. A day earlier the same survey…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Birthday Party For A Rare And Beautiful Barn

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on August 17, 2013

    One hundred and thirty years ago, Joshua Secrest and barnbuilder Frank Longerbeam sat around a kitchen table on the farmstead near Iowa City, Iowa and planned one of the largest round barns in the country. The graceful bell-shaped roof is unique – there is none like it anywhere. "This barn is a wonderful photo opportunity," says Rich Tyler, a barn historian and one of the people planning this upcoming event. On Sunday August 24, 2013, a birthday party for this Iowan treasure…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Always Plenty New To See And Do At Iowa State Fair

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on August 8, 2013

    Visiting the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines is the highlight of the summer for many people, an August tradition. Many of those who exhibit at the fair work toward this event year-round raising livestock, growing crops, vegetables, flowers and perfecting family recipes. Year after year people return with friends and family to experience Iowa's great celebration, a salute to the state's best in entertainment, agriculture, industry and achievement. To plan your visit, you'll find…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Cultivating Student Interest In Agricultural Sciences

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on April 30, 2013

    At a reception in Des Moines last week for Science Bound students, I met the Tello family. Science Bound is a program that began 20 years ago as a way to draw students from middle school and high schools in Des Moines, Denison and Marshalltown toward careers in agriculture, science and technology. The program is aimed at minority students and currently has 378 students enrolled, all of them in those three school districts. Felipe Tello and wife Hermelinda, immigrants to Iowa…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Borlaug: Iowa Wrestler Who Saved A Billion Lives

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on March 29, 2013

    A farmer I know from northeast Iowa, Jack Hartman, and I were walking along a street in downtown Des Moines last Saturday, headed toward Wells Fargo Arena, where the NCAA 2013 national collegiate wrestling championships were taking place. I hadn't seen Jack in a while. We talked about our kids and families and what they were doing these days and a little about farming. We also talked about how the International Olympic Committee recently announced plans to drop wrestling as an Olympic…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    A Food & Ag Message At Harvest Time

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on October 4, 2012

    A few weeks ago my daughter and I drove to Spencer in northwest Iowa to the 2012 Clay County Fair. I hadn't attended the fair in 10 years. Billed as the World's Greatest County Fair, it's still one of the biggest and best truly agricultural fairs. A regional event, it attracts a lot of people (farm as well as nonfarm folks) from northwest Iowa and neighboring states. This year's fair ran September 8 through 16. We attended a customer appreciation event put on by the Case-IH dealers of…

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