• John Vogel

    Help! We're Overrun By Wanna-be Farm Regulators -- Parasites!

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on March 8, 2014

    Before heading home for supper the other night, my phone jingled with a call from Broken Bow, Neb. And I had a long friendly discussion with a Corn Husker about how farmers are being over-run by wanna-be regulators. And I thought to myself: “Golly whiz, I oughta blog about this!” So here it is. He thanked Farm Progress for Harold Harpster’s straight-up analyses of "UN still shadows animal ag" and "Sustainable livestock – or else!" That led to a far…

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  • John Vogel

    What's In The Farm Bill 'Bag' For You

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on February 11, 2014

    Congress finally got the Agricultural Act of 2014 done – more than two years late! Just maybe it happened for fear that President Obama would write a Farm Bill via executive order. That threat may still come, as some critics hope and suggest. In the last two weeks, I've received hundreds of emails praising Congress and outlining their favorite pieces of "bacon" in the bill – and some panning it. So here's a quick look at some of what might be most tasty to…

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  • John Vogel

    EPA's Chesapeake Bay 'Backstops' Would Kill Many Small Farms

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on December 13, 2013

    Over the last few years, I've attended many farm meetings covering U.S. EPA's plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed tributaries. Those regulatory plans were always couched as friendly partnerships with state agencies, soil and water conservation districts, and Natural Resources Conservation Service. But if you cut through EPA's muddy techno-bureaucratic jargon, you'll discover that it's not only very unfriendly; It is hostile and threatening to all of…

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  • John Vogel

    Time For An American 'Agrarian Spring' Over ObamaCare

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on August 30, 2013

    Pundits and experts, alike, wrestle with whether to fix or put ObamaCare out of its misery. But in listening to so many angry, common-sensed people of agricuIture, I believe it's due for a mercy killing. Here’s why a civilized American version of the "Arab Spring" is necessary to restore this country to "we the people". And, it must reach beyond ObamaCare. The Affordable Care Act isn't even out the chute, and it's already bleeding red ink &ndash…

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  • John Vogel

    What To Celebrate On July 4

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on July 1, 2013

    As we gather for family or neighborhood picnics to celebrate the Fourth of July, it'll be easy for conversations to turn ugly. After all, Independence Day isn't what it used to be. Rather than me blogging on, I'll cede my pulpit to skinnied down, pithy insight from John Horvat II, a researcher, educator and international speaker on the U.S. socio-economic crisis. As he puts it, everyone around the picnic table seems ready and willing to complain about everything – well…

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  • John Vogel

    Angry Rural Undercurrent Rising Against Obama

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on May 29, 2013

    By now, you likely know I lean to the right – and it has nothing to do with the slope I'm standing on. During recent meetings with farmers, I’ve seen a growing negative reaction in just about all I meet when the word "Obama" arises. Rural people have a right to be frustrated with federal government intervention into their lives, and it has clearly ramped up with the current administration. After all, most are smart business persons. Otherwise they wouldn't be in…

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  • John Vogel

    Washington: A Nice Place To Visit, But . . .

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on April 19, 2013

    At peak cherry blossom time in Washington, D.C., I risked life, limb and vehicle damage to venture into our nation's capital city. Making it unscathed to the National Mall, I breathed a long sigh of relief. I looked forward to revisiting the wonderfully familiar monuments and records of our great heritage. The cherry and tulip trees were in full bloom, posing for multitudes of camera-toters. After wheeling into one of the few-remaining public parking lots deep beneath the Holiday…

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  • John Vogel

    Saluting Agriculture And Ag Week With Every Fork Raised

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on March 20, 2013

    This week, the Web was awash with news releases thanking America's farmers for feeding the world. It was only fitting as we celebrated Ag Day and Ag Week. Trouble is, most of the appreciation came from within – ag organizations and ag trade groups – the choir, so to speak. I didn't spot even one grain of gratitude coming from environmentalists or those critical of "industrial ag", "big farma", "corporate agriculture" or other derogatory…

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  • John Vogel

    Raise Gun Controls Or The Spirit Within Us?

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on December 19, 2012

    The Sandy Hook, Ct., school massacre pierced most of our hearts. It's also likely to shatter America's gun control shield when it should force us to face a far more pervasive crisis – our broken foundation impacted by America's moral decline. Sometimes, these tragedies help turn our minds to far greater issues than the day-to-day ones we wrestle with. Why wrestle with it here? Two reasons: We have a number of farm family readers in the Newtown area. And, huge…

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  • John Vogel

    Phew, The National Election Is Almost Over! Then What?

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on November 2, 2012

    I haven’t talked with a single soul who won’t be more than glad when this presidential election is over – no matter who wins or loses. Those running the campaigns have taken political integrity to a new low. And in some cases, the words "politics" and "integrity" shouldn’t be used in the same sentence. I’ve heard from many of you about the November magazine’s editorial, “Why the president must go.” It was a slightly…

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