• P.J. Griekspoor

    Under a Broiling Kansas Sun, History is Celebrated

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on July 31, 2010

    Today is Homecoming in Nicodemus, the biggest day of an annual weekend celebration that brings the descendants of one of, it not the only, surviving Exoduster communities in America, home for a visit. At its peak, this town was home to almost 800 people, all of whom farmed the land in Nicodemus County and some of whom also worked outside jobs in the nearby towns of Bogue and Stockton or traveled further to Hays and Phillipsburg. Today, only about 40 residents of Nicodemus are left. But on…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    It's Good To Be Home, But How Did I Get So Far Behind?

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on July 28, 2010

    Last weekend, my daughter and I flew together to beautiful St. Paul, Minnesota. She'd reconnected with her best friends from grade school and her favorite babysitters of 15 years ago on Facebook, so I invited her to come with me to Ag Media Summit, which this year was in St. Paul. We flew out on Sunday; a flawless, non-stop flight that arrived in plenty of time for her to make phone calls and me to get ready for a welcome cruise on the Mississippi. She did reunion connections while I went…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    What Mike Hayden Really Thinks About Buffalo Commons

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on July 22, 2010

    I caught up to former governor and current secretary of wildlife and parks, Mike Hayden, today at a Kansas Land Trust dedication and finally had a chance to ask him: "What were you thinking  when you told the Kansas City editorial board that you'd changed your mind and now think Buffalo Commons is a good idea?" A KC Star editorial last spring touched off a firestorm in Wallace and Greeley counties -- targeted as the likeliest spot to begin said commons -- when landowners there saw it as…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    What Is It With The USDA Racism Charges

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on July 20, 2010

    OK, is it just me, or is there something weird about a taped speech from 24 years ago popping up in a way that gets a USDA employee fired for something she said she did when she didn't work for USDA but for an unnamed non-profit organization? I'm wondering how her boss at USDA knew to fire her because she was about to appear on the Glen Beck show on Fox News? Last time I checked, the list of people about to be interviewed on Glen Beck wasn't public. There's for sure nothing on TV listings…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    At This Time of Year, Buying Local Is About Taste, Not Politics

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on July 15, 2010

    In the middle of February, the movement to "buy local" or "know your farmer" is a theoretical notion because there isn't any fresh produce in Kansas. If you want sweet corn or tomatoes or green beans, they aren't going to be local. But in the middle of July -- ah, that is a different story. I made a wrong turn today on my way to an interview and somehow found myself turning around in a store parking lot, where there just happened to be a sweet corn stand. I was already tempted but…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    What Ethanol Does Not Need Now Is Perception of Division

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on July 15, 2010

    It is looking like the U.S. Senate will actually start talking about an energy bill within the next few days. Whether something actually passes or we just move into another round of nothing remains to be seen. But today, Growth Energy, a group of ethanol supporters, rolled out their idea for moving toward a subsidy-free industry and a foreign-oil independent United States within the next 5 to 10 years. Noticeably absent from the podium was the Renewal Fuels Association, the American…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    OK, I Admit It, I've Overwhelmed by Your Reaction

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on July 9, 2010

    OK, I have to admit that I'm astonished at the phone calls and e-mails I've gotten in just the few days since the July magazine came out with my editorial talking about my disillusionment at the basic values that have gone away in our political system. I have to admit that the overwhelming positive reaction I've gotten really is reassuring. It is also surprising. I really didn't expect to hear from anyone. And getting 11 phone calls and 18 e-mails (still counting) tells me I really struck a…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Ag Has to Keep On Telling Its Story, Moran Tells Agribusiness Council

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on July 8, 2010

    You could have attended Thursday's Agribusiness Council of Sedgwick County luncheon and listened to Rep. Jerry Moran (R-Hays) speak to the 50 or so attendees and completely missed the fact that he's engaged in what most people would agree has gotten to be a pretty ugly campaign for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sam Brownback. Not once did Moran bring up his Republican primary opponent in the Senate race, Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Wichita), or the increasingly negative tone of the…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Where Did Time Go? Jax Is 3 Today

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on July 3, 2010

    Not that it was exactly unexpected, but it was still a bit of jolt this morning to realize that my little grandson, Jackson, is turning 3 years old today. He's celebrating by hanging out with Dad and maybe, hurricane remains permitting, heading out to Old Cowtown, where Mom is working and sisters Chloe and Alyssa are running an entrepreneurial lemonade stand with some classmates. They're hoping to get the school year off to a good start next month with a summertime infusion of cash for the…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Wheat Basis and Problems with Insurance Have Been Noted

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on July 1, 2010

    Dozens of Kansas farmers are getting an ugly surprise this summer as wheat cash prices have fallen significantly lower than the July futures contract (or September contract for that matter). The issue is how Revenue Assurance and Crop Revenue insurance programs pay out. May farmers were under the assumption that the precipitous drop of prices in the month before harvest would trigger insurance payments. But "harvest price" is figured on a futures price formula and insurance payments are…

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