• Josh Flint

    The Clock Is Ticking on Meat Label Laws

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on December 31, 2010

    Nutrition labels, to be required on packages of meat by 2012, have grabbed quite a few headlines in the past few days.  After reading an article in USA Today, I realized this requirement is going to push me toward purchasing healthier cuts. The newspaper showed the differences between 73% lean ground beef and 96% lean ground beef. For a 4-ounce serving, that’s 350 calories (270 from fat) for 73% and 130 calories (25 from fat) for 96%. A ground beef lover, I’ve always been…

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  • Holly Spangler

    That's What's in the Bag

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 31, 2010

      Elaine Stone hit the nail on the head: "This is part of Nathan's "Bushel and a Peck" attire from the Fulton County Fair Talent Show 2010! ??" Right-o, Elaine! Congratulations! Elaine commented yesterday in our little contest, correctly identifying the bag of goods that's been sitting in my mudroom for 2.5 months. She did not, however, have a good explanation for why it was there so long. But she still wins the Prairie Farmer hat! My only explanation is…

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  • Tim White

    Here Comes 2011

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on December 30, 2010

    All the radio talk shows are making outrageous predictions about what is going to happen in 2011. Obama’s birth certificate is going to be found in Kenya. Sweden is going to be next European Union member to go broke. The moon landing is going to be proved to be hoax. China is going to declare Somalia a province. The Cleveland Indians are going to win the pennant. You know what I mean, really over the edge kind of stuff. From my point of view the New Year is going to be pretty much an…

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  • Holly Spangler

    What's in The Bag?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 30, 2010

    First person (who I'm not related to) who can correctly identify this bag of stuff with a blog comment below wins a Prairie Farmer hat! Bonus points if you can also explain why I've left it set on the mudroom floor for approximately 2.5 months. Because I sure…

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  • Curt Arens

    Pay Attention

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on December 29, 2010

    Five things we’ll be paying attention to on our farm in 2011.     I’ve been attending lots of farm meetings and workshops these days, like many farmers. We cover these regularly in our magazines, and we get ideas about stories that might be worth while down the road. But I’m also usually looking at what I might put into play around our place too. Learning from the Extension folks and experts I’ve been listening to lately, here are five things we’ll be…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Melons On The Moon

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on December 29, 2010

    I used to tease my kids that I wanted to grow muskmelons on the moon. I usually brought this up on a hot, humid day when we were weeding the melons. My kids thought the heat – or old age -- was getting to me. But now I can tell them I was just ahead of my time. Popular Mechanics reports this month that the University of Arizona and NASA are investigating growing fruits and vegetables in inflatable greenhouses buried under the moon surface. The space stations farms would…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Good Readin'

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 27, 2010

    I started this blog a couple years back and at the time, oddly enough, I wasn’t much of a blog reader. Really, I have no idea why I signed up to do it, other than Farm Progress was starting this new-fangled blogging thing and I’m always up for something new so, hey, why not? As for why I was so out of the loop, somehow, between babies and toddlers and calves and manure, I’d sorta missed this whole blog revolution. Like, the fact that The Pioneer Woman has existed since…

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  • John Vogel

    Take Time For Amens and Amends

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on December 27, 2010

     As I write this, we're still being barraged by year-end advertisements aimed at parting us with hard-earned dollars. No, I'm not a "Scrooge". I just can't wait until we get a well-deserved break from it. The advertising world seems to think a lot of us can wrap up a new Jaguar for our special loved ones. Imagine that! I can't. Where I come from, a new tractor would generate far more excitement. Depending on the model, it might not cost quite as much. And you'd get far more work from…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Holidays Are Over; Let Education Begin

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on December 27, 2010

    I always think of November and early December as the "season of conventions" because almost every organization has an annual meeting somewhere in there. The rest of the winter is education conferences and one of the biggest is coming up Jan. 25-26 in Salina: the annual No-Till on the Plains Conference. This one is special whether you are currently no-till or just thinking about it. It's a chance to learn what no-till is all about, explore how you might gain soil health, productivity and…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Ups and Downs Define 2010

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on December 27, 2010

    In another item you can find how I viewed the year 2010 for agriculture. It was mostly positive, although there were some tough weather times and some surprising developments mixed in. What happens outside the farm gate, or the home, may set the tone for the year. But how you remember the year may be more related to what happened in your operation, with your family and community. Take a few minutes before the year ends to determine how you fared this past year. Thank God for the good times and…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Merry Christmas!

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 24, 2010

    First, a question: what in the wide world happened to December? How is it already Christmas Eve? Not that anyone has an answer to that, but here we are. In a few short hours, the entire Spangler family will descend on our house, and it will be a chaotic and blessedly fun mix of cousins, presents, food and festivities. I cannot wait. Neither can my kids. My. Word. So now, I am off to wrangle small excited children and attempt to keep my house resembling some degree of cleanliness until our…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Watchwords for 2011

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on December 23, 2010

    New trends can change how we talk. Who would have thought a year ago that Twitter would mean more than a bird sound today (follow me at www.twitter.com/willie1701a). Or that vertical tillage would become a common phrase. With new tech trends and new ways to farm you often find yourself hearing the unfamiliar. So what might we hear more of in 2011? It's hard to know what will actually take hold, but I have some suggestions for words you night want to become more familiar with in the New…

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  • John Vogel

    The Christmas gift?

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on December 22, 2010

    Won't be long until Christmas, now. So the other day, I asked my sweetie what she wanted as a gift. "Nothin'," she replied in a slightly annoyed tone. "We've got to get rid of stuff, not add to. And nobody wants our stuff after we're finished with it," she grumbled. "Okay, so how about a little trip to an exotic place?" I queried. That got her attention. Then her eyebrows knitted into a full facial frown: "Where?" she suspiciously replied. "How about Niagara Falls?" With eyes rolling…

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  • Holly Spangler

    A Trip in Time

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 22, 2010

    Way back when we were sprightly young college kids, we took a little trip. It was the Nabor House Ski Trip, and it involved a couple dozen people, a bus, a lodge and a long drive to Colorado, and it deserved its capital letter designation. It also involved a last-minute decision to forgo the bus and drive ourselves, which led to my experience of riding across Kansas in the middle of the night in the back of a Mustang with four other people, which, as God as my witness, I hope to never do again…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Where Did The Time Go?

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on December 21, 2010

    So, just no time ago, I had plenty of time to finish shopping and wrapping and cooking and all was well. And now, suddenly, there's three days until Christmas Eve. How did this happen? All I can say is you get distracted by work, or life, or whatever for just a second and everything piles up behind you. I don't have much more time to blog. I have to shop. And wrap. And…

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  • Curt Arens

    Away in a Manger

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on December 20, 2010

    Christmas is a season when farm animals and farmers are blessed.    “The stars in the bright sky looked down were he lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.”   (Source: Away in a Manger, Author Unknown, 1885)  “Away in a Manger,” is one of my favorites, and probably one of the first carols I learned as a youngster. Today, it’s on everyone’s short list as a Christmas gem.  It tells the Christmas story in such a tender…

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  • Josh Flint

    A Fake Power Outage at a Blues Game Really Got My Attention

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on December 20, 2010

    A few months ago, I met a friend at St. Louis’ Scottrade Center for what was my second Blues’ hockey game. The game was terrific. The Blues scored two goals in the third period to take the match to a shootout, which they also won. Great hockey. However, months later, one part of the evening continues to jump out in my memory. And it had nothing to do with the puck. After the first period came to an end, the fans sat, waiting for the inter-period entertainment to begin. Typical…

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  • Tom Bechman

    A Farmer’s Look Back at 2010

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on December 20, 2010

    Next week, before the old year rings out, I’ll take a personal look back at what 2010 meant for me and my family. This time, I’ll put on my farmer hat, made up of many colors, just like Joseph’s coat, because I try not to be partial to one brand or another, even though that’s not the easiest thing in the world to do. When the growing season started, hope sprang abundant in the Midwest. Tractors rolled early compared to the past few seasons. A good share of the crop went…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Say Cheese! (Because He's Never Heard That One Before)

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 20, 2010

    Do you like cheese? Because this is really good cheese. Our friends, Ken and Becky Ropp, went into the cheese business a few years back, turning their rich, creamy purebred Jersey milk into a sweet sideline business. Ken went to cheese school in Wisconsin (where else?) and this time of year, he and his band of cheesemakers crank out even more cheese than usual. And they have curds. And specialty cheeses. I'm a big fan of the pizza cheese. And the regular old white cheddar. It's…

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  • John Vogel

    Kings Of 'Pork' Buried . . . Again

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on December 17, 2010

     Last night changed this blog headline from "Pork Kings Rise from the grave". While on a conference call with our local congressman, he joyfully reported fresh word that Congressional leaders buried its $1.3-trillion omnibus spending bill. The omnibus bill was the "bus" hauling some 6,488 or more (depending on who was doing the counting) earmarks. Shoveled into the defense spending category pile was two after-life memorial gifts dedicated to the Northeast's two departed kings of "pork…

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  • Tim White

    Room at the Inn

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on December 17, 2010

    As Kathy and I enjoyed a peaceful bowl of barley soup by the woodstove tonight, we realized our first semester as empty nesters is fast coming to an end. In the next week our three children will be returning for Christmas. Allie, a junior at University of North Carolina, should be the first to arrive tonight -- although, the winter storm has delayed her flight from Raleigh/Durham. The Internet tells me it is scheduled to arrive at 10:50 p.m. now instead of 9:20. I suspect that too is subject…

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  • Holly Spangler

    You Can't Get that at IHOP

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 17, 2010

    Every once in awhile, you see something that makes you stop and say, "Now that is just really cool." Like this. It's a pancake. And this. And this! The little girl in her jammies is our sweet friend, Aubrey. The pancakes are purely a creation of her dad, Steve. He got the idea for "Saturday Morning Pancakes" online, but pretty much went to town on his own after that, using clip-art for inspiration and whipping up pancakes with food coloring and chocolate sauce, and…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    The 3-Year-Old Proves Beyond Doubt that 2-Year-Olds Have Long-Term Memory

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on December 16, 2010

    There's nothing I love more than the opportunity to take one of my seven grandchildren on a "day with grandma to the farm." Today was Jackson's turn. He is three and a bundle of energy and curiosity. My mission was photos at a farm near Liebenthal and chats with a wheat breeder and a beef researcher. Since the trip took us close to Hays, home of the Sternberg Museum (or as Jackson calls it, the "dinosaur zee-um"), I decided a side trip to the museum he has inquired about almost daily…

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  • Curt Arens

    Remembering Christmas Season Blizzards Past

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on December 16, 2010

      Last Saturday, the snow was coming down so thick that it was difficult to see the barn from the house. Over the weekend, travelers were stranded in local fire halls and at neighboring farmhouses.   Arens kids enjoy sledding after last year's Christmas blizzard.   Farmers are well known for their neighborliness when others need help. Living and farming along a well-traveled, but rather remote county blacktop road, our family and others living along our road have…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Time is Running Out!

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on December 16, 2010

    Heck they're screaming through my television about two-day sales, excellent chances to buy and "now's the time" offers. Of course they're mostly talking appliances, clothing and TVs, but I live in a big city where ag advertising is a little scarce. But at this time of year there are plenty of great offers from machinery makers too. Low- and no-rate financing (depending on the machine) can cut your interest cost. And that's a good thing. If you're in the market for new equipment and you've…

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  • Holly Spangler

    A Depraved Generation?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 16, 2010

    We don't get out much. We farm, I work from home, we go to church in the country. We just didn't used to have much contact with folks in town. So it came as a big (and heartbreaking) surprise when our kids started school and we learned just how tough some of the homes are around here. And I say "around here" because it is what I know yet feel unfortunately confident that it's happening in rural schools all over the countryside. How many broken homes there are, how many kids come to…

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  • Josh Flint

    What's in a "Mexican" Coke?

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on December 14, 2010

      Perusing the aisles for a bottle of taco sauce at the local Schnucks, I came across this. It’s a bottle of “Mexican” Coke. While researching the articles on high fructose corn syrup, one source told me a lot of folks are drawn to Coke imported from Mexico because they are under the impression that it contains “real sugar.” Thus, it’s "the Coke they grew up with." Funny thing about that Mexican Coke. Can you see the little white label pasted onto…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Blessings For A Double Crop

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on December 13, 2010

    At the recent Prairie Grains Conference in Grand Forks, Brian and Deb Lacey were greeting me at the door to the reception hall. We got to talking about how their crops turned out and they said their good year might be too to the blessings of a Jamaican minister. “What do you mean?” I asked. During their vacation last winter, they took time to go to Sunday church service. The minister appreciated seeing them. They were apparently one of the few couples from the resort who took…

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  • John Vogel

    They're Looking Out For No. 1, And Only No. 1

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on December 13, 2010

    The latest strategies by U.S. food industry leaders confirm, in my mind, that they are no friends of agriculture. In fact, the push by large-scale processors and marketers actually meant to bite the hand that feeds them. United Fresh, the nation's largest trade organization for the fruit and vegetable industry, worked hard to bring small-scale fruit and vegetable producers and marketers under the regulatory thumb of the Food and Drug Administration via the proposed Food Safety Modernization…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Snow Day (But Not Here)

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 13, 2010

      A string of random thoughts involving cold weather: 1.         As I write this, the temperature has soared to a balmy 7.3 degrees, which is only 4 degrees short of our expected high for the day. Lows last night and tonight expected at a big fat 0. My children did not understand how that was even possible. 2.         This is generally where my California friend Liz points out that it's 84 there and…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Five More Days Of Fun at Future State Fairs

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on December 13, 2010

    The news came across email on a cold December day, one about 80 degrees cooler than the last day I spent at the Indiana State Fair earlier this year. That's why you won't catch me complaining about the cold, I'm still just getting warmed up. Sounds like I'll get to do it again, into the foreseeable future this time, for as long as Kayla, our oldest, shows in 4-H and for as long as I cover the fair for Indiana Prairie Farmer. The powers that be, namely the Indiana State Fair Commission, saw fit…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    How Can Time Go This Fast?

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on December 12, 2010

    I was just looking up from the newspaper tonight when I realized that the last time I was sitting right here, like this, was a week ago, looking over the Sunday ads. So where did a week go? I ask msyelf that question more and more often these days, but especially during this season when I had hoped to get so many things done and so few of them seem to be happening. Where does the time go? Just no-time ago, when I was a little kid, it was a long, long, time from Thanksgiving to…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Deciphering The Need To Light Up the Season

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on December 11, 2010

    I've been out in the wind and the cold, putting more effort than I can describe into the effort to get my lawn properly lit for Christmas. First, there's the challenge of getting driveway lights all lined up at the same height and in a straight line. Keep in mind that I am a person who can't draw a straight line on a piece of paper if I have a ruler and the paper is lined. If you are thinking lost cause, you are really close to right. But hey, I try. I have this general view that more…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Here's a Project That You Just Might Want to Support

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on December 10, 2010

    I don't know how many of you have heard of Numana. I hadn't until today. But I think this El Dorado, Kan.-based non-profit company has the potential to change the world. Numana is dedicated to providing food for the starving people of the world on an emergency basis. They aren't about solving world hunger in the Norman Borlaug model. They are about "now" meals for kids that will die tomorrow if they don't eat today. They engage thousands of volunteers to package meals for millions…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    AgriNxt Conference Gives a Lot of Things to Think About

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on December 10, 2010

    I spent all day at the AgriNxt Conference in Wichita hearing multiple speakers address issues that impact the future of agriculture in Kansas and America. There are a bunch of things to think about, but among the top ones are a presentation from Keith Miller, president of the U.S. Meat Federation talking about challenges to gaining access for export markets, Joseph Glauber, Chief Economist with USDA, talking about the economic outlook for ag and a whole bunch of people talking about…

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  • Curt Arens

    Who Will Farm the Land?

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on December 9, 2010

    In the next 10 to 15 years, a tremendous transfer of farm wealth will take place.   I attended a landowner/tenant workshop recently, and had a difficult time finding a place to sit. The room was packed beyond capacity. The Extension educator facilitating the meeting told the group that he had hosted meetings like that over the past three or four years, but only two or three people would show up. What a difference a year makes? Rising land prices, skyrocketing commodity prices…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Massive Gray Middle

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 9, 2010

    I'm thinking through my column for January today, and thinking about the whole lot of us who make up the massive gray middle ground. Like when I see a Newsweek cover that proclaims, "The Dinner Divide: How our foodie obsession is driving Americans apart." The story itself is excellent, if telling. In it, the author leads with the stories of three families and their eating habits: the first (a mom, dad and two small kids) spends 20% of their income ($1000/month) on food, buying local…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Recognizing a Winner

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on December 8, 2010

    Mike Pluimer of Ceres Solutions in Templeton, Ind., got a pretty sweet bit of recognition recently when he was named 2010 Operator of the Year by Agco's Application Equipment Group. It's a prize the company started giving out five years ago and aims to recognize the top operators in an elevator or co-op's business. For Pluimer, who started as a farmer, went part-time as an applicator and now does that job full-time, the recognition is nice. And his nominating co-worker says some great things…

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  • Tim White

    Stories Behind the December Cover

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on December 8, 2010

    The December Ohio farmer arrived in mailboxes this week. It features the story of Vintage Aerial, a Toledo-based company that is putting 25 million aerial photos of farms on the Web in Goggle Earth fashion. Eventually that means you can go to their website (www.vintageaerial.com) and click on a map and see the photos they have taken of your farm over the last 50 years. Right now only about 15 of the counties in Northwest Ohio have been digitized in this fashion. Until the rest are finished, you…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Worming Her Way In

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 8, 2010

    We're big fans of the Barn Cat, here on the Spangler ranch. We have many of them. Out in the barn. Where barn cats are supposed to be. They eat mice, they play with the kids, we love them. Outside. Then this happened. About a week before Thanksgiving, John called me. He was at the farm up the road, holding three baby kittens. The mama cat had disappeared. The kittens were on death's doorstep. I heard the most awful noise through the phone, and it was those kittens. It was the cry of…

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  • Josh Flint

    A Walk Down Memory Lane With My Old Friend, MS-DOS

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on December 8, 2010

      Earlier in the week, I took a walk down memory lane as a farmer and I discussed our first experiences with computers. He purchased his first pc in the late 1970s. Even then, he realized it would make a great tool in keeping track of farm data. He began with basic spreadsheet programs and hasn’t looked back. As we were talking, he mentioned the operating system in the early days was MS-DOS (MicroSoft Disk Operating System). I surprised him when I mentioned that MS-DOS was…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    It is Hard to Remember Sometimes, Things Are Only Things

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on December 6, 2010

    I'll admit it. For a couple of minutes when I heard the unmistakable sound of breaking glass and realized the two-year-old was AWOL, I was really upset. And when I realized that she was standing on my computer printer and the broken porcelain included the nativity scene that I have displayed every year for the last 30 years, there was a moment when I almost lost it. And then I looked at her little face. She didn't MEAN to destroy anything valuable; she was looking for where the lights…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Never Bet on Teenagers!

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on December 6, 2010

    If you've got a teenager or recently raised one, of either sex, it really doesn't matter, the problems are different, but they're challenging all the same, then this story likely will shock you. If you don't have teenagers yet but have younger kids who will become teenagers, then this story might give you hope. Each year our local FFA chapter, Franklin FFA, sends a dozen kids a day for five days to the Hoosier Beef Congress to work. It's one of the largest cattle preview shows anywhere, with…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Driving Through Flint Hills at Sunrise is Its Own Reward

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on December 3, 2010

    I was reminded of something Friday that most of us have long experienced: when you buzz through Kansas at 70 mph on the freeway, bent on getting from there to there, it is really easy to miss the beauty of being HERE. I had to roll out of bed at 5:30 a.m. to make it to one of my favorite tasks as editor of Kansas Farmer: picking this year's class of Master Farmer/Master Farm Homemaker award recipients. My reward for that was being in the Flint Hills at sunrise. I know some of you wake up…

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  • John Vogel

    The More Things Change, The More They Don't

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on December 3, 2010

      Last night, a farmer from New York (state) e-mailed me that before the mid-term elections, Senator Charles Schumer called for an investigation into why farmers get such a small share of retail milk prices. And he sent a New York Times clip headlined "Vegetable dealers take 1,400%", while cabbage growers get a penny a head and East Coast vegetable markets were glutted with supply. That clipping was published July 17, 1920. But both the milk and vegetable pricing issues are on-going…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Giving of the Thanks

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on December 3, 2010

    I have been overwhelmed by your generosity and response to my Thanks and Giving series last month. We used to joke about getting a flood of letter, which in general is so true. Believe it or not, we don’t get much mail here at Prairie Farmer. But I’ve been so encouraged by your emails, comments and the chats we’ve had in person. So now it’s December. The first snow fell on our farm December 1 and though it was just a dusting, it still felt appropriate. Thanksgiving is…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Just an Observation: KLA Convention Place to Be If You Love Cowboy Hats and Wranglers

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on December 2, 2010

    It is entirely possible that the annual KLA Convention brings together in one room the largest collection of men in Wrangler jeans, cowboy hats and boots that you will find anywhere. As an attendee at today's convention, I found myself trying to figure out why some cattlemen prefer white hats and others tend to go solid black. And why are Wranglers a cowboy icon? Why not Levis? In the movies, the good guys wear white hats and the bad guys wear black -- but at today's KLA convention I…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Upbeat Message From CattleFax Analyst Improves Joy of Season For Cattlemen

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on December 2, 2010

    There were a lot more smiles in the room at Thursday's opening day of the Kansas Livestock Association annual convention, as members celebrated 10 consecutive months of profitability for all segments of the cattle industry, from cow-calf producers to processors. And analyst Randy Blach from CattleFax told the group to expect more of the same in the coming months, as supplies continue to draw down and demnad is showing strong signs of a comeback. It was a major turnaround for the crowd…

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  • Curt Arens

    Nothing Beats the Real Thing

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on December 1, 2010

    I know that installing a plastic tree is simple. But after raising real Christmas trees for over 20 years, putting up a plastic tree to me would be like watching the Super Bowl on a black and white TV. Something special would definitely be missing.   As a kid, before we raised our own trees, our neighbors gathered up their families this time of year and drove out to some Missouri River bottom land where cedar trees grew wild, choking out prime pasture land. The landowner told…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Season of Comfort and Joy Opens With a Special Joy

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on December 1, 2010

    There's no other season quite like the space between Thanksgiving and Christmas when you get to reflect on all the precious gifts that make life wonderful. And sometimes the greatest joys come where you least expect them and where, I admit, in some of my earlier years, I didn't even recognize them. Today started with an early morning flurry of text messages, announced by several consecutive "dongs" on my cell phone when I was barely awake. One daughter's just-repaired computer appears to…

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  • Willie Vogt

    A Bit of History

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on December 1, 2010

    Tractors leave the loading dock from the Case IH Racine works every day, but today something special happened. The company announced its first Case IH Magnum featuring new tech to meet the newest, toughest Tier 4A emissions requirements set down by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. There are different ways to meet the low emission standard and Case IH has chosen to use Selective Catalytic Reduction to reduce particulate matter and nitrogen oxides in emissions. The new standards, which…

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