• Fran O

    Budget cuts to UW-Extension would be devastating

    Badger View

     by Fran O'Leary
     on April 17, 2015

    Gov. Scott Walker's proposed state budget cuts of $300 million to the University of Wisconsin System would have a crushing impact on UW Cooperative Extension and agriculture in particular. According to Rick Klemme, dean of UW-Extension, the cuts would mean the elimination of a number of Extension positions. "If the 13% cut is distributed evenly, as the cuts in the past have been, the cuts would be $2.7 million to UW-Extension in each of the next two years for a total loss of…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Squirming Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 17, 2015

    Real-world math: a bit of trig and hay for the horses: Learning by doing…it's a combination of common core math and ag classes. Reporting on quacks and pseudoscience: This is a great discussion in the L.A. Times about what happens when the press covers pseudoscience purveyors like, say, Dr. Oz and Vani Hari (the Food Babe): "The woods are full of charlatans just waiting for a chance to loose their fear-mongering theories upon a willing public, and the press shouldn't…

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  • John Vogel

    Why key anti-GMO leaders turned pro-GMO

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on April 16, 2015

    I confess I can't take full credit for this column. Early this week on Linkin, Ken Martin, director of ag operations at Furmano Foods at Northumberland, Pa., tipped me off about a blog by Hembree Brandon, my counterpart at Delta Farm Press. So I must credit Brandon for some core content. First, tell me who might have made the following statement: “The more food we grow per acre, the better it is for nature. The more food we grow per acre, the less of nature has to be cleared to grow…

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  • Paula Mohr

    Tough times test Minnesota's number one ag industry

    Northstar Notes

     by Paula Mohr
     on April 15, 2015

    We don't know when the current outbreak of avian flu affecting our state's turkey farms will end. Whenever viral loads in the fecal matter of migrating birds dissipate, that's when. The warmer weather of late spring/early summer will definitely help. One can only imagine being turkey farm families, caring for their animals with increased biosecurity measures in place, and constantly wondering and worrying if one of their barns might be hit next. If just one barn of turkeys tests…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Not your grandpa's diesel

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on April 14, 2015

    The Iowa Biodiesel Board held its annual "Biodiesel Day on the Hill" April 8 at the State Capitol in Des Moines. It's an opportunity for representatives of Iowa's biodiesel industry and soybean farmers to visit with legislators and the public about the many benefits of biodiesel. Biodiesel is an advanced renewable fuel made from agricultural byproducts and coproducts such as soybean oil, corn oil and animal fat. This was the first time for a biodiesel Ride-and-Drive at the…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Dream chasers edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 10, 2015

    Are paleo diets more natural than GMOs? This piece from Scientific American raises some good (scientific) points, such as: "GMOs are scientifically sound, nutritionally valuable and morally noble in helping humanity during a period of rising population. Until then, eat, drink and be merry." The Food Babe is full of s*#&: I started following the Science Babe on Facebook some time back, and she's managed to get a piece on the Food Babe published in Gawker. It's got some…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Sides are lining up in battle over water quality

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on April 6, 2015

    The three northwest Iowa counties and their drainage districts the Des Moines Water Works is suing over water quality issues could get some help in this legal battle. The Iowa Drainage Districts Association said last week it is asking approximately 40 counties and 20 companies to join the three counties' effort in defending themselves against the lawsuit. The Iowa Farm Bureau is also assessing how it can best help in the fight. This all started in January when Des Moines Water Works…

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  • Fran O

    Nearly 50% of all food is wasted

    Badger View

     by Fran O'Leary
     on March 31, 2015

    Every year, between 40% and 50% of the food produced in this country is wasted, according to a food safety Extension specialist at the Michigan State University and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Food waste happens at all stages of production including harvesting, packing as well as restaurant preparation. We are all guilty of wasting food. Who hasn't had carrots or deli ham spoil in the refrigerator? The same is true for a loaf of bread or a bag of chips or a bunch of…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Rare Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 27, 2015

    National GMO labeling standards bill resurfaces: Pompeo and Butterfield have introduced another GMO labeling bill this week (similar to one they introduced last spring) but that would create a single federal labeling standard for foods containing GMOs, through a USDA-accredited non-GMO certification process. The non-GMO label would be similar to the Certified Organic label, in that farms or companies could seek the designation and label food as such; consumers who want to avoid GMOs could seek…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Farmland for less than $10?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 26, 2015

    Remember the Farmland film, produced by USFRA? I've had the chance to see it twice now; first at the 2014 Commodity Classic and again this spring at a local college showing. I really liked it, even though I've mentioned it's not really for farmers. But I'd still like for my farmer to see it, and he hasn't yet. But now he can. Farmland is now available on DVD at Walmart and Amazon and on Amazon Instant Video. Could be the last movie you watch before planting season starts…

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