• Josh Flint

    The Day I Wowed My Wife With Crock-Pot Pulled Pork

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on February 28, 2013

    Like many American families, we have a love affair with the Crock-Pot. Our love for the Crock-Pot grew even larger this year when we discovered Reynolds’ Slow Cooker Liners. Toss a liner in there and cleanup is an absolute cinch. Anyone who’s scrubbed on a stoneware pot knows that’s a pretty big deal. Anyhow, a couple weeks ago, I was perusing the aisles of the Illinois Pork Producer Associations’ Pork Expo when I stumbled on a cooking pamphlet, made possible by the…

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  • Josh Flint

    Make a Meat Thermometer Part of Your Grilling Routine

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on June 3, 2011

    I realized I’d moved fully into adulthood when I hosted our first family barbecue. For some reason, feeding your grandparents, parents and multiple aunts, uncles and cousins conveys a sense of maturity that surpasses even a college degree or first job. In the days leading up to the big event, my wife and I brainstormed what we were going to prepare for everyone. Since it was a Labor Day event, grilling was a no-brainer. Still being a young couple, we decided on a cheap, yet easy, meal…

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  • Josh Flint

    A Refreshing Animal Rights' Discussion

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on October 5, 2010

      Yesterday, I had a terrific animal rights conversation with a consumer. During a tour of the Illinois State University farm in Lexington, we stopped to view the sow gestation stalls. The stalls we were viewing were “flex stalls.” ISU is working in conjunction with University of Illinois to determine whether these stalls reduce stress. After about a minute, one of the students asked the inevitable, “Why are they biting the chains?” (Rather than gnawing on…

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  • Josh Flint

    When It Rains It Pours

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on May 8, 2009

    Just when pork producers expected things to turn around, someone decided our newest health scare should include the word "swine."   How bad is it? According to Purdue University Extension economist Chris Hurt, Western Cornbelt hog prices fell 16% between April 24 and May 4. Eastern Cornbelt prices fell 13% during the same time period. When I spoke to him earlier this week, he said this means producers are taking about a $20 per head loss.   According to Hurt, if H1N1 is short lived and the…

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  • Josh Flint

    Don't Worry Be Happy

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on March 3, 2009

    Over the past year, I've visited quite a few Illinois hog farms. The hog business has been a money-losing proposition for about two years now. Each time I visit one, I always expect a plethora of grim faces. Luckily, that's hardly ever the case.   Last week, I visited one of the farmers caught up in the Meadowbrook Farms situation. Meadowbrook is a farmer-owned coop, with a pork packing facility in Rantoul. Recently, the company idled the Rantoul plant. Many do not expect it to…

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  • Josh Flint

    What a Difference Six Months Makes

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on January 27, 2009

    About six months ago, I met with several pork producers to discuss how extreme corn prices were affecting their profitability. Pretty much everyone was taking losses.   Folks were basically trying to survive. A lot of producers were getting out of the business. They were literally giving away weaner pigs in the process. I spoke with one producer who realized hogs weren't profitable, but for some reason he keeps putting them in the barn, hoping prices would turn around.   According to…

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