• T.J. Burnham

    Agriculture's Wheel Of Fortune Turns With Thrills And Chills

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on January 29, 2013

    You got me. I'm a "Wheel" groupie. I guess the addiction was passed from the previous generation because my hard-working carpenter father-in-law loved Vanna and the lure of quick riches. Watching the wheel turn reminds me a lot of how farmers live, vacillating between the $10,000 prize and bankruptcy. Farming and life in general is a fateful constant turning of events that take us between success and failure quickly. Just look at the good prices of late on wheat, then think…

    Continue Reading


  • T.J. Burnham

    Quinoa Latest Wonder Crop In Research Labs

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on January 22, 2013

    It is a coincidence how a story falls together sometimes. Take my recent endeavor to write about quinoa, a grain like seed crop that is nutritious and adds lots of nice things to diets, according to researchers at Oregon State University which is looking at the rice-like commodity. I interviewed OSU researcher Steve Petrie, Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center director, over the phone at some length about this potentially new crop for the Pacific Northwest.  At the end of…

    Continue Reading


  • T.J. Burnham

    New Ag Income Reports Mirror Good Times For Farmers

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on January 14, 2013

    This is good news: western state crop reports are coming in with encouraging news that the 2012 year was record for some, dang good for others. The latest to cross my e-mail path from Idaho projects a strong year financially there as well. Nice to have some money to pay bills, isn't it, even if the net is thinner with higher costs for everything from alfalfa feed to zucchini seed. Overall nationally, USDA says farm net will drop by…

    Continue Reading


  • T.J. Burnham

    Looking Blankly At A Blank White Screen

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on January 8, 2013

    It wasn't too much Chivas Regal that hangs me over this morning, but a clean sweep of the 89 tons of Christmas decorations back into the attic last evening under the cruel and intense incessant pace of a daughter and wife. Once that duo decides to clean, it is like twin white tornadoes sweep down into our living quarters and suck up every single reminder that there ever was a Christmas season. I think we packed the dog in a tote and lugged her upstairs into storage oblivion. I…

    Continue Reading


  • T.J. Burnham

    A Whole New Year Offers Hope, Renewal

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on January 4, 2013

    Maybe it is because I mess up so often, but I really like clean slates, new beginnings and a fresh chance to set records straight. Ergo, I am a fan of the school of thought that says Jan. 1 wipes slates clean and presents me with an unused canvas on which to paint my self-portrait. One wonders, this one does, what it's all about. Is my life meaning anything at all, or am I just a speck of cosmic dust drifting meaninglessly? Counting my blessings, I conclude that I am indeed…

    Continue Reading