• Willie Vogt

    One Last Run through the Shop

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on April 30, 2014

    Took a trip this week to visit with a farmer for a future story I'm working on, and it was a spur of the moment call - in April. Sad thing is that I knew I'd catch him because this prolonged rain in the northern Corn Belt has us all sitting around watching the skies. Equipment is positioned in the shed, it's greased, checked out and all the connections are tested, you're ready to roll. And my guess is many of you are envious of those farmers who post planting shots on Facebook…

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  • Curt Arens

    Strong FFA and Good Ag Teachers Shape Future of Ag

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on April 29, 2014

    Good teachers make all of the difference in the world to our young people. And I’m not saying that just because I happen to be married to a teacher. In high school, I had the benefit of a good ag teacher, Mr. Kyriss, and support from my local FFA chapter to help me decide my career path. Participating in FFA projects, judging contests, agriculture classes, FFA creed speaking, public speaking and parliamentary procedure competitions and competing in state FFA convention contests not only…

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  • Mindy Ward

    2 Reasons Why Farmers Should Watch ‘Farmland’

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on April 29, 2014

    Roughly 200 people filled auditorium seats at the Danforth Center in St. Louis for a private screening of the new documentary film ‘Farmland.’ There were agriculture industry executives, ag commodity group leaders, farmers, consumers and children. As the lights dimmed, you could feel the anticipation mounting. Would this film tell the story of American agriculture? ‘Farmland’ is opening May 1 in theatres across the country. The documentary shows just how the food we eat…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Diets, Exercise and Other Bad Ideas

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on April 29, 2014

    I am one of those who wonders why a just God would make all the most wonderful foods bad for you. It kind of goes along with my religion theory that God has a sense of humor. I mean, look at what happens to us as we grow old. Instead of looking more like Greek gods and goddesses in our '70s, we crumble like the Pantheon. And unless we work out like Atlas, our bodies become ugly fat pods. Who invented this system? I believe some angel in charge of humans had a computer c rash near…

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  • Don McCabe

    Nebraska FFA Growing, But More Ag Teachers Needed

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on April 29, 2014

    I had the privilege of judging proficiency contests at the recent Nebraska State FFA Convention in Lincoln. It was rewarding to view entries for the ag communication proficiency contest which Nebraska Farmer sponsors. I also helped judge agriculture processing and agriculture education proficiency projects. That experience afforded me the chance to see and hear Nebraska's next-generation of agriculture leaders. You not only get to review first-hand the work they put into their projects…

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  • Jessica Lavicky

    Family Traditions - One Dish At A Time

    The Fence Post

     by Jessica Lavicky
     on April 28, 2014

    Some people have the runner's high, the book worm bug, the junk jaunt jives or the garage sailing - antique hunting fever. Lately, I have the baking fever. And not just any kind of baking, good ole family tradition recipes or dishes like kolaches, rolhliky, apple strudel, rosettes, and cherry pie. Okay, the cherry pie was more for a birthday present for my dad and the rosettes aren't really baking, but I will include ithem. Next on the list will be Stollen. I know it is considered a…

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  • John Vogel

    Getting Paranoid About EPA Would Be Easy For A Farmer

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on April 28, 2014

    Last week, I sat in on several webinars and studied a host of farm-related controversies that would make anyone wonder why they'd want to be in the business of farming. Yes, I've written about Uncle Sam being out control before. But when you put all the issues and budding regulations being concocted by agencies such as U.S. EPA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Food and Drug Administration and others, it's enough to drive everyone but mega-farms out of…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Cattle Handling Made Easier With Man's Best Friend

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on April 28, 2014

    In the past couple of months, I've visited with several cattlemen who understand man's best friend can also be cattleman's best friend. One of these cattlemen, National Cattledog Association director and 2013 National Finals Open Finals Champion Handler, Jeff Mundorf, informed me of the common belief that one well-trained cattledog can take the place of three horseback cattle handlers. It's hard enough to find help working cattle, but even tougher to find someone with…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Kids in Tractors: To Ride or Not to Ride?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 28, 2014

    I can't remember the first time I rode in a tractor. Crinkly old photo albums hold pictures of my brother and me, posing on the brand-spanking-new Allis Chalmers XT, in its 1970s-era pre-cab days. Later, I can remember riding with Dad in that tractor, newly equipped with a cab, and with my head bouncing against the low angled windows in the back. Related: 'For That Little Girl in Kansas' Dad's Allis Chalmers D17 was the first tractor I learned to drive, though. That was our…

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  • Tom Bechman

    How Dumb Can Animals Be?

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on April 28, 2014

    In the Bible in one of Jesus' stories, a few pigs run off a cliff to their death and hundreds follow – all ending up dead at the bottom off the cliff. Animals may have instincts, but they certainly didn't get the gift man had – to think and have common sense. That's why we need to use the brain God gave us and make the best decisions we can! Here are a few examples. A couple of weeks ago several of the seven yearling sheep in a pen knocked off enough boards so they…

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  • Curt Arens

    Out on a Limb: Arbor Day is a Nebraska Tradition

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on April 25, 2014

    When J. Sterling Morton and his wife Caroline moved their family from Michigan to Nebraska, they found something missing. They loved the forests and orchards of their home state, so when they got to Nebraska, they missed the trees. Of course, they came to our region in 1854, when the only trees in the territory were growing along rivers and streams and the majority of the region was tall grass prairie. So the Mortons got busy, planting trees and orchards. Morton, who was active in early…

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  • Mindy Ward

    Missouri FFA Wins “Border War” With Kansas

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on April 25, 2014

    How did I miss an opportunity to flaunt a Missouri win over Kansas? I could blame an overloaded inbox and overworked editor, but the fact remains I missed the Missouri FFA winning the “Border War” with Kansas during the 2014 Western Farm Show food drive. So first, I offer my apologies. But in my mind, it is never too late to celebrate. The Windsor FFA Chapter took center stage at the 2014 Missouri State FFA Convention to garner its $500 award for being the top chapter in the…

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  • Josh Flint

    Ag Drainage Inc's New Tile Installation Innovation

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on April 25, 2014

    I love this time of year. The smell of fresh-turned dirt is in the air as you drive down rural roads. As an ag editor, it’s also the time to get out and see new technology in action. Earlier this week, Ag Drainage Inc.’s Aaron Kassing called and said they have a new tiling machine that’s working just south of Effingham, near Farina. Do I want to see it? Heck yes I want to see it. Most who have installed tile drains in the last few years probably went with laterals at 30- or…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: It's News Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 25, 2014

    It's been a banner week in agriculture, with food and food production making the news all over the country. From Cliven Bundy in Nevada, to Chicago moms on hog farms, to GM food labels in Vermont, production agriculture has been on people's minds and in their papers this week. Here's a look at five links that are worth the read. Vermont Governor Says He'll Sign GM Food Label Bill: Vermont's state house has passed a bill that will require labeling of GM food by July…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Old Telephones And Antique Store Ponderings

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on April 24, 2014

    There was a time when we were going to start our own antique store. We had a giant storage space chocked full of great choice unusual furniture items, a vast array of collectible small pieces, and  what perhaps could have been valued at several thousand dollars in value. But after collecting over the years, we observed that everyone and their uncle were opening antique stores or renting space in consignment malls, so we gave up even before we started. As a result, we had what has gone…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    South Dakota Ranch Wins Conservation Award

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 24, 2014

    I am pleased that Rock Hills Ranch, Lowry, S.D., is the 2014 Leopold Conservation Award winner in South Dakota. Lyle and Garnet Perman and their son, Luke, and his wife, Naomi, certainly deserve the award. They are working, not to just sustain what they have on the ranch now, but also to bring back the native grassland to what it once was. I visited their ranch last year and published three different articles in the Dakota Famer about their ranch: Working together (Jan. 2014, page…

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  • Curt Arens

    What Does It Mean to Be a Good Neighbor?

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on April 22, 2014

    This past week, one of our neighbors who lived just a mile or so across the creek passed away rather suddenly. She had only been ill for a short time. Her passing helped me to recall her many virtues as a neighbor over the years. I remember when she and her husband were club leaders of our 4-H club. We often held monthly club meetings at someone’s home, and some of the most memorable meeting nights took place at her home. After the meeting and a wonderful lunch, the adults usually sat…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Old Telephones And Antique Store Ponderings

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on April 22, 2014

    There was a time when we were going to start our own antique store. We had a giant storage space chocked full of great choice unusual furniture items, a vast array of collectible small pieces, and  what perhaps could have been valued at several thousand dollars in value. But after collecting over the years, we observed that everyone and their uncle were opening antique stores or renting space in consignment malls, so we gave up even before we started. As a result, we had what has gone…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Remembering Two Who Gave A Lot To Iowa's Livestock Producers

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on April 21, 2014

    Iowa's livestock industry has lost two veterinarians, civil servants, university professors, experts in their fields and commonsense industry voices on livestock issues with the recent deaths of Dr. Scott Hurd and Dr. Jim McKean. They were faculty members of Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Hurd died March 27 at the age of 58. McKean died April 10 at the age of 67. Beyond the devastating loss to their family and friends, they will be greatly missed by the…

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  • Paula Mohr

    Churning Up U.S. Waters

    Northstar Notes

     by Paula Mohr
     on April 21, 2014

    The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union are on opposite sides of the lake when it comes to the EPA's proposed rule regarding provisions of the Clean Water Act. Last Friday in a press call in MInnesota, Chandler Goule, NFU senior vice president of programs, said that some farm organzations are "agitating" the issue. He did not specifically mention groups by name. "It is not a rule or a law, so stop throwing gas on a fire that is not there,"…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Why I Believe in Leadership Contests for Youth

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on April 21, 2014

    My background is in working with youth, especially in FFA and 4-H. One of my favorite activities to coach or judge is parliamentary procedure. In simple terms, it's a contest which helps students learn how to run a meeting properly and efficiently. If you've suffered through ag meetings where you are a member and they ran on until midnight because the president just let things drag on, or decisions were made and you didn't feel you had adequate input, then you already know the…

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  • Fran O

    Now is the Time to Pass Immigration Reform

    Badger View

     by Fran O'Leary
     on April 18, 2014

    Estimates vary, but roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants work in the United States along with an additional 4.5 million children who are U.S.-born citizens. Of these, an estimated 525,000 undocumented workers are employed in agriculture. In Wisconsin, many undocumented workers are employed on large dairy farms and in canning factories. The workers work long hours – often up to 60 hours per week, and are willing to work night shifts and weekends when few others prefer to…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Worldwide Support for Small-Town Missouri Family

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on April 18, 2014

    It never ceases to amaze me how small towns can pull together in times of need. Last week, while making several treks to interviews along the Missouri River, I passed through the town of Tarkio in Atchison County, Missouri – a prime example. One of the town's youngest residents, 5-month-old Landon Shaw, is battling a rare form of cancer. Members of the Tarkio community are rallying to support him – by plunging into frigid water, and making donations in his name. In the past few…

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  • Jennifer Kiel

    Help Support FFA With Special License Plate

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Kiel
     on April 18, 2014

    There's something about a blue corduroy jacket. It seems to transform young men and women into gifted speakers, aspiring leaders, fierce but friendly competitors and respected adults. It heightens self-esteem and instills a sense of pride. But, it's not just an ordinary blue corduroy jacket. This one is lined with integrity and is worn exclusively by FFA members in Michigan and more than a half million total in all 50 states. In March, Michigan FFA celebrated with the 86th FFA State…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Another Wetland Snafu

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 18, 2014

    About a dozen farmers near the small northeast South Dakota town of Claremont recently received wetland violation letters for a ditch they say they dug to save their town from flooding in 2011. They claim they received permission from the township, the county and even the local NRCS wetland specialist (now retired) for the project. No federal money was involved. No cost sharing. The landowners got together, pooled their money and dug the canal themselves. Now, three years later, someone has…

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  • Don McCabe

    Great American Wheat Harvest

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on April 17, 2014

    In my previous Nebraska Notebook blog, I reviewed Farmland, a film about six young producers facing the challenges of operating their own farms. I had the chance to preview it before its release May 1. A few days later, I received an invitation to preview another well-done agriculture documentary, The Great American Wheat Harvest. It is a compelling look into the custom wheat harvesting crews that start each year in Texas and work their way north to the Dakotas, Montana and even Canada to…

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  • Willie Vogt

    High-yield Producers Offer Insight

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on April 15, 2014

    You know the names, David Hula, Kip Cullers, Steve Albrecht, there's a list of names for top yield contest winners floating out there and you've seen coverage in our magazines and others about their farms. I've had the pleasure to meet many of these top-yielding producers in the past and I've learned a few things. As you're rolling with the planter in the next few weeks - and the Crop Progress Report this week shows planter are finally starting to move - there are some ideas…

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  • Curt Arens

    Going to the Birds a Sign of Farm Landscape Diversity

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on April 15, 2014

    On our farm, we raised and marketed black oil sunflowers as wild bird seed for almost 10 years. So, in an effort to understand our customers, the folks who regularly feed songbirds around their homes and gardens, our family set up our own feeding stations, and we learned plenty about the songbirds that inhabit our region. In other words, we were happy to have our farm “go to the birds.” Researchers say that having healthy populations of songbirds living and singing around your…

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  • Tim White

    Street Project Shakes Up Ohio Farmer Office

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on April 15, 2014

      While there's not much equipment running in farm fields this week, there is some major activity just outside the window of my office. The state is resurfacing State Route 22, which is also Main Street in Lancaster. I say resurfacing, but in fact the project is more of rebuilding operation than a remodeling job. Several times during my 18-year residency in this building, the highway has been resurfaced with asphalt. However, it carries a lot of heavy truck traffic and once the…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Cherry Blossom Peak Tops Off D.C. Visit

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on April 15, 2014

    I am happy to report that the cherry blossoms hit peak bloom last Friday – one of the rare occasions when the most beautiful days of the bloom actually match up with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. I was in D.C. for a whole week now with all eight grandkids and their parents. And no, we still haven’t seen everything this amazing city has to offer tourists, though we did add one amazing tour – D.C. Ducks. This tour proved to be a fantastic experience and…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Serving "Food For Thought" And More At Wallace House

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on April 14, 2014

    Every so often I'm asked, "What is the Wallace Centers of Iowa?" It's a non-profit organization inspired by the Wallace family legacy. The Wallace Centers of Iowa provide a variety of programs and services to build awareness of local food, sustainable agriculture and civility. It serves both urban and rural communities. There are two locations—one is the Wallace House at 756 16th Street in the Sherman Hill neighborhood on the west edge of downtown Des Moines. The other…

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  • Mike and Sheilah Reskovac

    Savor The Crazy Spring Despite The Planter Dust

    Two Hearts, One Harvest

     by Mike and Sheilah Reskovac
     on April 14, 2014

    To us, spring is when the earth looks bright, new and fresh. The season has always reminded us of God’s love with the new beginning of a crop season. Mike: Some say spring is less stressful than harvesting. For us, planting season is way more hectic. It’s all about time – too little of it. It's the lead-off for the whole year. Our planting window is much narrower than the harvest window. Once all the equipment is ready to go and all the seed has been delivered in a…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Check Out New Farm Building Foundations

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 14, 2014

     If you’re looking at putting up a building this year, check out Morton Buildings’ new concrete post foundation system. It consists of precast concrete columns that go in the ground instead of wood posts. A threaded screw in the concrete post allows construction crews to easily and precisely level the posts for a flush, even and clean-looking framing point. Laminated wood posts are fastened securely to the top of the concrete posts with a rugged internal connection plate that…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Beat Goes On and On

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 14, 2014

    A friend recently shared a photo of Main Street in her hometown and noted that when you go home, somehow you suddenly feel 17 again. That is truth for those of us who have moved away from the town in which we grew up. And though I now live in a rural Illinois town very similar to the one in which I grew up, visiting home brings back a torrent of memories. Most of them related to being 17: the cruising, the fair, the games, the practices, the band, the dinner theater. The dates and the mistakes…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Old Eyes Can't Watch Basketball on a 20-inch Screen!

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on April 14, 2014

    My wife, Carla, and I took a journey to Georgia to see our oldest daughter, Allison, during the first week of April. She works for Coca-Cola and is based in Atlanta. It was the week of the NCAA Final Four, but I figured we could watch the Saturday evening semi-finals on her TV. Then we got to her apartment and I looked at her TV, or tried to look at it. Left from her days as a college student, the screen was 20 inches, being generous. Twenty years ago I could have sat in the comfortable…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Food Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 11, 2014

    When the Food Movement Does Not Move: 500 words on agriculture, GMOs and the food system, from someone far outside conventional Midwestern agriculture. It is worth a read to see what he thinks and how he arrived at those opinions. And we all need a little more information from outside our circles. Reader Comment: Change of Heart on Ag-Gag: Written by an activist who worked to stop the Bettencourt Dairy in Idaho but came to see that Mercy for Animals had another agenda entirely. Is Organic…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Life Beyond the Ring

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 10, 2014

    Confession: I have a tartan past. I was once the Illinois Shorthorn Lassie Queen. I wore a plaid kilt and black boots. It's true. Photographic evidence exists, but I will not provide it. I tried valiantly to become the National Shorthorn Lassie Queen. It was all just about as glamorous as you might imagine: show rings, essays, scrapbooks, ribbons, interviews and more. In truth, it was an early form of agricultural advocacy, even though we didn't call it that back then.   The…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Tomorrow on Deck at Ag Robot, Unmanned Aircraft Conference

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on April 9, 2014

    It hit me at lunch while attending the Precision Farming Expo in McMinnville, Ore., last week. A young producer from Canada was telling me about how he is building his own fixed wing and copter robot planes in his farm workshop. It struck me that the future is here, although in the U.S. farm drones still are not allowed to fly commercially due to Federal Aviation Administration regulatory balking, the concept has move from engineering blueprints to the back 40 in other parts of the…

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  • Curt Arens

    Farmers Say that Conservation is Cool

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on April 8, 2014

    Unless you take in upcoming showings of movies like Farmland or the Great American Wheat Harvest, you have to look for mainstream media sources that actually share positive modern stories of farmers and ranchers. Evidently, most of those sources don’t see modern agriculture as dramatic, emotional or trendy. It’s easier to find the bad actors in the industry and make blanket, generalized statements to include all farmers and ranchers as greedy folks who only care about a making a…

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  • Don McCabe

    Documentary Captures Experiences of Young Producers

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on April 8, 2014

    I'm not much of a moviegoer, even though my wife prods me to attend one occasionally. So it was a bit unusual for me to catch two movies in a two-week span recently. I sat through two well-made documentaries about farmers and the challenges they face, the rewards earned for their work and the commitment they have to agriculture. The first was a premier screening of Farmland, a documentary film that gives an intimate look at the lives of six young producers, all in their 20s, who are…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Confessions of a Farm Wife: Vol. 8 | Guest Star Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 8, 2014

    We're back again today with our first-ever guest star at Confessions of a Farm Wife! Joe Webel, husband of Emily, caretaker of cattle, stopped by the kitchen counter to talk about calving and cows and calves. And he coined my new favorite phrase in regard to cows, calves and the barn: "it's the roach motel - they keep moving in and I can't move them out!" You can catch past episodes, just click here and listen. Or you can download the SoundCloud app on your phone or…

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  • Mindy Ward

    The Face Of The FFA

    Show-Me Life

     by Mindy Ward
     on April 7, 2014

    I saw the image on Facebook and had to investigate. It was of a young man whose passion for farming and the FFA was emblazoned all over his face, literally. With that one image Cade Ruether became, in my mind, the “Face of the FFA.” The idea was the brainchild of Drew Tignor, 7th grade civics teacher and yearbook sponsor at Troy Middle School in eastern Missouri. Mr. Tignor explained that there is a theme to every yearbook, this year it was “Half.” “We only see…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Climate Change From A Faith-based Perspective

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on April 7, 2014

    About 80 people gathered in a church at Ames on a recent Sunday afternoon to listen to a panel discussion on agriculture and climate change. Moderator Mike Glover, a retired Associated Press political reporter who covered the Iowa Legislature for many years, opened the discussion by asking the panelists how they see climate change affecting agriculture. Do they believe the current modern-day system of producing crops and livestock can continue to exist if climate change continues at its current…

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  • Paula Mohr

    Nature's Symphony

    Northstar Notes

     by Paula Mohr
     on April 7, 2014

    Boy, was it noisy in the backyard and woods this morning as I walked with my dog. The birds were in full chorus. I closed my eyes and heard cheeps, calls and trills of robins, woodpeckers, cardinals, chickadees, crows, geese and sand hill cranes. And there were a few 'songs' I did not recognize. No matter. It was a true symphony of spring that I thoroughly enjoyed! And we know the wildlife and some other critters are on the move more now, too, after that last blast of snow on…

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  • Tom Bechman

    The 5 Types of Auction-goers

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on April 7, 2014

    I'm an auction enthusiast. I've been to a ton of farm sales and household sales through the years, and lots of toy sales. Before the Internet, you could look the opposing bidder in the eye and try to guess how high he was going to go. People have different strategies when it comes to bidding at live auctions. Here are a few styles I've noticed, or even fell prey to at one time or another. See which of these categories might fit you. Internet bidding is a whole different animal. It…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Confessions of a Farm Wife: Vol. 7

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 7, 2014

    Well. Our schedules have been a little crazy lately. And so it is that we are now re-capping Emily's experience as a panelist for the Bayer Ag Issues Forum at Commodity Classic...which was back in late February. But she had a fascinating experience, fielding questions from agricultural media and more. And so here it is. A little talk about the travel, the speaking, the issues, and our random run-in at Gate B26 in the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. Proof positive, you have to leave…

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  • Tyler Harris

    Showing Consumers the Face of the American Farmer

    Town and Country

     by Tyler Harris
     on April 4, 2014

    This week I had the privilege of participating in a private screening of the documentary "Farmland," highly anticipated among farm families across the U.S. and set for release at the beginning of May. Most farmers are aware consumers have questions about how their food is produced. The goal of the film, produced and directed by Academy Award winner James Moll, is to address these questions. So, it made perfect sense the screening, hosted by Kansas Farm Food Connection, took place in…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: April Fool's Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 4, 2014

    April Fool's Day came and went this week, and with little notice on our farm. Except for the children who tried to prank me by taping up the faucet sprayer. They only got themselves, when they forgot and flipped on the faucet. I'd like to say you have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool old mom, but really, it had nothing to do with me. They just forgot. And no fooling: here are five links to stories and information to catch you up on the week in food and agriculture. Big…

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  • Josh Flint

    I Fell For Two April Fool's Jokes This Year

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on April 4, 2014

    This fool fell for not one, but two, April Fool’s jokes this year. I’m not proud of it, but in both cases my inner optimist was on full display. As I browsed my Facebook feed, I came across one post that said “Obamacare has been repealed!” I immediately took to the web to confirm this exciting announcement. When I came up empty, I checked the post date. Yep, April 1. (I was reading this on April 2.) I’d been got. You would think I’d be on guard for more of…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Last Price Update Before Planting

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 4, 2014

    If you’re like me, you went to a lot of meetings this winter and listened to someone talk about the outlook for corn, soybean and wheat prices. Well, it’s probably old news now and there’s no time to drive to another meeting to get an update before planting begins. But you can get an update from some experts – without leaving the farm or ranch. Join the Farm Futures® marketing team of Bryce Knorr and Bob Burgdorfer Monday April 7 at 7 p.m. Central Time for a…

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  • Holly Spangler

    140 Characters for PETA

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 3, 2014

    It's been a big week for our local high school's biology department: they began their fetal pig dissection unit. My niece, Kaity, is a biology class member and she was pretty excited about this development. Excited enough to tweet about it. The next exciting development? PETA replied to her tweet. Technically speaking, it wasn't PETA, the radical animal rights organization, but "peta2," the youth arm of the radical animal rights organization. That should frighten you…

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  • John Vogel

    Which Way Will Your Tip: More Corn Or Soybeans?

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on April 2, 2014

    Here in the Northeast, corn and soybean markets are more keyed to feed needs and specialty markets than in the Midwest. So your acreage mix of corn and soybeans probably won't flux as much. But the prices that you buy and sell corn, soybeans and bean meal for will greatly impact profitability. And, even contract prices for these commodities are impacted. So it behooves you to stay on top of what's happening. Right? That's why I want to tip you off to a free (yes, entirely free…

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  • Don McCabe

    They Came, They Heard, But They Didn't Listen

    Nebraska Notebook

     by Don McCabe
     on April 2, 2014

    Perhaps it was the 60-day "short" legislative session loaded with controversial issues. Perhaps it was too much time allocated to the mountain lion hunting bill. Maybe it was the fatigue and weariness brought on by a cold winter. Whatever the reason, the 2014 Nebraska Legislature ignored rural Nebraska by failing to provide badly needed property tax relief. The paltry $25 million added to the state's property tax credit program only scratches the surface of alleviating the heavy…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Swedes Take America (In the Nicest Way Possible)

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 2, 2014

    A lunch with friends. Conversation about farms and food, traveling and working, Broadway and the prairie. A delicious meal at DeStihl, complete with locally-sourced cheddar cheese curds, made by farmer friends at Ropp Jersey Cheese. A meal not soon to be forgotten because although the weather on the prairie blew wet and cold outside, the friendship around the table was warm, fanned by a deep love for agriculture and journalism that spans actual continents. It all began with my trip to Sweden…

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  • Curt Arens

    Women in Agriculture Hold the Future of Many Farms

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on April 1, 2014

    According to the 2007 U.S. Census of Agriculture, about half of the farmland in the country is owned or co-owned by women. While the 2012 Census of Agriculture showed a decrease in the number of women farmers, there is no doubt about the important role women play in the keeping and caring of the land. A series of workshops coming up in April, May and June are being sponsored by the Center for Rural Affairs, designed specifically for women in agriculture. These sessions are geared for a wide…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    April Fool's Day - A 'Holiday' Sans Candy

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on April 1, 2014

    Sure, it isn't a nationally-declared holiday, sure it's origins are cloudy, and sure, few get excited about preparing for it. Yet, I love April Fool's Day because it is a holiday uncelebrated, yet widely acknowledged if only with a passing shrug of the shoulders. You have to love a special day that isn't the subject of parties, decorating the lawn, sending and getting gifts, and without the tacky trappings of most celebrations. For this reason I revel in April 1 as a…

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  • Paula Mohr

    USDA April Crop Report And Your Bottom Line

    Northstar Notes

     by Paula Mohr
     on April 1, 2014

    Join the Farm Progress Farm Futures® marketing team of Bryce Knorr and Bob Burgdorfer, Monday, April 7, for a crucial preview of spring grain markets before you head to the fields for planting. With USDA's long-awaited Prospective Plantings and quarterly Grain Stocks report out, key pieces of the price puzzle are falling into place. Knorr and Burgdorfer will compare USDA's tally with Farm Futures® own survey data, along with a preview of the April 9 USDA world supply and demand…

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