• Josh Flint

    Bring On the Farmer Image Campaign

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on August 30, 2010

    Having just read Holly’s (Re)-United and It Feels So Good blog (www.prairiefarmer.com/blogs.aspx/reunited/and/it/feels/so/good/1601), I can definitely attest to the fact that consumers in the metropolitan St. Louis area are clueless when it comes to farming. Living in Decatur, folks are reminded daily what farmers do for a living. If the presence of the ADM and Staley plants aren’t enough of a reminder, just try driving through the town during normal working hours. You’re…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Tribute to a Master Parent

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on August 30, 2010

    You'll have to indulge me this week. My father, George Robert Bechman, passed away at age 92 on August 21. His body was worn out, and he was ready to go with the angels to see the Lord, but it's still hard to give him up. If you've lost one or more parents or someone you love, perhaps you can relate. My father lived an ordinary life, but did some extraordinary things. And his life spanned an incredible period in changes within agriculture. Born in 1918, he milked cows by hand. Later he milked…

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  • Holly Spangler

    (Re)-United and It Feels So Good

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on August 29, 2010

    When I graduated from college (back in the virtual stone-age of 1998), there was a lot of talk about how we needed to "educate the public" about food and farming. If you were in FFA or 4-H, it was your rallying cry. And it has continued to be so, ever since, as fresh-faced FFAers give the same speech. Over and over. And somewhere along the line, even as I wrote about our life on the farm in Prairie Farmer, I became a little jaded about that line. It seemed we did a whole lot of talking about…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    I Wish Everyone Who Mistrusts Farmers Could Have Been With Me Today

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 26, 2010

    There are a lot of people out there that don't trust farmers to do what is right for the land. I wish they could have been on the tour bus with me this afternoon as the Residue Alliance of South Central Kansas toured five farms where the commitment to take care of the soil is rock solid. As the bus took off from South Barber High School's parking lot for the first stop, we drove past a "clean" field and the comments were non-stop: All you need is that sight to make you understand no-till…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Show Prep Ahead

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on August 25, 2010

    We're less than a week from the 2010 Farm Progress Show and I'm excited. I know there's a pile of new equipment that'll be on hand; and new technology from seed and crop protection companies we'll want to know more about. We've already covered the Agco Super 7 launch on the Web, and next week you'll see even more new equipment profiled online. And if you're headed to the show plan on catching those tools there. The website has plenty of tools for helping you find your way there and around the…

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  • Tim White

    Ohio Soybean Researchers Call for Support

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on August 25, 2010

    Soybean leaders gathered with the state’s soybean research specialists at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster Monday for the annual Ohio Soy 2020 Forum hosted by the Ohio Soybean Council. It was a time to talk about what researchers foresaw for the next 5 to 10 years in the industry and much of the discussion focused on identifying the genes that would improve the crop’s health and productivity and then moving these genes into commercial varieties. One…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Really, Is There Anything Cuter Than Little Kids on the First Day of School?

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 23, 2010

    Today, we finally got rolling on the REAL first week of school; the one where all the kids go every day of the week. Last week was one day after another of disappointment for one kid or another as the school staggered Pre-K and Kindergarten to get all the kids adjusted for everybody being there. My grandkid numbers in school now include a 4th grader, a 2nd grader, a kindergartner and a Pre-K. Plus two little boys, one three and one almost 3 who see no reasonable answer to why their…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    OK, Maybe This Is REALLY The End of the Heat

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 23, 2010

    This just might finally be it -- the end of the triple digit heat that has quite frankly seemed endless for the last month or so. We had a respite about a week ago and everybody was kind of celebrating. Until, that is, the steamy 100-plus stuff rolled right back in. But tonight's radar looks like thunderstorms will precede a massive cold front that just might be the first signal that summer is going to draw to a close. Of course, we still have two weeks until the Kansas State Fair and…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Dear Little Kindergartener

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on August 23, 2010

    Dear Nathan, Today is your first real day of kindergarten. You went on Friday, but it was only for a couple hours. Today, you climbed on the bus and rode away, with your backpack and your lunchbox. You were completely nonchalant about it. No big deal. Just a kid. Goin' to school. You were cute beyond compare this morning, and I'm allowed to say that because I picked out your clothes. You had on your red Bob the Tomato t-shirt, which you complained about wearing because "it hurts my head…

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  • Josh Flint

    My Dog Is a Pet, Not a Family Member

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on August 23, 2010

    Somewhere along the way, folks stopped treating dogs like pets and they started treating them like family members. It seems like rural farm folks tend to let their dogs lead an independent life on the farm. On the other hand, urban dwellers pander to their four-legged friend's every need. It makes sense. If you don’t have 100+ acres to entertain your canine, the burden falls on you. In the process, it seems the city folk become so attached, the dog becomes like a son or…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Different Look on Other Side of Show Ring

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on August 23, 2010

    Even when I was young and showed in 4-H, I was always on the exhibitor side of the show ring. I never worked to help put on a show. This past week I played a very small part in helping at the Cattle Barn at the Indiana State Fair as the staff prepared for the 2010 Indiana State fair open dairy show. My role was supervising a group of FFA kids working in the barn overnight. I was to make sure they swept the four main aisles and empty trash the night before the show, then get them to the show…

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  • John Vogel

    Burning Money With Hot Air!

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on August 20, 2010

    Pennsylvania’s General Assembly and Governor Ed Rendell promised to bring a natural gas severance tax to a vote by October 1. They must do far better than that. Every day of inaction costs commonwealth citizens millions of dollars in lost funds needed for local road upkeep, community services, environmental remediation and necessary economic development. So far, the action has been all talk (hot air), with no substantive plan. That’s the most disturbing thing. There’s…

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  • Willie Vogt

    New From the Mail Bag

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on August 19, 2010

    Sometimes the "mailbag" is a great resource. Of course these days it's more the "inbox bag" but you know what I mean. Came across two items this week of an equipment nature I thought readers would find interesting. First up is a new equipment buying tool that Agco has come up with, and while not a new idea for the Web it's fresh for farm country. The company has come up with a new service that allows you to compare service that allows you to really compare equipment. The idea, which is common…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    David Hartz and Headline on corn

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on August 19, 2010

    Psst – want a new tip for growing high yield corn?   Headline fungicide.   Put it on as a seed treatment, put it in-furrow, spray some on with you herbicide and even fly it on at tasseling.   That’s what David Hartz does and he says it pays – and pays so well that he’s not even doing test strips anymore.   I admit I was skeptical. Companies can make a lot of claims about products, but that doesn’t mean they are true. What works in their…

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  • Tim White

    Conservation is about family

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on August 17, 2010

    The past few weeks I have had the opportunity to travel and interview the winners of the Ohio Conservation Farm Family Award for 2010. You will be able to read a profile of the farms in the September issue. The winning families will be honored at Farm Science Review Sept. 23 at the Lawrence G. Vance Soil and Water Conservation Park. The program was started in 1984 by Andy Stevens who was the Ohio Farmer editor at the time and Larry Vance, who was the chief of the Division of Soil and Water…

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  • Josh Flint

    I Wish More Folks Had a Farmer's Work Ethic

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on August 17, 2010

    Last weekend, we finally got our new house looking like an actual home. My son, who was diagnosed with leukemia on June 10, was finally able to come home. (For the full story, http://magissues.farmprogress.com/PRA/PF08Aug10/pra029.pdf.) To get the house in order, I had to renovate two bathrooms. I’d wake up, work my regular job, then transform into a carpenter/plumber in the evening. Along the way, a lot of folks told my wife they couldn’t believe I was working so hard. That…

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  • Tom Bechman

    The Best Livestock Judge's Talk I Ever Heard

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on August 16, 2010

    Like it or not, for many people, 4-H livestock shows are abut winning and losing. Yet when the show is over, when the pens are cleaned out, the last trailer pulls away and the lights go out, it's how that show helped develop young people that matters. Judges like to pump up the crowd with such reminders before they pick winners. I've heard many in my time. But I've never heard a better one, or a more heartfelt one, than Warren Beeler, Caneyville, Kentucky, delivered at the Indiana State Fair…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Paul Penner In Spotlight To Talk Wheat Prices

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 14, 2010

    Our own Paul Penner, President of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, was in the spotlight early Friday morning on CNBC's Squawk Box program. Penner talked about the volatility of wheat prices because of Russia's announcement that it will not have enough wheat to export and other adverse weather news around the globe. Penner writes a regular column, View From the Hill, for Kansas Farmer. Don't miss September's column where he talks about his own wheat harvest and the birth of his…

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  • John Vogel

    Are 'Entitlements' Healthy For Farmers?

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on August 13, 2010

     Several weeks ago, a learned gentleman pointed out to me that most Farm Program payments go to farmers who raise commodities that aren’t profitable. And he suggested that those farm products that are profitable aren’t “on the take” from Uncle Sam. In short, he alleged that farmers are welfare recipients as much as those who live via food stamps and unemployment benefits. Are your “juices” boiling yet? Over the last 75 years, agriculture has become…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Blast from the Past

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on August 13, 2010

    Sometimes you find the most interesting things in unexpected places. The photo on this page will bring back some great memories for many of my older readers - this International Harvester plate was inside the IH refrigerator I ran across while visiting my Iowa hometown. Of course, the fridge was inoperable and is now being used by a gift and clothing store to display scented candles and other items. You know the kind of place, lots of interesting things creatively displayed. Yet it shows…

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  • John Vogel

    Fire Up Your Positive Spirit

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on August 12, 2010

     This week, I had the privilege of spending a great deal of time with farmers at Empire Farm Days, near Seneca Falls, N.Y. And the one thing that keeps coming to me over and over is how farmers still love what they do, even if they don’t make a lot of money. That’s because when family, seeing things grow and “being your own boss” are most important in your life, fattening a big bank account becomes secondary. In fact, big bank accounts don’t bring happiness…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Things That Make Me Wonder

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on August 11, 2010

    This is by no means an exhaustive list, but certain events of the past 24 hours have made me ponder what in the name of humanity is going on in our world. Here goes: In a conversation regarding Extension changes, I learned that (and I'm paraphrasing here) we're taking a cat, calling it a dog, and asking it to do the job of a cat, for awhile. Or at least until we find out that all along, people really needed a cat and that since the dog's been doing the cat's job, maybe eventually we'll…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Lots to See, Lots to Learn, But Oh, Boy, Is It Hot

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 10, 2010

    I was in Great Bend today for an Agriculture Technology Day that offered a variety of booths and vendors of products that might help farmers improve their efficiency at tasks from planting to spraying to harvesting. The turnout was remarkable, especially considering that the temperature hit 100 degrees by noon. But hey, what better reason for a demonstration ride than than an air conditioned cab? The Expo ground buildings were HOT, but farmers still gathered to learn about social…

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  • Josh Flint

    A Lot Goes Into Finding the Right Tool For the Job

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on August 10, 2010

    Last weekend, I found a $200 14-volt, cordless DeWalt drill on sale for $99. At first glance, they appeared to be out of this sweet deal. Upon further examination, I realized someone had hidden the last sale model among the Hitachi drills. To say the very least, I was ecstatic to purchase my first yellow power tool. Five years ago, I would have balked at spending $100 on a drill. I would have gone with the cheapest brand. Then I would have bought seven batteries once I realized how short…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    If it's Sunday, Lutherans are going to church...and talking about GMOs.

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on August 9, 2010

    I drove to Gackle, N.D., Sunday to attend a meeting at a Lutheran church about genetically engineered crops. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America – the same branch that is in lots of hot water in conservative North Dakota for saying it is okay for gays to serve as ministers in its churches -- has drafted a social statement on genetic engineering to be voted on in October at a church-wide assembly in Chicago. The ELCA has adopted social statements on many topics including the…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Heat Warning Continues Through End of Weekend; Livestock Danger Extreme

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 9, 2010

    Kansas continues to bake under a broiling August sun that many folks find far more typical of past Kansas weather than the cool, wet August days of the last couple of years. As a result, the fall crops that flourished in the '08 and '09 are not doing so well this year. In Barton County, Extension Ag Agent Rick Snell, says farmers have probably already lost up to 20 bushels per acre of soybean yields and are losing another bushel a day for every day that it doesn't rain. And there's no…

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  • Tim White

    Breakfast with Champions

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on August 9, 2010

    It’s hard to find anything more inspiring than the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame breakfast held every year at the Ohio State Fair. The event is sponsored by the Ohio Agricultural Council and attended by around 500 leaders of the state’s No. 1 industry. It is not only a chance to salute the four honorees, but a time to say hello to so many who have spent their careers serving agriculture along with the movers and shakers influencing the industry today. I was pleased to be invited…

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  • Tom Bechman

    A Walk Through Time With Mauri Williamson

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on August 8, 2010

    Does he still plant corn with horses and a John Deere 999H horse-drawn planter, built in 1923, on his farm? Of course not, but all the same, Mauri Williamson thinks it's important to preserve such a planter to help remind us of where we've been, and to let those who come after us know how much farming has changed. You rarely get more than an hour with a man as busy as Mauri, former director of the Purdue Ag Alumni Association, even if he is 85 years old. To get over an hour following him…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Hot, Hot and More Hot

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 7, 2010

    One thing you can say for Kansans: they know when to put on a straw hat with a wet towel underneath and hunker down to endure. And that's exactly the mode that most of the state is in as we continue to bake in 100-plus temperatures with higher humidity than we would like thanks to the abundant rain of the early summer. For those who planted fall crop early and are near harvest, this heat may be a yield robber but it won't be devastating. For those who double-cropped behind wheat…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Name That Photo!

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on August 5, 2010

    Earlier this summer, I stood at the famed Cuba Livestock Show watching my niece, Hannah, show one of her lambs. She named him Dude. He ended up winning the whole shebang that day, and Hannah even took home junior showmanship. It was, in her words, "the best day ever!" Hannah loves her lambs and she loves to win, and she also loves dressing the part. And as I stood there watching her, camera in hand, I couldn't help noticing how hard she worked, bracing her lamb, watching the judge, keeping…

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  • Willie Vogt

    Better Breeding Calls for Tougher Tires?

    Farmer Iron

     by Willie Vogt
     on August 5, 2010

    It's becoming an interesting lament: "These new corn hybrids are great, but they're killing my tires." Now before my seed company friends come after me, there's a lot of evidence out there that the hard work plant breeders have done to boost crop yield, and create a plant that can stand up to a 70 mph wind, is also a cut stalk that loves to punch through tire rubber. There are some things you can do - and in fact inventive farmers are already at work. Had a chance to talk with Skip Sagar, a…

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  • P.J. Griekspoor

    Winds Are Calm, Heat Index at 101 Degrees

    Kansas Viewpoint

     by P.J. Griekspoor
     on August 4, 2010

    Wasn't it just a week or so ago that we were practically floating away? Not anymore. After two weeks of temperatures in triple digits, just about all the water around is water vapor now, triggering occasional pop-up thunderstorms that have spurred occasional hail and a few tornado warnings. And today, with the temperature right at 100 degrees and the dewpoint at 66, the official wind speed is "calm." That is not good news for cattle in the feedlots or the people who tend them. Just…

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  • Josh Flint

    Different Crops, Same Basic Challenges

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on August 4, 2010

    Last week, I joined the Cultivating Master Farmers group for a two-day tour of various ag sites in and around St. Louis. Just a quick reminder, CMF is a unique mentoring program where Prairie Farmer Master Farmer couples share ideas back and forth with progressive young farmer couples. Anyhow, we started with a tour of Monsanto’s biotech lab in Chesterfield, Mo. From there, we squeezed in Anheuser Busch’s largest and oldest brewery, located just south of downtown St. Louis. We…

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  • Holly Spangler

    What Happened to Last Week?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on August 3, 2010

    I'm feeling a little bad for not having posted a blog in week. But I have a good defense: it was fair week. Which for many of you, really doesn't need any further explanation. The funny part is, my kids aren't even in 4-H yet. But we seem to find plenty to do.  The first step was getting my oldest two ready for the talent show. And yes, I made that rooster costume, and yes, it now looks like something has molted in my house. I'll be vacuuming up feathers from now till the next fair…

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  • Tim White

    One Last Barn Painting

    Buckeye Farm Beat

     by Tim White
     on August 2, 2010

    This is the last time I am ever going to paint this barn. Tim White August 1983  This is the last time I am ever going to paint this %&*# barn. Tim White August 1989  Next time we are hiring someone else to come paint this barn!  Tim White August 1995  We are done. I am not going up on a ladder to paint the south side. Someone else can do that this time. Tim White August 2008.  That’s it. Never again. Tim White August 2010  I love our barn…

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