• Curt Arens

    Livestock farms depend on stewardship of land and relationships

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on April 14, 2015

    Treat others the way you want them to treat you. It’s an old adage of Biblical origin and it still resonates today. After attending a media and communications training workshop recently organized by Nebraska Extension for Extension staff, agriculture organizations and producers to help get out the good news about modern ag to consumers, I realized how true this old saying is. (You can read more about this training in an upcoming print article in Nebraska Farmer.) In Nebraska, as we talk…

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  • Josh Flint

    You've got questions, our experts have answers

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on April 10, 2015

    In the very near future, the landscape will be loaded with tractors pulling planters. Thanks to auto-steer, that means a lot of you will have time to think as you follow that A-B line. Here’s something to think about. Did you know that Prairie Farmer has a couple of columns, written by experts, that is looking for questions from farmers? Many of you have probably read Curt Ferguson’s excellent column on the challenges of estate planning. Ferguson is an estate planning attorney who…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Of free-ranging chicken and liberated livestock

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on April 9, 2015

    Change for the better is always welcome in my house, even for those wrenching times new ways outgun nostalgia like a villain in a showdown. When I look at where agriculture stands today as opposed to where we were 50 years ago, it strikes me everything is different. And it will be again in another 50. Time has a way of making things we consider set in cement look more like their foundations were in quicksand. Given my pragmatic view of life -- perspective is everything -- change to me is part…

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  • Curt Arens

    10 ways to prepare your farm for severe weather

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on March 31, 2015

    I know you are busy looking at the planter and making sure your tractors and equipment are ready for the upcoming planting season. Warmer weather so far this spring in Nebraska has allowed many producers to think about field work earlier than last season. Of course, we all know that winter can still cause some chaos in April, but our planning is focused now on the fields. Most spring and summer months in the Great Plains offer crazy weather extremes. The big tornadoes that struck last summer…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Congratulations on a job well done

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on March 30, 2015

    To encourage professional improvement and recognize outstanding effort by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists, the Iowa Agricultural Extension Association has a communications awards program each year for its members. These awards are presented at the annual meeting of IAEA on the ISU campus at Ames. Winners and categories they excelled in for 2014-15 were recognized at the recent March 2015 IAEA meeting. "We had winners in 10 of the 14 categories," says Gary…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Picture yourself in Cultivating Master Farmers

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 23, 2015

    Some 10 years ago or so, Peggy Kay Fish had the idea to pair up young farmers and Master Farmers for a mentor experience. Peggy was a force at Farm Credit at the time and she came to us at Prairie Farmer with the idea. We loved it. Conversations ensued, the idea evolved and the Cultivating Master Farmers Program was created: a two-year class with 10 Master Farmer couples, 10 (or so) young farmers and couples, and a program that involves 6-8 speakers and roundtable discussions over the course…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Celebrate National Ag Day your way!

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on March 16, 2015

    The list of activities that will occur across Indiana this week to celebrate National Ag Day is long indeed. Many counties have committees, often linked to the Extension Service or Purdue CARET arm, to help plan and promote ag days. I've participated in them myself. A few years ago I even spoke at the Ag Day breakfast in my home county. I probably gained more from breakfast than they did from me – I talked about the origins of Prairie Farmer and how it survived to modern day. There…

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  • Jennifer Kiel

    It takes 'levels' to attract ag investments

    Michigan Musings

     by Jennifer Kiel
     on March 10, 2015

    Doug Clemens, CEO of Clemens Food Group, the company poised to build the new pork processing facility in Coldwater, credits the group of growers who approached him for putting the legs under the idea. He readily admits that his company was not looking to build a new facility and certainly not in Michigan. The decision to locate in Michigan, versus Ohio, was swayed by our state's levels of support. I'm talking truly levels of support — from the grower level, industry level and the…

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  • Curt Arens

    Being Neighborly on the Farm

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on March 3, 2015

    What do you think? What are some of the key elements you would expect from a good neighbor? You can share your thoughts and observations here. Common threads. It seems if you attend enough farm and ranch meetings over the years, you gain insight into common themes and threads that really run across enterprise lines, no matter if you are learning about livestock, crops, machinery, technology or natural resources. One of the themes I’ve brought home lately from some of the recent meetings…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Marketing like Pete Rose

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 2, 2015

    With the Minnesota Twins starting their spring training baseball this week (they play the University of Minnesota on the 4th and Boston on the 5th), I thought Jared Hofer, farm management instructor, South Dakota Center for Farm/Ranch Management at Mitchell Tech, came up with an apt analogy of how baseball is like ag marketing. He says you should market like Pete Rose swung his baseball bat. “In spite of some poor decisions later in his career that tarnished his image, it cannot be…

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