• Tom Bechman

    Effort to Change Name of Swine Disease Uphill Battle

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on July 22, 2013

    Commodity groups do tremendous things in Indiana. The new Glass Barn at the Indiana State Fair designed, built, paid for and staffed by the Indiana Soybean Alliance is a great example. Urban visitors who buy the food you produce will have the opportunity to learn what modern agriculture is like, and do it in a fun way. However, some efforts various groups within the industry make find them fighting an uphill battle. Trying to rename the swine disease known commonly as 'swine flu…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Wow! Every Animal Weighs 170 Pounds!

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on June 18, 2012

    I couldn't fit into our livestock scales designed for pigs and sheep, or I would have. The first three animals we weighed the other day all weighed 170 pounds, and they all looked bigger than that. "Weigh yourself, dad," my daughter said,. "You weigh more than 170 pounds. We'll know if it's working or not." Thanks a lot Kayla. If I could have fit inside it, I would have, because by then I figured out likely something was wrong, and it would be nice to say I weighed 170 pounds again on a scale…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Truth is Stranger Than Fiction- Especially in Animal World

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on January 30, 2012

    In the last issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer we promised an update on 4-H pig and lamb farrowings in the Web Exclusive once the February issue reaches mailboxes around Feb 1. You will still see that exclusive. Some have found lambs slow to arrive- the heat last summer didn’t make for efficient cycling and breeding. Several pigs have been pulled in 4-H herds- that’s nothing new with the heavier muscling most judges seek in gilts today. Yet one judge placed a gilt last in a show last…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Lessons Learned From an Animal

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on March 7, 2011

    I have been the silent and minor partner with a friend for three years now in raising 4-H pigs, after giving up my own small farrowing operation because of space and too many neighbors. I figured it was time to quit before they complained, not after. Besides, when I found myself sweating one hot afternoon scooping manure with no kids in sight, I questioned why I was doing what I'm doing. Now it's become therapeutic for me, although I question sometimes if I don't need a different kind of…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Swine Flu Episode Exposes Chinks in Communication Armor

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on May 7, 2009

    "Dad, make me an appointment to go to the doctor. I can leave school early if necessary. I'm so afraid it's the swine flu everyone is talking about."   Everyone indeed, from national and international media to local media, have been talking and talking about swine flu for the past week. Not knowing exactly what they're talking about didn't seem to stop anyone from talking. A radio program on WIBC out of Indianapolis early in the week contained an interview with a health official. Some…

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