• Holly Spangler

    Loose: Not Taking Questions

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 31, 2012

    It's been a couple weeks since the agriculture community did a full-bodied freak-out regarding writer Terence Loose's Yahoo Education story. Like a lot of you, the story has hung in my brain, if for no other reason than as a journalist, it struck me as such a ridiculous piece of non-factual work that I thought surely there would be some response from Yahoo or the writer regarding, you know, actual facts – which have been bountifully supplied throughout the Internet, over the airwaves and…

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  • Holly Spangler

    A Late-January List of Semi-Related Thoughts

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 26, 2012

    When in doubt, make a list. Right? 1.    I got to spend an evening last week with the Knox County Pork Producers, who were kind enough to invite me to speak at their annual meeting. If, like me, you wonder how many pork producers there could be in Knox County, it turns out there are a lot. I had no idea. Many, but not all, contract with The Maschoffs. Our table had some great conversations about the recent "useless ag degrees" story. We were also fortunate to have the…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Our Friend, Greg

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 17, 2012

    I’d like to tell you about our friend, Greg. Greg was a father, a husband, a friend and a farmer, and he was killed in a devastating car accident last week as a snowstorm blew into Fulton County. And so it is that a tiny farm community in a corner of western Illinois mourns the loss of a man who loved so well and was respected by so many that 1,500 people passed through our little white church in the country to tell his family what he meant to them. 1,500 people. Just think about…

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  • Holly Spangler

    So How Many Acres DO You Farm?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 11, 2012

    I received a most thoughtful response to last week's blog, where I re-told my cautionary feelings about sharing information with the New York Times. The reader, Bill Graff (farmer and former IL FSA head), offered up this bit of insight: "We farmers probably give out way too much information. My wife, Judi, did not grow up on a farm and she thinks farmers let too many of their business decisions go out of their mouths that should 'never leave their lips,' as she says. I think we…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Prayers for a Cattlewoman

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 9, 2012

    It's with a heavy heart that many of us received the news late Monday that our friend and colleague, Maralee Johnson, has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Maralee is Executive Vice President of the Illinois Beef Association, and has served its members for some 20 years. Maralee was diagnosed just this past Friday, and the tumor is located in an inner area of the brain where it can't be removed. As I sit here thinking of Maralee and her family – I went to college with…

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  • Holly Spangler

    When the New York Times Calls

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 6, 2012

    This I know to be true: there's very little to humble the interviewer like being interviewed themselves. Take yesterday, for example. The phone rang and the man on the other end told me he was with the New York Times. He wondered how my husband and I felt about the CME in the wake of the MF Global collapse. (These sorts of things just don't happen around here. In fact, had a colleague in Kansas not told me last fall that he'd given our names to this guy, I might have accused him of being…

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