• T.J. Burnham

    A Perspective Worth Printing

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on October 29, 2012

    We get lot of calls and e-mails from commercial firms looking for press, and in most cases we avoid solicitations from product enterprise unless something newsworthy justifies use in Western Farmer-Stockman. When Syngenta called to ask if we wanted to interview their PNW breeder, the red flag went up. But after further thought, we found the story to be one that our readers hopefully will find of interest. It will appear in our December issue. What we try to avoid is a lot of chatter in these…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Federal Bucks For Farmers Continue To Auger Up

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on October 24, 2012

    Make no mistake, I think getting money for ag is a good thing, and the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant system is a faucet of funding for which thanks should be given. But when I see those big grants for the recent round -- $4.8 million for Washington and Oregon – it makes me wonder how long the spigot will spout given today's anti-ag actions and the precariousness of the next Farm Bill. What wonders the grant performs, particularly when you consider more than $1 million of the new…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    New Dog Stirs Thoughts Of A Calendar Of Pickup Canines

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on October 15, 2012

    My new mutt, an 8-month-old kinda lab/kinda Siberian named Arya (don't ask) sits next to me barking for yet another baby carrot. Nice to have a "bud" again since the trauma of losing my old Doxie friend, Spencer, who stood by me for the last 8 years. The horror of putting down one of the family still haunts me. We don't euthanize a child or a parent when they get really sick. Nature runs its course. Yet, when it comes to our animals, the "don't let them suffer" syndrome  gives new meaning…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Mission to Wenatchee A Tech Eye-Opener

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on October 8, 2012

    Just back from a most fascinating assignment to cover the Center for Precision & Automated Agricultural Systems tech expo near Wenatchee in Washington State U's Sunrise Research Orchard. What I saw was impressive and revealing. Tomorrow's gizmos and machines on revue opened my eyes to what wonders the next generation of farmers will have in their toolboxes. Consider: a mechanical harvester for sweet cherries; a robot knot tying unit for hops; orchard platforms that move on their own so…

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  • T.J. Burnham

    Ponderings In A Blue Banana

    Western Ag Vignettes

     by T.J. Burnham
     on October 1, 2012

    Sitting her in the Blue Banana, a café petite in a small eastern Oregon village, I eavesdrop on the conversations around me to, per chance, pick up a good ag story lead. After all, this is farm country, and even growers like a latte now and then. In the next booth is a rather elderly looking gent who is listening to a young chap talk about his aerial application close calls. "I had to fly under the power lines," he said. "Sometimes, when the edge of a field is so close to the lines…

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