• John Vogel

    These Times Try Farmers' Souls

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on April 29, 2011

    You may be reading this out of pure boredom, waiting until Mother Nature finally gives you a break in her spring monsoon. Much more than usual is riding on the outcome of this year's crops. You can almost taste the sweetness of selling corn at $7-plus – unimaginable even 8 months ago. But each day of field work delay from here to mid-May will slowly begin taking away from returns on those last-planted acres. If you're a milk or beef producer, you're in an even tighter time squeeze…

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  • John Vogel

    Why 4-H Kids Are Smarter, Healthier

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on April 19, 2011

     We, in agriculture, don't like to brag. But there are rock-solid reasons why farm-raised children are healthier, smarter and tend to be more successful as adults. They are, in fact, the highest value "crop" a farm family can grow. And, it has all to do with how you nourish and grow them. It's not even a well-kept secret. That's why so many farmer wanna-bes want to be, despite the high cost of becoming one. Lessons learned I, for example, owe my good health to dirt, mud and livestock…

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  • John Vogel

    Budgetary Shut-downs Cost Agriculture, Too

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on April 9, 2011

      Our nation focuses on the continual political wrangling over the federal budget. But legislative foot-dragging over finishing state budgets ahead of deadline also have a huge impact on many programs and services. Here are two examples of why deadlines for finishing budgets must be moved much farther forward from when the fiscal year actually begins. New York Governor Cuomo's proposed ag budget left many programs hanging high and dry. Without assurance of funding, a number of programs…

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  • John Vogel

    Give His Budget A D-

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on April 4, 2011

      In recent days, I’ve had conversations with Master Farmers, state ag leaders, even Penn State trustees about Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s proposed budget “gut” of the commonwealth’s land grant university budget. I came up with these five possible reasons behind the 52% gut cut for Penn State: That part of the budget was drafted by 20-something-year-old aides with no knowledge of the school’s land grant mission and how ag research and…

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