• John Vogel

    Ag Is On State Chopping Blocks

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on February 28, 2011

      On television news, you're still seeing the seething anger and indignation of Mid West teachers about losing some of their union's bargaining tools. Yet, ag research, development and educational programs in many states are being gutted with little public outcry. Many states are being forced to cut programs and services, in part, because federal programs are become the state's "step child" to administer and take care of. This is how Uncle Sam handles many federally-unfunded…

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  • John Vogel

    Budget Whackers, Except Obama, Are At Work

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on February 18, 2011

    My e-mails have been flooded in the last week with calls to rally the troops against proposed federal budget cuts. Personally, three words of exclamation come to mind – "It's about time!" I've never seen the desperation of so many campaigns – not just awareness alerts – to pressure Congress into easing up on proposed budget slashing. There's even more going on regarding state-level budget-cutting. Ag advocacy groups are also mounting campaigns to head off major cuts in…

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  • John Vogel

    U.S. Being Out-bid For Its Own Food

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on February 15, 2011

     Last week's Associated Press article about how corn prices are driving up food prices drew a visceral response from me. So I sent the Harrisburg Patriot a "letter to the editor" to offer a little more perspective. It's sure to provoke a wave of anti-ethanol zealots with half-vast information. Yes, food prices have been and are rising. And yes, rising grain prices – along with rising beef, pork, poultry and wool prices – will impact food and clothing prices even more in the…

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  • John Vogel

    Rethinking My 'Golden' Thoughts

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on February 7, 2011

    Several blogs back, I shared a bit of advice from a Cornell economist on gold as a commodity. While he (and I) gave ourselves a little “wiggle room”, I wouldn’t want anyone to be misled. Gold, silver and a few other precious metals aren't just commodities. They are true residual currencies. And they are seen as counter-balancers of the global trading value of whatever printed currency is the king of printed currencies. The U.S. dollar still is today’s currency king…

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  • John Vogel

    Wow! What A Market Ride!

    Nor' east Thinkin'

     by John Vogel
     on February 2, 2011

     I'd much rather be a forewarner than an "I told you so" rear-window commentator. But you have to wonder when the good times will stop rolling and why we're amid a historic market moment. Agriculture is experiencing record high grain, beef, pork and wool prices. U.S. farmland prices are exploding to new levels. I can't explain why milk isn't already on the same wild ride. But if predictions for rising dairy product exports are correct, farm-gate milk prices are likely to follow the…

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