The farmer is the central cog in a system wherein all ancillary cogs profit because the central cog keeps turning. Seed and agrochemical companies, animal breeders, equipment dealers, crop insurance salesmen and bankers on the front end, and food processors and manufacturers on the tail end …

A week before American voters decided whether the midterm elections would deliver a red wave or a blue wave, OpenSecrets.org, the non-partisan group that tracks money in politics, made a spot-on prediction: the biggest wave on Nov. 6 would be green.

The always highly anticipated Wisconsin gun deer season, considered by many to be an unofficial state holiday, opens this Saturday, Nov. 17, and runs nine days, through Thanksgiving Day weekend.

My mom often tells me that I was born outside of my proper generation, and I would tend to agree. Every day, I find anomalies that set me apart from the typical person my age.

Humanity depends on three critical threes: Without oxygen, most humans will die within three minutes; without water, life expectancy is three days; without food, we’ve got three weeks.

I don’t know if he really made it through all seven and a half hours and 18 innings, but the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 Game 3 win over the Boston Red Sox prompted a friend to ask about personal favorite World Series memories.

The nation’s telecommunications industry is changing at a rapid pace. This change is driven by the large number of people demanding equipment and services with high-speed Internet access. There has been a virtual explosion of new services being offered online. Smartphones, hand-held computer…

The battle lines have been clearly drawn. After what seems like months of ugly, mud-slinging and even downright false political ads, Election Day will finally be here in a couple weeks, on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

As September turned into October, I was recuperating from a cold I seemed to have picked up after attending the World Beef Expo in West Allis the weekend before. I had to get better fast as my biggest assignment yet was approaching — coverage of the World Dairy Expo at the Alliant Energy Cen…

“February” is one of the finest essays in Sand County Almanac, the 1949 book of superlative essays on nature and mankind’s role in it, by forester and conservationist Aldo Leopold. In it, Leopold, the father of wildlife ecology, tells the history of his Wisconsin “sand farm” and its natural …

With one our children off to college in Chicago and the other not far behind while maintaining a very full extracurricular and social life, Dave and I are getting our first taste of what it’s like to be empty nesters.

In the last week, campaign ads attacking Wisconsin Farmers Union have gone from false and sarcastic to downright bizarre — attacking state senate candidate Kriss Marion for positions that Wisconsin Farmers Union took before she was even a member, or positions that WFU has never taken at all.

In the unseasonable heat of mid-September, the yard’s many black walnut trees began shedding their heavy fruit. Now, a month on, the stately trees are bare of nuts and most of their leaves weeks earlier than any year I can remember. Does that suggest an early winter? A long one?

On Oct. 1, U.S. farmers and ranchers joined President Donald J. Trump to praise one of his administration’s biggest international achievements, a reworked trade deal among the U.S, Mexico and Canada.

October is National Cooperative Month, a time to celebrate and honor the important role cooperatives play in building communities. One in three Americans is a member of a cooperative, an organization that is equally owned and controlled by their members. Unlike corporations, the sole purpose…

Why is it that spring is described as coming in like a lion or a lamb? Every year, school children make their spring predictions, creating cotton-ball lambs and tissue-paper lions on what March will bring for weather. This common phrase describes how the season changes so drastically from th…

Every dairy farmer I talk to is rightly concerned about the persistent low prices that force farmers out of business on a daily basis. At the same time, we family dairy farmers face another challenge that we don’t so often talk about. That challenge is the rapid move away from family-sized d…

Fall is one of my favorite seasons on the farm. From calving to harvest, it’s a time to celebrate life on the farm and the results of months of planning and tending. Fall also brings another important tradition to our farmhouse — and probably yours,  as well — the return of college football.…

Every fall, the global dairy industry converges on Wisconsin, and rightly so. Some 70,000 people from 100 countries are expected to stop by World Dairy Expo this week at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. The event runs through Oct. 6, culminating with the prestigious Parade of Champions …

Farmers and ranchers spent most of last month hoping the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent crop estimates would be proven wrong and President Donald J. Trump’s “plan” to fix “the world’s worst trade deals ever” would be proven right.

One hardly knows where to begin commenting on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s $12 billion farm aid package designed to help farmers and ranchers financially blindsided by the POTUS’s trade war with China.

Any attempt to mend an injury — however necessary — doesn’t often achieve a complete restoration of what’s been damaged. Repairs never quite return things to a “good as new” status. On a personal level, all of us have some scar tissue that demonstrates this truth. From a broader, economic pe…

Actress Meghan Markle married into royalty, tying the knot with Prince Harry earlier this year to become the Duchess of Sussex. For others, the path to royalty isn’t quite so romantic. In fact, it’s just plain a lot of hard work.

Truisms don’t need to be completely true to be a truism. For example, “If you live long enough, you’ll see everything” doesn’t mean you will see everything if you live a long life. You may see a great deal, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll see “everything.”

It’s always incredible how, in times of crisis, people, even complete strangers, will drop everything and rally around one another. The worst that Mother Nature has to dish out — hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and wildfires, to name a few — have their way of bringing out our best, and it’s …

I remember it rather clearly. Significant other Jamie’s old, bright red Pontiac Grand Prix had revved its engine for the last time. We were in a pickle. He needed a cheap, reliable car — and fast. A bit panicky myself, I posted on Facebook, hoping, but not really expecting, anyone on my frie…

While U.S. farmers and ranchers spent August fretting over escalating tariffs and retreating markets, two ag policy experts used the month to publish a series of five columns that artfully — and courageously — skinned most of agriculture’s sacred cows even as they planted new policy ideas fo…

Immigration reform has been on Congress’ to-do list for years, and President Donald Trump has not been bashful about his desire to take a tough stance on the issue. But little actual headway is being made to fix the pervasive problems regarding non-resident workers, especially in agriculture…

The work at Farm Bureau is never done as we look for ways to better serve our members and be a voice for farmers. Wisconsin Farm Bureau knows that the dairy dilemma is front of mind for many right now. While some things, like market prices, are out of our control, we have been busy looking f…

In my mind, the flip of the calendar from August to September marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall. School is in session, leaves are turning and pumpkin stands and corn mazes are popping up across the countryside. Despite the calendar telling me though, it is hard to believe tha…

During my 30-year career in farm policy work, there was always a “supply problem” in dairy. Today, it is more of the same. Understanding the federal marketing order/​administrative pricing system has been left to a few academic economists, industry economists, some dairy farmers and very few…

The Trump administration’s good cop/​bad cop approach to U.S. trade policy was on full display Aug. 27 when President Donald J. Trump, the bad cop that day, announced a very incomplete NAFTA trade deal — fueled by his heavy use of tariffs — that pointedly excluded Canada.

Could you take a 30 percent cut in pay? Dairy farmers have taken that cut, or more, but still work hard to put wholesome food on our tables. The dairy crisis is real, not only in Wisconsin but across the U.S. If you eat, you have a connection to this crisis. Milk prices are very low, making …

With archery season just a couple of weeks away, deer fever has once again returned to my house. A couple of new trail cams have been placed around our property, and the first evening the cameras were out, a doe, a small buck, and a bigger buck with a nice basket rack passed through our land…

Glyphosate, the active chemical ingredient found in Roundup — the most widely used herbicide in the world — has taken a severe punch to the gut recently, with some potentially big implications for agriculture’s future.

In June, I attended the Wisconsin State FFA Convention in Madison to watch our oldest son receive a gold award in Dairy Proficiency. I am always impressed with how the FFA continues to help shape and inspire tomorrow’s leaders. The enthusiasm these young people have for agriculture is nothin…

Cool, foggy August mornings like today inevitably carry the 50-year-old sounds of the milking parlor where my father and herdsman Howard spent tens of thousands of hours together over nearly four decades.

It’s a well-known fact that there’s too much milk on the market. That’s been the case for quite some time, and dairy farmers feel the effects of that surplus supply every time they open their milk check.