The article “Problems piling up: Winter weather wreaks havoc on western Wisconsin farms” (March 6, Page 1A) described the catastrophic winter weather damage that caused numerous barn roofs to collapse in western and west-central Wisconsin. Early this month, I visited some of the impacted farms and met the farmers behind them. ... Read more
As dairy farmers, we find ourselves looking for answers to our low prices. Whether you have 25 cows or 5,000 cows, we’re often operating below the cost of production. It also doesn’t matter what region of the U.S. in which a person is dairying; experts claim that most dairies are $2 per hund…
As I write this, the temperature is hovering in the upper 30s. It rained last night, and more is in the forecast. I thought rain would be better than snow, but that’s not the case. Flooding is rampant both in town and out on the rural roads, where county sheriffs have been calling in reports…
While officials in Washington stare at a federal budget proposal headed nowhere and a federal budget deficit headed to the moon, farm leaders in rural America are closely watching two recent moves into Big Ag by Big Retail.
Mexico imports nearly a quarter of the U.S. dairy industry’s exports annually. It’s a critical $1.4 billion marketplace. And it’s one that President Donald Trump continues to risk damaging permanently — and unnecessarily.
This year’s theme for National Agriculture Day, Thursday, March 14, is particularly fitting — “Agriculture: Food for Life.” We all have to eat, so when it comes right down to it, few things are as important to the mere survival of the human race as agriculture.
Every now and then while surfing on Facebook I’ll come across quizzes.
According to the Roman calendar, the Ides of March was the ancient empire’s traditional day to settle debts. In 44 B.C., Brutus and Cassius, two of Rome’s elite senators, settled a political debt with Julius Caesar, their emperor, by stabbing him to death in the Senate on the Ides, or March 15.
Soil health has been a hot topic in agricultural circles in recent years. The concept of improving long-range crop yields through healthier soil — promoted by increasingly popular practices such as cover crops — frequently makes the agendas of farmer meetings and conferences.
Not much more than a month ago, I expressed some concern for ski season based on our lack of snow.
To most farmers and ranchers, “sustainable” is a word that, like exercise or vacation, has a dictionary definition and a personal definition. The difference between the two, however, often is the difference between the county fair and the World’s Fair.
Climate change can be difficult to fully wrap your mind around. My fear is that more people will engage only after facing a crisis themselves — losing a home due to flooding, markets upended by multi-year droughts or water shortages.
I remember a conversation with some farmers last October who were excited that they had been contacted by the Wall Street Journal about contributing to a story.
If you get a group of dairy farmers together to discuss the challenges facing the industry, you won’t have to wait long before someone mentions the decline in fluid milk consumption. There is no doubt this is a problem for the dairy community. There is also a direct link behind this and the …
One of the oldest theoretical constructions in economics declares that in a perfect market, short-term profits and losses eventually even out so that, in the long term, all profits are zero.
Air temperatures had hovered well below zero for days. Schools were canceled and no outside farm chores seemed worth the effort of applying the required six layers and venturing out.
After a relatively mild start to the snowy season in southwest Wisconsin, Old Man Winter has finally decided to appear. The past few weeks have been plagued with snowy stretches, sub-zero temperatures (followed by above-average warmth), more snow, sleet and most recently, ice, which closed s…
To the editor:
I’ve been covering U.S.-China trade relationships pertaining to agriculture for almost two decades.
Each of us has our own idea of “rural,” based on our personal experiences and perceptions; one person’s small town might be another’s “big-city” shopping hub.
For those of us who have slid, shoveled and skated through the wildest up-and-down February weather in years, here’s a warm thought: Corn planters are rolling in southern Texas.
Across rural America, communities are increasingly depending on high-speed internet to complete an education, talk to their doctors or adopt the latest farm technology. Meanwhile, access to broadband internet speeds has become a necessity in today’s digital economy. If businesses wish to com…
It’s no secret that consumers, overall, are drinking less milk. The trend line has been consistent, and the statistics are startling. In the past decade, fluid milk sales have fallen about 13 percent, according to the American Dairy Coalition.
We hear it time and time again: Keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle. Plan for the worst.
The president of the United States should not be the only federal official required to offer the nation’s citizens an annual report on the “State of the Union.”
When I stumbled upon several “Joy of Painting” episodes on Netflix a few weeks ago, my first thought was, “Perfect, something to help me fall asleep.”
New requirements for certification in the Beef Quality Assurance program are now in place for beef farmers who sell fed cattle across the U.S. to certain processors. Announcements were made in 2018 by Tyson, National Beef, U.S. Premium Beef and Cargill, which has led to an increase in BQA ce…
When Internal Revenue Service workers returned to their jobs Jan. 28 after the recent, 35-day government shutdown, an estimated 5 million pieces of unopened mail awaited.
At a time when thousands of U.S. dairy operators of all sizes are starved for revenue, declaring bankruptcy or selling off multi-generational operations, the latest inequity is a particularly cruel twist of the knife.
We live in stressful times. Those who earn their living in agriculture have faced an extra heaping of stress in recent years due to depressed commodity prices, and unfortunately, the toll can be too much to take.
There was no “shutdown” — not in the U.S. government sense, anyway — on the southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth.
I’m not usually much for New Year’s resolutions. My mindset tends to be that if there is something I want to change about my habits, or myself in general, that there is no better time than the present to make the change. And then I proceed to work out how I am going to do that.
Last summer, UW Cooperative Extension moved into the UW-Madison as part of the UW System reorganization. This move creates new opportunities for each organization to be a better resource for the state and its communities.
Wisconsin’s new legislative session officially began Jan. 7 with the inauguration of new Gov. Tony Evers and a slate of new legislators.
Ski season looked like it was getting off to a good start.
To the editor:
Last year was extremely challenging for dairy. But as the year drew to a close, it ended on a very positive note. On Dec. 20, with National Milk Producers Federation Chairman Randy Mooney in attendance, President Donald Trump signed the new farm bill into law — with dairy the biggest winner.…
Two hundred and forty-three years after the not-yet United States declared its independence in a lengthy letter to England’s King George III, the old enemies are, yet again, new allies.
Happy New Year to you all. I love the optimism and hope the start of a year brings. It’s a chance to press forward with renewed resolve. And who knows the importance of renewed optimism better than farmers and ranchers?
To the editor:
Epistemology is what we on the farm called “a $10 word.”
I used to think 25 years was a really long time. Now, it seems like but the blink of an eye.
As Midwest Dairy wraps up the first year under our strategic plan, it has been exciting to evaluate how, under the guidance of our new vision and mission, we have been able to bring dairy to life and give consumers an excellent dairy experience in many creative ways to help build trust and s…
Man, that ended badly.
A few weeks ago, I was surprised to receive a message on Facebook from a young lady with a request that instantly brought a smile to my face. The daughter of longtime friends in Belmont, the sophomore had been tasked to find someone to job shadow for a class assignment and had asked if she c…
“Hope springs eternal,” as the saying goes. It’s human nature to hope for the best, even in the face of great adversity.
Our son’s first-grade class had an assignment to write about a Thanksgiving turkey. Now, our son should have a leg up on his classmates here, because he regularly accompanies me to check our flocks, and this summer, he proudly learned how to catch and hold a turkey by himself.
(The following is a Christmas wish letter recently sent to President Donald Trump from members of the American Dairy Coalition)
It’s no secret that the Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS, has been enormously unpopular among the vast majority of landowners, farmers and many others since it was rolled out by the Obama administration in 2015.
Tweeter-in-Chief President Donald J. Trump has been quite clear in his opinion of CNN, the cable television news network. Indeed, Trump’s despise of the network — he thinks its initials stand for Certainly Not News — encourages supporters to use “CNN” as a slander.
With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, dairy farmers across the country received some certainty in the uncertain world of dairy farming as we begin the new year. But more needs to be done.