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.
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)
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.
This past year, I’ve traveled across Wisconsin to hear directly from our farmers about what they’re up against. It’s clear: Our farmers are facing a crisis.
Note: Originally published in 1995, this column was one of the first remembrances from the southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth. It also is the most requested and most reprinted piece I’ve written. By tradition, it returns every year. Merry Christmas.
If the calendar was a baseball game, mid-December would be the bottom of the ninth.
As we move toward the end of yet another financially challenging year in the dairy industry, it’s important to look forward to how we can best address the many challenges before us.
How do we increase healthy, fresh foods in rural America? One way is to identify new opportunities for people to access food. Here are five suggestions for your community.
GIPSA, the badly named, hard-working mule inside the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is on the move again over objections that the Trump Administration’s ongoing USDA reorganization will bury it — and other, less obscure parts of the department like the Economic Research Service — in new lay…
Times are tough for farmers across the nation, milk prices are low and dairy producers have been hit hard by tariffs on the products they export to some of our major dairy trading partners.
By this point, we are all exhausted by the endless rhetoric about America being a divided nation — a country of haves and have-nots.
America’s farmers and ranchers are counting on Congress to finish strong this year. Just because we call these final weeks a “lame-duck” session, that’s no excuse for members not to finish the job they started.
Years ago, an enterprising neighbor operated a palm reading business from her home with just a secretary, fax machine and telephone. Her business model was simple: After clients faxed their photocopied hand print and sent some form of payment (rumor had it was $20), our neighbor telephoned t…
Consolidation has long been one of the greatest challenges for family farmers and ranchers. Agribusiness mergers reduce innovation, limit choice and increase prices for farming inputs and make it increasingly difficult for farmers to receive a fair price at market.
Nov. 11 marked 100 years since the end of World War I, which U.S. President Woodrow Wilson called “the war to end all wars.”
We live in a time when everything, from the shoes on your feet to where you like to buy your chicken sandwich, seems like a political statement. It can be frustrating that everything has become so political, but it’s also great to see people so engaged in the national discussion. I heard tha…
It’s Thanksgiving week, so let’s be generous: The White House trade policy, marked by its heavy use of import tariffs and presidential tweets, continues to confound economists and trading partners alike.
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.
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.
Open Letter to Wisconsin Representatives on Farming and the Environment:
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…
If war is hell, then trade wars must be a purgatorial stop along the way. For proof, just look where Election Day 2018 finds American farmers.
“Everything in this newspaper is important to someone.”
“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 …
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…
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.
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.”
There are never enough days in September for farmers, ranchers and pennant-chasing baseball teams. Every day, whether spent in a combine, pasture or batter’s box, brings change to what’s real today and what’s possible tomorrow.
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…
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…
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 …
An early hallmark of the Trump administration’s management of American farm policy is its uncanny ability to pick fights that are as costly to win as they are to lose.
Summer is just about over, and Labor Day on the horizon signals that harvest is near. That means it’s time to go to work.
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.
The only Washington, D.C.-area team having a worse year than the Baltimore Orioles, an awful 34-78 on Aug. 6, is Big Food’s biggest, richest lobbying arm, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, or the GMA.
You probably have never heard of the startup company Memphis Meats. Based on its name, you likely figure it is based in Memphis, Tenn., and its stock and trade is meat.
The day U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the White House plan to spread $12 billion of taxpayer salve on its festering tariff wound, November soybean futures ended their day completely unimpressed — down a sleepy 2.5 cents.
The U.S. House and Senate versions of the farm bill, the “Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018,” differ markedly in several important areas — conservation appropriations, work requirements on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and constraining expenditures. The Wisconsin Far…
Farmers and ranchers can’t afford to hang on to equipment and practices that aren’t working. We economize and fix our trucks and tractors until we must replace them. We adopt new technology and farming techniques that make our businesses more efficient and environmentally friendly. We’re alw…