Consumers from around the world enjoy agriculture products that come from our state’s farm fields and agriculture processing firms. Wisconsin is consistently one of the top exporters of dairy-related products in the nation. As milk production in the United States continues to increase, it is more and more important to create value-added products and identify new markets for those products, here at home or around the world. ... Read more
Often when I come home from work my retired husband, Bruce, reports on his daily news from Lake Hallie. Today he tells me about a teen fisherman who called out to him from a paddle boat as Bruce sat inside at our kitchen counter: “There’s a chipmunk caught in your net.”
Call it what you will — coincidence, chance or just bad luck — but on the very day that President Donald J. Trump defended his administration’s almost indefensible record on the environment, the Washington, D.C., metro area was deluged by rainfall not seen since Noah.
Some people claim that raising livestock through FFA and 4-H hardens the hearts of our industry’s young people. Yet, if you have been involved in these organizations, you know it does just the opposite. Raising livestock awakens the soul and gives young people a purpose. It gives them a reas…
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reports that the wolf population has grown from 14 wolves in 1985 to more than 900 in 2018. This remarkable comeback is due in part to education, legal protection and habitat protection efforts through the DNR. This is an exceptional success stor…
Writers write and readers read and, always to this writer’s pleasant surprise, readers often write. Most letters and emails are either complimentary or inquisitive. More than a few, however, come nowhere near complimentary and some, in fact, are quite, ah, declarative.
When we first moved out to the country, about eight miles south of Eau Claire, roughly between the sprawling metropolitan areas of Cleghorn and Brackett, there were three dusk-to-dawn high-pressure-sodium lights scattered around our property on various poles and outbuildings. Our acreage was…
Wisconsin Farmers Union applauds the Joint Finance Committee vote recently to fund the University of Wisconsin Dairy Innovation Hub. This important investment in our land-grant universities is essential for Wisconsin to remain a leader in the dairy industry.
When you’ve been in the ag journalism game for almost 40 years, few things surprise you. Floods, droughts, market crack-ups, political crockery, price fixing: none of it is shocking anymore.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue doesn’t need to hit the road this summer to find more than enough messy problems to keep him busy through harvest.
There’s an interesting paradox occurring in today’s commodity and financial markets. Maybe you’ve noticed it; market watchers certainly have. Here’s what they’ve seen:
It would be nice to have time to savor real progress, but that seems such a luxury when turbulence is the new normal.
It started with the stars, dozens of which are stuck to the particle board in the crawlspace beneath the stairs of our Eau Claire home. I’d have never noticed them were it not for my young children, who took it upon themselves to transform that crawlspace into a clubhouse, populating it with…
Most American farmers spent the last week of May and the first week of June either driving through mud or stuck in it. Their two farming partners, Mother Nature and Uncle Sam, were little help; one brought threats of more rain and mud, the other threats of more tariffs and bailouts.
The month of May left as it arrived: riding in a rowboat from flooded farm field to flooded farm field across the Midwest. Worse, June is sloshing in with more rain, more mud and more worry.
Hats off to Beth Ford for calling out President Donald Trump’s questionable arithmetic.
In Wisconsin, our natural resources are an essential part of who we are as a state. We value our outdoor traditions, and the stewardship program has helped Wisconsinites preserve natural areas and expand access to recreational activities, all of which are beneficial.
It’s a truism in American agriculture that food-growing technology undergoes an industry-shaking metamorphosis every generation.
One sign that spring has arrived is when I realize that no matter how many hours I try to squeeze into the day it just isn’t long enough to finish my work.
From the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0’s early meetings, members highlighted the need for research and innovation to maintain Wisconsin’s world leadership in all things dairy. Across the 51 recommendations that members have developed and approved in the past seven months, there is a consist…
No one I know has ever witnessed a train wreck as it happened. As such, when a friend or colleague says or writes that an event “was like watching a train wreck happen,” I’m pretty sure it wasn’t like watching a train wreck happen.
America’s dairy farmers are putting Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on notice.
Approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA 2.0, also known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement) will do little to reverse the problems of the NAFTA agreement of 1994. Nothing in the proposed replacement agreement will prevent job outsourcing, nor is there any part of the agre…
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers is regularly asked to comment on the state of the agriculture industry. As an equipment manufacturing industry representative, I often find myself responding to questions from our members, reporters or industry stakeholders related to current market…
Sanford Bishop and Sonny Perdue go way back.
Effectively representing the interests of the nation’s dairy farmers and their cooperatives requires a balance of short-, intermediate- and long-term efforts. Nowhere is that principle more evident than in our fight against fake milk and milk products — and it motivates why we’re opening ano…
Farmers take financial risks every year just by doing business.
If you want to anger almost any American farmer, write something less than flattering about the declining use of biofuels — especially ethanol — in the U.S. today.
As a farmer, if you haven’t heard about the Supreme Court case that was settled in March, it will be well worth your time to take a minute and get caught up.
As farmers across the country prepare for the 2019 planting season, the one question on everyone’s minds seems to be: Will the new farm bill provide an adequate safety net to see farm families through another brutal year?
Last year, Wisconsin lost 691 dairy farms — the most since 2011. Wisconsin also leads neighboring states in farm bankruptcies. Consecutive years of low milk prices, increasing operational costs and changes in trade policy are exerting pressure on dairy farmers and, by extension, the entire d…
On an April Sunday afternoon a year ago, the last ancestral connection to the southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth was severed when my mother died quietly and peacefully.
Of all the places you’d expect to see a fight between the cold, hard face of ag economics and the warm, tender heart of rural America, that place would not be the corner of West 41st Street and Eighth Avenue in New York City, the home of The New York Times.
In 2016, dairymen and women were among the agricultural coalition that helped flip traditionally blue states red — places like Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio — during Donald Trump’s journey to the White House.
If the ballot box is the ultimate source of power in the U.S., then voters in Toledo, Ohio, used that power Feb. 26 to create what’s now being called a “Bill of Rights” for their wide, blue neighbor, Lake Erie.
When it comes to global trade, many in the American agricultural community feel like they are being passed by as the rest of the world advances with new trade agreements. Given that agricultural exports are often one of the brightest points on our trade balance sheets, not helping us reach n…
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 far…
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve been covering U.S.-China trade relationships pertaining to agriculture for almost two decades.
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…
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.”
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.