Raising Calves: Adventure Or Hard Work?

A public relations person recently sent me an email promoting her company. It began with this sentence: “Raising new calves is an exciting, fun adventure.” I grimaced and didn’t read the rest. Adventure is exciting by definition; an “exciting adventure” is as redundant as “a rich millionaire.” Hey, I’m a writer and notice stuff like…
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Questions I May Be Asking You This Spring

Upper Midwest agriculture is tied to the calendar. Planting and harvesting, calving and haying and all the rest — their timing is dictated by the season. The precise timing varies because of the weather, of course, but the basic pattern always holds true. My job as an ag journalist is tied to the calendar, too.…
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Let’s Stop ‘Educating’ Consumers

As a journalist, I’m neutral. But, inevitably and unavoidably, like every human being, I form opinions of what I hear. An example: I remember weed scientists warning that weeds were quickly building resistance to herbicides and so farmers needed more variety in how they fought weeds. Their basic point was obviously correct — it’s natural…
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Farmers: What Would You Say To This Man?

I heard recently about an agriculturalist who believes strongly that farmers should have three goals: 1. Protect the Earth, the overriding priority. 2. Benefit society, provided the Earth is protected. 3. Make a profit, but only if the first two goals are met. I can almost hear the howls of protests from Agweek readers. The…
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Farmers: Worried About Your Landlords’ Age?

I was standing in the Agweek booth at a recent farm show when a farmer (who I didn’t know) stopped to ask if I wanted to hear his story idea. Absolutely, I said. He said he rents most of his farmland and that concerns him. He asked if I could figure out why. Well, I…
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