A Day In D.C.: Long, Busy, Good

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Here in Washington, D.C. for the annual convention of the North American Agricultural Journalists. It’s a a few hours before midnight, very near the end of an eventful day. This morning and afternoon, we met with a wide range of top agricultural officials. Lots of good information, much of which I’ll use…
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Farm Consolidation? Not For These Aggies

Farm consolidation is a complicated, controversial topic. But here’s official confirmation of what many of us, including me, already thought: Beef cow-calf operations have seen very little consolidation over the past three decades. I sat in on a USDA webinar this week involving its new report that looked at farm consolidation over the past 30…
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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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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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