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President Joe Biden signed a wide-ranging executive order recently that seeks to address consolidation throughout the economy and includes a special focus on actions the United States Department of Agriculture could take to address the meat industry and antitrust enforcement. The order includes 72 initiatives under 12 different agencies. Read more

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Whether they capture a lake surrounded by majestic mountains, ocean waves crashing onto a beach or waterfalls spilling over a cliff, the best photographs tell a story. In rural America, we may not have scenery as dramatic as that, but we appreciate the colorful, artistic beauty of a sunset against a wide-open sky, rolling prairies, calves playing in a pasture and even wildflowers blooming along a ditch. Read more

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You have heard the saying, “You could have heard a pin drop!” That is an understatement in describing the silence that fell on the crowd when Dr. Ted Fogarty, MD, and Dr. Brad Meyer, MD, were speaking recently in Dallas County, Iowa, at the ARISE USA Tour. They were talking about how easy it is to implement interventions to COVID-19. Read more

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Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is looking to create an opportunity to reverse what’s happening today in the countryside where livestock producers are selling at a loss only to learn processors are capitalizing on large profits. He announced intent to invest $500 million in American Rescue Plan funds to expand meat and poultry processing capacity so producers have more choices in the marketplace. This is to strengthen existing small and very small processing facilities. Read more

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No one appreciates nature’s timelines better than Lee DeHaan, director of crop improvement and the lead scientist for the Kernza domestication program at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas. Kernza is the trademarked name for a variety of perennial intermediate wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium) originally selected by The Rodale Institute. Read more

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The Missouri Rural Crisis Center recently sent in comments to the Joe Biden administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in response to their request for comments to "improve and reimagine the supply chains for the production, processing and distribution of agricultural commodities and food products." Now is the time to move forward with policies that create a fairer, and more resilient and sustainable food system.  Read more

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The big story in agriculture today is how carbon is going to be the next cash crop for farmers and ranchers. There are lots of headlines about how changing agricultural practices can remove carbon dioxide from the air and store it in the soil. Read more

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We’ve had yet another week of empowerment out on the road with the ARISE USA Tour. We have been to the West Coast and now are headed back through the heartland. Read more

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I hope you had a good 4th of July. That is time I think a lot of us get wrapped into the festivities and get-togethers and often forget about the lives that were lost so that you and I can have the freedoms we have. Read more

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Hog futures and Class III milk futures took a price hit during the month of June while nearby live cattle futures held steady, with deferred cattle contracts showing modest gains. Read more

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“It is a truth universally accepted that a farmer in want of good conversation must remark on the weather.” For anyone who is not a fan of Jane Austen, I should explain that the previous statement is a bit of a play on the opening of her famous novel “Pride & Prejudice.” Read more

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There were several individuals allowed to testify before the U.S. Senate ag committee, which is examining markets, transparency and prices from cattle producer to consumer. Read more

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The ARISE USA 2021 Tour has just completed a very interesting leg of the journey through the Pacific Northwest. What makes it interesting is the vast logging area, once littered with sawmills. Now a truck carrying logs is about as noticeable as the wildlife in the median. According to the government, we still have a vibrant logging industry but it has almost completely shifted back to the Southeast part of the country. Read more

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It’s a gambler’s life to turn a losing proposition into a false sense of victory. Send one to the blackjack table with $1,000; they lose $900, win back $100, and declare they’ve won. Read more

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South Dakota producers are some of the hardest working people I know. The life of a producer may not be easy to imagine for folks who’ve never woken with the sun, tilled the land, mended a fence, or prayed for a rainy forecast. And for many Americans the idea of farming and ranching may seem abstract and far away. Read more

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The ARISE USA tour is headed to the Pacific Northwest with the last stop in Burley, Idaho, and the interesting part of the trip is that I continue to hit counties that are strong grass-roots counties that still understand the Constitution and the crowds have been excellent, an average of about 350 people per stop. Read more

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In celebration of farm dogs everywhere and the many ways they support farmers and ranchers in producing nutritious food for families and their pets across America, Farm Bureau is teaming up with Purina to present the fourth annual Farm Dog of the Year competition. Read more

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A cattle customer who is also a friend—he and I tease each other a lot—had a stroke about a year ago so he does walk a little slower but is basically doing pretty good. Read more

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Whether the field is for work or play, crops or feed, square-shaped, or a diamond; there will always be unwritten rules that unify us. Read more

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The first day of May was a watershed moment for agricultural commodity markets and farmers and ranchers. May 1 marked the end of live-person pit trading at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and its subsidiaries, the Chicago Board of Trade, Kansas City Board of Trade and New York Mercantile Exchange. Read more

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For those of you who have been following along, you know that I am in the middle of the ARISE USA Resurrection Tour for faith, family and freedom. It is scheduled for 114 days with 85 stops in 48 states and we are about one-quarter of the way through the journey. Read more

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From concerns about broadband to rural jobs and health care, there are dozens of different topics that come up on a daily basis in Sen. Roger Marshall’s office. However, in recent months, the calls from his Kansas constituents about cattle markets have been topping the list. Read more

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The recent ransomware attacks on JBS Foods and Colonial Pipeline brought home—once again—the growing threats that businesses face from cyber criminals and the risks you run if your computer systems aren’t protected. Read more

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After giving credit to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur for sending a letter to the Department of Justice to do something about the packer monopoly, I called Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association to see where they stood. Read more

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Last March when the country shut down due to COVID-19, it was like something from the Twilight Zone. We all thought the pandemic wouldn’t last long, after all it was 2020, not Europe in the 1300s when bubonic plague made its way around. We all know how last year panned out—gatherings and events had to be canceled, everything went virtual and we were all stuck at home—but the latter half of 2021 will be different. Read more

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We write to request a status update from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Attorney General Merrick Garland on an investigation of the meat packing industry begun by the United States Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Justice after the fire at Tyson’s Holcomb, Kansas, plant and the initial market impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

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If you’ve stayed up to date on national news in recent months you’ve likely seen and heard about the border crisis. Stories on the politics of border security and immigration, and even debate on whether a crisis exists are commonplace. Unfortunately, what you probably haven’t seen are the day-to-day challenges faced by ranchers and property owners in South Texas amid the surge in illegal border crossings. Read more

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Mother Nature missed out on the tip that the first day of summer is not until June 20 as sizzling temperatures are plentiful throughout the High Plains. Read more

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Once again I am excited to share with you the tremendous conversations that have occurred about farm and ranch life in the heartland. I am part of the ARISE USA Tour that is scheduled to spend 114 days traveling to 48 states for 85 stops. Last week things really involved a very spiritual connection. I have had folks in hotels, truck stops and very random spots ask if they can personally pray for our journey. Without question, God's presence is leading the mission. Read more

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The past few years have been incredibly difficult for hog farmers like me. After more than two years of trade retaliation that limited our ability to compete effectively around the globe, the COVID pandemic unleashed unprecedented challenges for the entire food supply chain. Now, just as we are returning to normalcy, another looming disaster threatens my livelihood and the prosperity of many hog farmers like me if not quickly addressed. It will also erode industry competition by placing … Read more

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It’s the time of year where towering thunderheads are a common sight on the Plains. Storm activity was prevalent in May. Several rounds of severe storms impacted the southern Plains with tornadoes to even hail up to 4 inches (softball sized) reported near Snyder, Texas. Read more

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When I agreed to join the ARISE USA tour I thought it would be really cool to sit on a bus and travel to 48 states and 85 different venues in a mere 114 days. A couple weeks in and I can say that it is way beyond cool and parts of it are exactly as I expected. Read more

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I’ve said it time and time again, farmers and ranchers are the original conservationists. Nobody is more motivated to leave our environment cleaner, healthier, and safer for our children and grandchildren than the folks who work the land day in and day out to feed, fuel, and clothe the nation and the world. Read more

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Please contact your two United States senators and your representative in the House at 202-224-3121 and urge them join the Rounds-Smith joint letter that calls for fixing America’s broken beef supply chain. Do it as soon as you can. Read more

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I am writing this episode in what is scheduled to be my mobile office for the next 100 days. The ARISE USA Resurrection Tour for Constitutional Counties, Faith, Family and Freedom is underway. I am currently in central Arkansas, getting ready to head for Texas and then a swift swing up the Chisholm Trail toward Nebraska. Read more

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This was a text recently sent to me that read as follows, “We have a big problem—well, four to be exact. Consumers are paying way too much for beef at the grocery store. Meanwhile, our independent cattle producers, who we rely on to feed the world, are going broke. Read more