The calendar flipped to August and that means the county fair season is nearing its end and the media is filled with “back-to-school” promotions. Can it already be that time of year particularly in this summer of turbulence?
Handiwork, or something that is made or done, has become less popular as our time has become more focused on convenience. But in every town, there are the makers. Makers like that girl who sewed her own prom dress or that guy who decorates cakes for special occasions. We should celebrate the…
My dad taught me to skip rocks on the low water bridge down the road from our homestead place. He pointed out that each time the rock touched the water it created ripples that would go on and on.
This week will be an exciting one for us as we start our 11th year of the All Aboard Wheat Harvest. Readers will have an opportunity to get reacquainted with the correspondents for a summer staple for High Plains Journal.
When someone passes away in a small town, the loss is felt throughout the entire community. The whole population drops off casseroles and cakes and the men pick up the slack on the farm or mow the yard just to help out, and no one rings the doorbell—they just walk in because everyone feels l…
By the time members of Congress read this column (Yes, members and their staffs read this publication just like you.), they’ll be finishing their Easter/Passover break and heading back to Washington.
My first car would have been a butter yellow 1963 Chevrolet Corvair but my dad decided I needed a 1987 Chevrolet pickup with a manual transmission instead. He knew that dainty little Corvair would never survive. Most of my family was shocked the pickup only had one clutch repair under its be…
As the floodwaters recede in Nebraska and neighboring states, the damage estimates will be quantified—and more than likely they will grow into the billions of dollars—rest assured federal monies will arrive to help.
Fear, worry and anxiety—they are some of the most predominant feelings we experience and they occur daily whether minimal or intense. I’ve been pondering the fact that at every point in world history there has been something people were living in fear of, whether it be a natural disaster, di…
A few years ago, I was asked by the then dean of the business college at Fort Hays State University to begin teaching some courses in journalism (which is under the college’s umbrella). A couple of years ago, FHSU’s college of science, technology and math has since asked me to teach a lunch …
Spring arrived March 20 with “normal” day and night temperatures in many places, but it was far from a normal day for many farmers and ranchers in the central United States.
It was shortly after my first son was born that I was told to make cookies for the cattle-working crew. I’ll admit it stung a little. Granted, I wasn’t the middle cog that kept everything spinning—that was my dad—but being put in charge of the cookies was a bigger step away than I had planne…
The increase of suicide rates that hit farm country has caught the attention of observers from the media, health professionals and Extension personnel.
I’m thankful that most of my visits to the doctor are for regular checkups. But whenever I am ill enough to require a health care provider’s services, it never seems to happen at a convenient time. That was the case when I needed to see a doctor the weekend before Christmas—and I wasn’t even…
The last few days have put me in a state of great confusion. It’s put me into a mood of deep philosophizing, so excuse me if I use an allocation of space on this page to do some philosophizing.
U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-KS, one of the strongest advocates for farmers and ranchers, announced on Jan. 4 that he has decided not to seek a fifth term.
Years ago, I was told by an arborist that tree branches grow to the north. I rarely need this information, but I do double-check his proclamation occasionally. It is filed in my mind next to tidbits like “the human head weighs 8 pounds” and “you can’t lick your own elbow.”
When I was little, I used a lot of stall tactics to keep from going to bed. I used to tell my dad I wanted to watch the 10 p.m. news, because I wanted to follow the tempo of Denver anchor Bob Palmer, who I wanted to be just like when I grew up.
Back in 1980, a certain presidential candidate asked a simple question of the people watching him and his opponent debate. It’s a pretty good question. There is a certain simplicity in asking yourself that good question that can be used over and over to shape your decision making for whom to…
Throughout the High Plains and Midwest regions, farmers and ranchers will soon head to the polls, or take advantage of advance voting, to cast their ballots for candidates they believe will best serve them.
I giggled when my 14-year-old showed me the new dent in his pickup. His claim that he didn’t know how it got there quickly dissolved and a suitable punishment was decided.
The “Big Four” of farm bill negotiations came out of their meeting striding out arm in arm like that scene in “The Wizard Of Oz” when Dorothy and her three friends decided to follow the yellow brick road as they went off to see the wonderful wizard.
While browsing the exhibits at the recent Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson and searching for my daughter’s projects, I marveled at all the creativity and talent on display inside 4-H Centennial Hall. I wondered how many collective hours Kansas 4-Hers had spent working on projects to fill the …
As the process toward a compromise farm bill enters the home stretch, with the possibility of an extension until after the elections, it will likely fall on the shoulders of the “big four” of conference—the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees.
Schools throughout the High Plains Journal region are beginning their school years with great anticipation by teachers and high expectations and a bit of angst by students and their parents.
In his last few rallies, President Donald Trump has praised farmers’ and ranchers’ patience as a plethora of retaliatory tariffs have kicked in against them.
As I write this missive, Congress is in the midst of its Passover/Easter break (they call it a “work session”). Whatever term they wish to use, we’ve just seen the passage of the omnibus appropriations bill.
The first day of spring (March 20) will soon be upon us. While we relish the warmer temperatures, we should have some appreciation for what the harshness of winter means. The cold temperatures experienced in the High Plains likely means bugs will not so easily appear. Hopefully.
As I write this on Feb. 7, I just finished reading the Associated Press report that just last night the House passed a short-term spending measure and Senate leaders were closing in on a larger, long-term pact prior to a Feb. 8 deadline for another government shutdown.
Mary Kay Thatcher is retiring as senior director of congressional relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation at the end of January. I would be willing to bet that, over the years, the Iowa native has become one of the most well known advocates for U.S. farmers and ranchers. While an ad…
The Jan. 8 address by President Donald Trump to the annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation was a triumph for the president. Before an adoring crowd of 4,500 people in Nashville, Tennessee, Trump extolled the farmer while extolling his triumphs.
It’s that time in the life of a farm bill debate. We’re about a year from the current bill’s expiration and all sorts of folks want to weigh in with their opinions to the House and Senate Agriculture Committees and their staffs as they get ready to “markup” their versions of the bill.
Last week I was asked to speak at a career fair at the high school in my home county. I’ve been in this business for nearly 25 years, but wasn’t sure I could pull off speaking about it at a career fair.
Normally, I’m just this city boy who loves the country and moving at a country pace to follow stories as they go along from all the live streams and media releases that come down the line.