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Gasoline prices fell dramatically this spring, one of the few bright spots for consumers this year. The oil feud between Russia and Saudi Arabia that began March 8, led to a 34% drop in domestic oil prices. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic is the other driving factor.

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A couple of years ago, my wife and I gave each of our sons a necklace with a cross, a cross called The Jerusalem Cross. It was meant as a special gift. One of my sons wore it almost all of the time.

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Dirt is what you sweep under the cabin rug, but soil is a living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans. Soils just don’t happen. Soil is formed from the physical and chemical weathering of rocks.  It is made up mainly of mineral particles, organic materials, air, water, and liv…

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For the first time ever, one lone bison will be roaming the Kansas State Fair this September. While fair visitors young and old will have the opportunity to meet the Fair’s new mascot, Ike the Bison, his symbolism goes deeper than just a fun-loving, woolly character.

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To say times are tough in cattle country would be an understatement. Livestock Marketing Association member livestock auction owners and their producer customers are speaking up with significant concerns about volatility, the futures market, and especially, livestock producers not getting th…

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As I ventured to the local supermarket and saw empty shelves, as a cattleman I noticed that ground beef was flying out of the store. I talked to the store clerks about their supply and prices and was told their cost for the next shipment of beef is going to be higher.

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Recent school closures and remote-work directives intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 will have a harsher impact on rural Missourians than their urban and suburban peers. The precautions against this highly contagious virus are understandable and probably the right call. But implementing…

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The clock is ticking. March 16 is the last day to make what is likely one of the most important business decisions you will make for your farming operation this year.

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Two longtime Iowa politicians, Sen. Charles Grassley and now dairy industry lobbyist Tom Vilsack, held a press conference recently touting the gains for farmers from President Trump’s newly negotiated NAFTA. We’re family farmers and we’ve heard this same line on new trade deals for decades. …

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Late last year, our hometown newspaper, the “Fort Worth Star-Telegram,” ran an editorial attacking agricultural valuation in heavily developed areas like Tarrant County. I provided my response to the newspaper editors but also wanted to highlight the case as one of the many essential tools T…

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Late last year, our hometown newspaper, the “Fort Worth Star-Telegram,” ran an editorial attacking agricultural valuation in heavily developed areas like Tarrant County. I provided my response to the newspaper editors but also wanted to highlight the case as one of the many essential tools T…

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Recently, the “Houston Chronicle” and “San Antonio Express-News” ran a commentary piece from columnist Chris Tomlinson attacking beef in favor of plant-based proteins. Like most vegan marketing, it does a fantastic job of cherry-picking data and using opinion instead of facts and legitimate …

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Recently, the “Houston Chronicle” and “San Antonio Express-News” ran a commentary piece from columnist Chris Tomlinson attacking beef in favor of plant-based proteins. Like most vegan marketing, it does a fantastic job of cherry-picking data and using opinion instead of facts and legitimate …

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Recently, on a warm fall day, I stopped at my 77-year-old father-in-law’s farmhouse because he was meeting with a salesman for the fourth time regarding a transmission line easement. I walked into his sunporch to find four men with the sole purpose of persuading him to sign. Weeks later, he …

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The Beef Checkoff was designed by producers, for producers, to build value by focusing on key areas of research and promotion to drive demand for our beef around the world. But who decides where checkoff dollars are best utilized?

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With Thanksgiving just finished and Christmas and the new year just ahead, the holiday season is a great time to reflect on the past year and start thinking about the road ahead.

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Growing up on our family’s farm, one thing was for sure: at 12:20 p.m., over lunch, and at about 10:20 p.m., over a milkshake, we’d all quietly sit in front of the television watching the weather. Or, if my dad, siblings and I were out on adventure in his 1966 Ford truck, we’d be listening t…

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The ranching and agricultural community is an amazing thing. When disaster strikes, we’re always there for one another and ready to lend a helping hand. When it comes to policy and political issues, though, we often find ourselves more fragmented.

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Created 34 years ago through a vote of producers all over the country, the Beef Checkoff launched to add support to the industry through promotion and research to ultimately grow beef demand. After all, if beef producers aren’t promoting their product, who will? The program started in 1985 w…

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In recent weeks, presidential candidates have pledged billions of dollars to bring broadband and internet access to rural America. Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and other Democratic hopefuls correctly realize that a lack of high-speed internet and other attendant technologies h…

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Fair week, the week of high emotions, temperatures, and the proof that 4-H really does “make the best better.” Fair time, where young and old come together, to showcase the bright future of communities across the nation, is well underway across the Midwest. I’m hopeful you got to at least vi…

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The activities surrounding the Tyson packing house fire are disturbing to say the least. The cattle business as we have known it has become so radical one wonders about its survival. Sure, someone will graze or feed all of them but the question is who? No one can stand $80 per head swings in…

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Each of us benefits from assistance from others now and then. Perhaps a neighbor helps with harvest; maybe we get a ride into town to fix a flat tire or help getting our cows in at roundup. For many state beef councils, assistance is more than a bonus; it’s a necessity.

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I am writing in regards to the recent incident at the Colorado Department of Agriculture in which Gov. Jared Polis used the CDA offices and staff as a prop to promote Impossible Foods Inc. I agree with Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg’s assessment of these cell-based protein products as nothing more th…

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Knowledge is at our fingertips. When we pull up our Internet browser, no matter what question we may have, right or wrong, there is always an answer. Today, people want answers about their food—how it’s raised, if it’s local. Transparency is key and building consumer confidence is the bigges…

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A few months ago I wrote an article pointing out the fact that Hard Red Winter wheat production in the United States is at a crossroads. I meant that planted acres in the U.S. are down, primarily because of economics. It simply doesn’t make sense for a farmer to grow wheat if there is no pro…

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Knowledge is at our fingertips. When we pull up our Internet browser, no matter what question we may have, right or wrong, there is always an answer. Today, people want answers about their food—how it’s raised, if it’s local. Transparency is key and building consumer confidence is the bigges…

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I just finished your article titled “A Year without Pay” and I sympathize with farmers affected by the terrible storms. I am the daughter of a farmer and currently the wife of a farmer, so understand well the effects of adverse weather.

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Years of planning and a $9.2 million investment are paying off in significant savings for Fort Hays State University. In 2013, my dream of providing the electricity for FHSU through wind energy became reality. The wind and peak shaving savings of nearly one million dollars annually are allow…

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Just two short years ago, the State of Kansas found itself on the brink of financial disaster. Even after depleting state savings and enduring multiple rounds of devastating budget cuts, unsustainable tax policy continued to perpetuate fiscal crisis. We saw schools close and class sizes grow…

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Take a drive through Hamilton County, Kansas, population 2,500, and you know you are in the heart of rural America. Hamilton County has an abundance of many things—wheat, sorghum and dairy, for starters—but broadband isn’t one of them. And that’s a scary prospect when participation in the mo…

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As an obstetrician, I cared for the expectant mother and her unborn child. We always discussed their physical well-beings and overall health, but with each patient, I always addressed their need for emotional, mental and, sometimes, spiritual support.

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In small towns, suburban neighborhoods and big cities, our nation is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis of drug addiction. In 2017, nearly 200 people each day died due to a drug overdose. While no corner of our country has escaped the devastation of this epidemic, rural America has been…

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Unfortunately, extreme swings in weather seem to be the new “normal” for growers. With historic flooding in some areas, late snowfall for some and seemingly never-ending rain for others, this year’s planting season for most in the Midwest was a roller-coaster to say the least. With most area…

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Since 1949, May has been recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month thanks to organizations like Mental Health America and their many affiliates across the country. This month is a good time of reflection both personally and professionally, as many companies assess how they are creating a c…

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April was National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and now is an opportune time for a more public conversation about the pervasive problem of distracted driving.

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We’re not even a third of the way through 2019, but we already have a frontrunner for a political fact-checker’s annual “Lie of the Year” award: the trendy yet incorrect political/media narrative that if we all just cut back on eating delicious real beef hamburgers, we’re going to stop or si…

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Corporate agribusiness and their lobbyists are attempting to take away local control and our rights. Why? They would rather have decisions being made where their money and lobbyists have the biggest impact—at the state and federal levels of government. But family farmers, county commissioner…