When my older daughter was about 3, my parents showed her videos they took at a Beach Boys concert. Reanna was enchanted. She listened to my CD of the group so many times that it no longer works. This is a kid growing up in North Dakota in the 21st century. She knows nothing about surfing. The only beach she knows of is Beach, N.D., where we make food and bathroom stops en route to Montana. And she certainly has no knowledge of T-birds, Deuce Coupes or any other of the classic cars in Beach Boys songs.
After several late night sessions of helping my husband plan for the next year on the farm, I'm reminded why I chose to make my living with words rather than with numbers. It's not that I'm bad with numbers — quite the opposite, actually. I've always been quite adept at algebra and math in general. But focusing on the minutia of possible financial projections is not exactly what I would call a good time. It's not the math that made it a tedious chore, though. Instead, it's the many, many unknowns, both in agriculture and in the world at large.
MEDINA, N.D. — All was quiet in the pasture until Chad Price and Brandon Weatherly started moving bee boxes. Then the persistent buzz in the air was interrupted only by the whir of a passing spray plane or the snap of nearby power lines. The bees haven't been producing much honey for about a month, Price said Sept. 10. But they'll stay out for another month or so on the pastures and prairie trails around Medina.
STREETER, N.D. — Scott Schlepp has had a different kind of vantage point on his travels through North Dakota: old seats of cars fashioned into a covered wagon. "The crops look fantastic," Schlepp said, standing on the side of North Dakota Highway 30 on Monday, Aug. 13. "Everybody's busy." Schlepp is attempting to travel from the Canadian border to Brownsville, Texas, at the reins of a pair of Spotted Draft Belgians, aided by a camper and a four-wheeler.
JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Mark Borrett doesn't think Chinese buyers will be able to hold out from buying U.S. soybeans, no matter the tariff imposed on them. "They really can't do without our grain," he said. Borrett, a partner with the LaSalle Group of RCG LLC (Rosenthal Collins Group), spoke in Jamestown on June 18 on the global market outlook, and specifically about what's going on with trade with China.
To talk about the importance of the farm bill for people across the country, Ed Schafer goes way back — all the way to the formation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1862 by President Abraham Lincoln. "When President Lincoln established the Department of Agriculture, he called it 'The People's Department.' And he called it The People's Department because it affects so many people's lives in so many ways," explains Schafer, who served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 2008 to 2009. "It really touches people's lives in ways most people don't even know."
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on April 12 announced his support for year-round sales of E15, an announcement cheered by farm groups, corn growers and the ethanol industry. Sales of E15, which is 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline, have been prohibited from June 1 to Sept. 15 due to federal law and regulations regarding formation of surface ozone and smog. Trump made his comments regarding E15 during a meeting at the White House with governors and lawmakers.
FARGO, N.D. — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he talked to President Donald Trump on March 8 about the importance of trade to rural America. Perdue on March 9 told the Forum Editorial Board he was talking to the president about the loss of income over the past four years in agriculture, and turned it into an opportunity to point out the same part of the country that voted for the president in large numbers and has seen their income drop have anxieties over the North American Free Trade Agreement and other trade considerations.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking comments on how best to serve able-bodied adults without dependents who use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as it considers tightening up rules on who can use the program and for how long.
NASHVILLE — If a rancher gets plowed over by a cow and ends up in the hospital, people come to help fix fence. If a farmer learns he has cancer, a neighbor will come combine his grain. But when someone in a rural area is struggling with addiction, that response may not come. And that's something National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson and American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall would like to see change, particularly in the case of opioid addiction.