2008

Cuba

February 27 2008

Hello everybody out there in farm country.

Fidel Castro, Cuban dictator for 50 years, steps down. Brother Raul Castro takes the helm.

What does this mean to us? Why should we care? What are we going to do? What does this change mean for Cuba?

It means that we should take a new look at our relationship with Cuba. We hardly trade with them -some farm products is about the size of it. We restrict travel and tourism to Cuba. Even Florida Cuban families are not allowed to visit their…

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In The Line Of Fire

February 20 2008

It has been said that this is a "golden age" for agriculture. I won't disagree. Wheat prices are out of sight. Corn price is double what it has been in recent years. Milk price is double. All my years in this business, I have heard that farm programs inflate land prices. They probably did but not anymore. The market is driving land values up. Can this"golden age" endure? We shall see.

You know how it works.Whoever is on top, they're the target. "Bring them down." Well, we are on top.…

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Free Trade

February 13 2008

It seems that everyonein this town is jockeying for political advantage. It would be niceif the U.S. Congress would just do something for the good of all ourcitizens. Last year, the Congress passed the Peru Trade PromotionAgreement. That was good -opening up a $330 million market for u.S.agriculture. But now, we have 3 more similar agreements pending --Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.

Sometimes, we forgethow important trade is to our farmers and ranchers. We had a record$82 billion in Ag…

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Earl Butz & Ed Schafer

February 6 2008

In the last week, we lost a great Secretary of Agriculture -- Earl Butz died at age 98.And a new Secretary was sworn in. Ed Schafer, former Governor of North Dakota, became the 29th Secretary of Agriculture. Governor Schafer was confirmed by the Senate with unanimous consent.

Ed Schafer was a popular Republican North Dakota governor. Earl Butz, throughout his time as Secretary, was always somewhat controversial. In serving two Presidents, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, Earl Butz was…

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