The President Speaks for Ethanol

April 26 2006

It was an exciting historic event to join with fellow "Aggie Groupies" listening to President George W. Bush speak at the "Renewable Fuels Summit 2006." Yes, it was fun to hear from the President, but what really hyped the event was what he had to say.

"We need a variety of new energy sources to cure our addiction to imported oil. We need ethanol and biodiesel. We need Anwar oil." He pointed out if we had brought Anwar on stream 10 years ago, that field would be supplying 20% of our needs today.…

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Earth Day

April 12 2006

Let's Celebrate Earth Day

I was at the U.S. Department of Agriculture last week and walked past a beautiful blue spruce tree on the western end of the grounds. To me, it's not just another tree. It is a special tree. I planted it in 1983 when I was Secretary.

When I see that blue spruce at USDA, when I look at the acres of conservation tillage on our Illinois farm, I am reminded of the extraordinary job of conversation that the American farmer and forester have done in this great country.

How many…

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Trade Disputes

April 11 2006

I picked up the paper today and headlines tell the whole story. "Pessimism Looms as Trade Talks Set to Reopen." Things could change but the Doha Trade Talks appear to be dead.

Should we be surprised? I'm all for lowering trade barriers, but the process is a two-way street. On another page in the paper, I see where sales of General Motors cars fell 4% and Ford collapsed 9%. But -- Toyota is up 11.7%. Toyota makes a great car and we can't get enough of them. At the same time, the Japanese are…

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High Pressure Pasteurization

April 6 2006

A few years ago, I did a couple of radio commentaries on irradiation as an effective way to make our food supply safer. I even bought some irradiated hamburger at the supermarket in support of the cause. But, in the end, irradiation never got off the ground. Irradiation just scared people. They were afraid they would glow in the dark.

Alright, that didn't work. And we still have deadly outbreaks of food-borne disease. In 1998, listeria in hot dogs killed 21 people. In 1999, salmonella orange…

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