An Obama Presidency

November 12 2008

Hello everybody out there in farm country. Thank you to Wal-Mart, Monsanto, the Renewable Fuels Association, and John Deere for sponsoring this radio commentary. Today, just an extra word about Wal-Mart. This weekend, I picked up the newspaper. The 30 biggest companies on the Dow Jones were listed, and every company's stock value has declined this year -- some by a huge amount, except Wal-Mart. Up 14%. The explanation is simple. Wal-Mart is well-managed and is providing real value to their…

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Ag Investment

July 9 2008

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the Renewable Fuels Association, Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today's commentary.

This week, I stood in one of my corn fields barely able to see over the rich green leaves reaching for the sky. We are fortunate. Our crops look good. I drove 50 miles west…

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Best of Times, Worst of Times

September 26 2000

I pick up a big city newspaper and read the criticism of the generous support for farmers in this election year. Okay, I'll admit the support is generous. But to provide some balance to this evaluation of the situation, it might be worth taking inventory of other conditions working against the farmer.

Is your diesel fuel much more expensive? What about the LP gas drying your com? Just wait 'til you see the price tag for nitrogen fertilizer. The simple fact is the higher energy prices will…

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PIK Program

September 13 2000

Say it isn't so! Not the PIK program again. Yes, that's what it is. This time for sugar. I really thought PIK (payment in kind) was history. But I guess not. We have too much sugar and with the loan rate where it is, it appears the sugar processors are going to forfeit at least 500,000 tons of sugar to the government. Secretary Glickman does not want the sugar. He already owns 125,000 tons. The sugar beet farmers are about to harvest another big crop. I introduce you to payment in kind. Give…

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USDA Dollars

March 14 2000

Where does your money go? At USDA I believe that a lot of money is spent for a lot of good reasons. Farm support payments to help struggling farmers through tough times. Export funds to move our products into the international market place. Funding to care for our forests . Even food stamps to help needy families.

But I read an article last week that was shocking. According to the Inspector General, more than 20 million dollars of money at USDA that was designated to Natural Resources was…


Farm Economy 2000

February 1 2000

The farm economy appears to be turning around ever so slightly. Farm land values have held up very nicely in the face of low farm prices keeping the U.S. farm balance sheet reasonably sound. The Asian economies are gaining strength which should help boost prices of certain select commodities. Can we put on a happy face? We want to.

Yet I just finished reading the speech that Keith Collins, USDA's Chief Economist, gave to the American farm Bureau Convention. He calls them the way he sees…


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