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Guest Blog

Read about different aspects of the industry from a variety of perspectives.

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The orderly progression of plant growth is manifest organically.

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On a beautiful autumn day in central Michigan, a colleague and I visited a dairy farm. I am responsible for completing a number of quality assurance reviews for the Department of Agriculture. Specifically, my job is evaluating the planning done on a livestock farm to mitigate a resource concern such as soil and water. We want to make sure the federal government gets some return on the investment made on that farm.

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As any experienced litigator will tell you, how a lawsuit and what it is fought over differs from why you are in court in the first place. When it comes to court challenges to administrative decisions, the difference between what happened in the rulemaking and the litigation can be even more different.

So it was in the court challenge to the recent USDA decision to shift a quarter of a billion dollars from the pockets of producers to processors. A group of seven dairy cooperatives, United Dairymen of Arizona, Select Milk Producers, Zia Milk Producers, Lone Star Milk Producers, Arkansas Dairy Cooperative Association, Maryland Virginia Milk Producers and Continental Dairy Products, along with two producers, sued USDA to stop its implementation of higher make allowances. After being first in U.S. District Court and then the Court of Appeals hours later, both courts denied the demand for an injunction.

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One of the predominant themes of many of my columns has been the relationship between art and science. The discussion is a perennial one. And there are as many answers as there are questions.

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In this third installment of my assignment in Russia, I write of a single day of visiting Russian monasteries.

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I have nearly completed my work on the Pakhma Farm here in Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia.

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