Current Progressive Dairy digital edition

Guest Blog

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


0811pd_yale_1“Warning! There is an elephant in the milk house!” Elephants are magnificent beasts, but an elephant is, nonetheless, unwelcome in the milk house. It fills all of the empty space. There is no exit wide and high enough to let it leave. So it remains.

You do not see it? Therein lies the problem; the elephant is there and it is ignored or avoided.

Dairy farming is a labor-intensive business. Proper feeding and caring of animals cannot be left to machines. It is not a pretty or easy job; it is hard, demanding and important.

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If the cattle industry received the same government support as the ethanol industry, ranchers would get generous subsidies to raise their stock, the American public would be mandated to consume certain amounts of beef and most foreign cattle would carry punitive import tariffs.

Of course this is not the case.

Ethanol is the only industry that benefits from such a triple crown of government intervention: its use is mandated by law, oil companies are paid by the federal government to use it and it is protected by tariffs.

I believe it is time to end this outdated policy that is fiscally irresponsible, environmentally unwise and makes our country more dependent on foreign oil.

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On April 14, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Nebraska), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight and Credit, held a public hearing to review credit conditions in rural America. A number of institutions provide credit to our nation’s farmers, ranchers and rural constituents.

Members of the subcommittee heard from two panels of witnesses that provided insight into the availability of credit for producers and the potential risks. Here are excerpts of testimony presented during the hearing:

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At a recent workshop here in Washington D.C., our group had as many answers to this question as there were participants. So in this article, let me explain.

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Game 6 of the 1975 World Series is ranked by many as the greatest baseball game ever. The Big Red Machine of Cincinnati with Bench, Rose and Foster took on the Boston Red Sox with Fisk and Yastrzemski. The Reds led the series by 3 to 2. A win in Fenway Park would mean they would be the world champs.

Both teams made incredible plays on offense and defense, stretching the game into the 12th inning. In the top of the 10th inning, as Pete Rose stepped to the plate, he said to Carlton Fisk, the Boston catcher, “This is some kind of game, isn’t it?”

The game ended two innings later when Fisk hammered one out of the park. The film showing him jumping and waving on his way to first base represents one of the best pieces of sports film ever made.

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The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan is heartwrenching. The enormous power of water is captured in multiple videos and photography.

One telling video shows the power of water overcoming everything in its path on the very limited farmland, the disappearing hoop structures and barns and buildings, now gone.

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