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Guest Blog

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

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I confess ... the older I get, the more cynical I become. Maybe it’s because I truly care about how our elected officials run the government or because I actively participate in the economy.

Graduating from college ten years ago, my friends and I had a carefree, “No Regrets” approach to life. Nothing that happened really seemed to affect us, so we weren’t too concerned with what was going on in the “grown-up world.”

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It’s New Year’s Day. Here is a story of entering the field, which all field scientists do. What we see is but a fraction of what is there. So here is a photo-essay of what I see and what I imagine.

I am here at the National Agricultural Research Center. I have visited many such centers all over the world. But here, in a flood of blue and red colors, on inscribed rolls of paper, are the words of a mandate.

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As the 111th Congress came to an end, the Senate held a vote on the DREAM Act, an immigration reform proposal focused on children of illegal immigrants. Commentators and some Republicans described the way the bill was brought to the Senate floor as a “kabuki dance.”

One of the many facets that make up the rich Japanese culture is kabuki.

This performance genre of singing and dancing (its characters mean “sing,” “dance” and “skill”) is highly stylized with extravagant costumes, scenery and high plot predictability. Kabuki portrays a believable story in a symbolic and structured way, unlike the way it would happen in reality.

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Reporting to you from Islamabad, Pakistan.

In this, my second report from Pakistan, I report of a day in the field. I have four visits done today, all within Punjab province and near the capital city of Islamabad.

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The following statements were recently made as testimony before the Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) public workshops to examine margins at various levels of the agricultural supply chain.

“We need the milk pricing system fixed. If we want young farmers to come into the industry they need to be paid a living. Everyone in the chain can adjust their margin accordingly and earn a living except for the farmer.

"And if Antitrust Division and USDA doesn’t step it up and ensure that farmers earn a living first, and everyone else adjust their margins accordingly thereafter, the entire system will fail, rural America will fail, our farmers and our nation as a whole will fail, just because our whole infrastructure relies on our farmers who produce 70 percent of the world’s raw material.”

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011411_zweberThe first Progressive Dairyman issue of 2011 struck a chord with grazing producers across the country. See this unique post by Emily Zweber of Zweber Farms in Minnesota. Zweber talks about what it means to be a progressive grazing producer. Check out an excerpt here, and be sure to read the full post.

All of us at Zweber Farms read many industry magazines, newspapers and publications. Some are dairy focused, some are organic focused and some are just general agriculture information.

The other day when I pulled Progressive Dairyman out of our mailbox, I was shocked to see the words “consider grazing as a means to profitability” on the front cover. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy reading the Progressive Dairyman. Their up to date coverage on industry issues and trends is very helpful.

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