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Guest Blog

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

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The word development is in the news. As one of the three “D” words (the others are defense and diplomacy) that describe our U.S. government’s foreign policy, the term may be defined as the long-term strategic effort at helping failed or failing states (countries).

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In the many years writing this column, now just a year short of two full decades, I have written of expeditionary work. By my last count, the effort and energy spent in a dozen countries along with situational analysis are described here. As a young farm boy, FFA member and college student in the late ’60s and early ’70s, I fully expected to farm the rest of my life.

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The past year has been full of celebrity infidelity and scandal. I’ve always been a news junkie, and it’s amazing to me how tabloid gossip has gained newsworthy status. In one of the “news” stories Tiger Woods’ former adviser was quoted as telling Tiger to “stay away from Michael Jordan,” claiming he was a bad influence on Tiger. Honestly, who’s really going to believe that No. 23 was the reason Tiger had extramarital affairs with a dozen women?!?

But somehow, this guy attributes Jordan with leading his former client astray. It was also reported that Tiger’s best friend helped arrange his mistresses’ travel plans so they could join him on trips and have hotel rooms adjacent to his.

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An egg can support a large amount of weight. Its strength comes from its dome shape. Some research has shown that chicken eggs can handle as much as 17 pounds on the end. This amazingly strong shell brings protection to the valuable contents inside.

This strong egg is fragile. And once broken, it is complete and irreversible destruction. We are all familiar with the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
Threescore men and threescore more,
Could not place Humpty as he was before.

It never says anything about an egg. According to some etymologists, the term comes from a French nursery rhyme and was a diminutive form of the name Humphrey. The term is reported in 1785 as describing a “short, dump, hump-shouldered person” according to Online Etymology Dictionary.

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I have been home from Iraq now for two months. Taking some leave time – what we call decompression – and getting started in my new position at the Civilian Response Corps fills the days. And, of course, I am enjoying flying my Mooney airplane. As of this writing, it is sitting in a hanger in Willmar, Minnesota. During an annual inspection (which is required), an engine casing fracture was found, so the aircraft is grounded for six weeks while repairs are done.

In this article, I comment on the Middle East region that has been my life the last four years. The news is mixed.

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The following are comments from the Dairy Price Forum that took place Aug. 18 in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. The event, sponsored by Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW), focused on addressing price volatility in a global dairy market, preparing for the 2012 Farm Bill and looking at the Foundation for the Future plan.

Miranda Leis
Dairy producer
Monroe County, Wisconsin

“The other option of a quota program is really a non-option for our farm and so too I feel for the future of the American dairy industry. I feel that a quota program would stifle expansion and would severely impede our ability to establish our position as a premier supplier on the world dairy market … When I look into the eyes of my children I am not content to let this current system, which does not serve farmers, continue to exist unchanged. If we do not at least attempt to enact change I can’t say with any certainty there will be a place in the market for my children.”

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