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Read online content from popular columnists, including Ryan Dennis, Baxter Black and Yevet Tenney, as well as comments from Progressive Dairy editors.

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To ethanol, or not to ethanol, that is the question.

Whether it’s better to pay less for a gallon of gas and get less miles per gallon, or to pay more and go further on the same gallon? This is the question that motorized man has passed down through the ages. Is the perception of being “green” more important than keeping the price of corn down? It depends on the size of your tank, your tolerance for frequent stops, the coffee at your convenience store, your stock in Chevron or your job at the feedlot.

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I am nearly 55 years old. My career with the USDA-NRCS enters its fifth year as of late July 2007. At my age, many of my colleagues in the NRCS came through the federal system three decades ago and now have 30 years done. Many of them are near or at retirement.

In many federal agencies, managers are thinking about the retirement of those in the federal system with 30 years of experience. Our managers do here in Michigan. On our ecological sciences staff, nearly two-thirds of our group of 15 is eligible for retirement. In fact, we have one resource conservationist with more than 43 years of federal service. That’s a long career.

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First of all, I would like to welcome to our publication 8,000 additional readers since we decided to include Ag Nutrient Management inside Progressive Dairyman magazine. With the continual changes and challenges that come with animal production, we felt it was best to get this tool in the hands of everyone we know who deal with livestock.

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I like vegetarians. I like organic farmers, I like mule people, purebred breeders, heelers, bankers, equine practitioners, county agents, BLMers, cat lovers and cowboy poets.

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One afternoon I sat in a stuffy high school classroom and listened to the drone of the teacher’s voice. I was drifting off to sleep when I heard something that piqued my interest.

“If an enemy wanted to destroy our government and freedoms, they would take the American Flag and cut it in pieces and give everyone a tiny piece.” I sat up and stared at the teacher. I didn’t understand.

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Never was my observation “It’s easy to be green when it’s not personal,” more obvious than today. As population increases and suburbanization encroaches on previously rural countryside, each new settler or squatter must face their own deleterious impact on the environment.

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