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Cut to the Chase: What You Don’t Know

by Rebecca French Smith

Opening day at the Columbia Farmers’ Market was a little chilly and overcast, and windy. Despite the conditions, there was a pretty good crowd. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed heading out to the local market — the meeting new people part, not necessarily the getting up early on Saturday part — and it was a good day to get to know some area farmers. Vendors for everything

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Cut to the Chase: April Showers Bring… Taxes

by Bob Stallman

It’s that time of year again – tax time.

Boston threw a tea party to protest it; Shakespeare and Mark Twain have prattled off quotes about it; the Beatles even dedicated a song to it. Nothing brings people together more than rallying against a tax.

While taxes are necessary for a functioning government and society (where would we be without public schools, roads and firemen or police

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Cut to the Chase: Health Care Reform Making Many Woozy

by Erin Anthony

Three years ago this month President Barack Obama signed into law a sweeping overhaul of our nation’s health care system. More than 1,000 days later, farmers, ranchers and other families and small business owners are still waiting for the “care” and “affordability” that the name of the law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, implies.

Instead, over the weeks and months since ACA became law, we’ve

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Cut to the Chase: American Agriculture Nourishing Opportunities

by Whitney Bowman

American agriculture must grow to continue to provide America and the world with a safe, economical and abundant food supply. It must sink its roots into Mother Nature’s solid foundation, reach outward toward new technologies, and remain true to the solid support of hard work, responsibility and perseverance that have made it the most productive in the world.

American agriculture nurtures the environment.

As the population increases

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Cut to the Chase: Barefoot in the Dirt

by Rebecca French Smith

With about a foot and a half of snow on the ground, I am seriously looking forward to spring. Punxsutawney Phil said it would be here early this year, but one tweet I read called him a hack — I am reconsidering my trust in his predictions.

Truth is, spring comes when it comes, and I am ready for it. The first falling snowflakes of winter

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Cut to the Chase: A Conspiracy to Feed the World

by Stewart Truelsen

The success of American agriculture is so mind-boggling that critics and conspiracy theorists alike can’t resist finding something evil, secretive or just plain awful about it.

One blogger writes that seed vaults exist so the wealthy ultimately can survive as “their sinister practices of corporate food production and destruction of the environment unfold to lessen the population.” In other words, the upper-classes would push the world toward

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Cut to the Chase: Rural Relevance

by Dan Cassidy

No matter what the sport, referees struggle to get their due. In farming, no matter what they raise, farmers often find themselves just outside the spotlight. Interestingly, the two occupations have something in common: the importance of their presence and their relevance.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack spoke at the recent American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting and once again shared his view that agriculture’s influence is waning.

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Cut to the Chase: How It’s Made

by Diane Olson

Being a night person has its advantages. I often find myself flipping through endless television channels in search of some mindless nighttime viewing. Sometimes I pause momentarily to watch “How It’s Made,” a documentary on – you guessed it – how things are made.

I’ve learned about a lot of things like making bubble gum, plastic toys and so much more. As I view these episodes, I

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Cut to the Chase: Shotgun Budgeting and Borrowing

by Garrett Hawkins

On a recent commute with my kids (ages 3 and 1), my little girl and I sang with Taylor Swift on the radio. The sing-a-longs keep them entertained when their stash of gummy fruit is gone, and the alternative to singing is screaming. My daughter loves Swift’s chart-topper “Mean” (it is catchy). She doesn’t know all of the lyrics, but she always nails the most important line

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