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Cut to the Chase: The Face of Farming and Ranching

by Rebecca French Smith

Last week was both an exciting and disturbing week for agriculture. The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance named their inaugural Faces of Farming and Ranching program winners. The four winners are farmers who will be promoting agriculture and talking to consumers about their farms and what they do to make sure the food they raise is done with care.

Missouri Farm Bureau board member and hog

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Cut to the Chase: A Green Mindset

by Rebecca French Smith

To quote a famous amphibian, “It ain’t easy being green.” But being “green” in today’s society should be easier than ever with all the products and services here to help us. Oh, but that pesky human factor creeps in. It’s called laziness, and I am no exception. It takes some forethought to be green.

I recently saw a Facebook post (one I’ve seen before, so it

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Cut to the Chase: Déjà Vu All Over Again

by Blake Hurst

“Oh, the line forms on the right, babe, now that Macky’s back in town.” – Mack the Knife.

Yes, they’re back in town, both in Jefferson City and Washington, D.C. The Missouri Legislature and the U.S. Congress have started new sessions, and Missouri Farm Bureau has a list of priority issues that have been identified by our members. Yep, and I suppose we tend to line up

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Cut to the Chase: Knowing your neighbors

by Ken Gordon

Stroll among the old farm equipment displays at a county or state fair, or at a special antique tractor show and there will be older farmers who can still describe what problems specific pieces of equipment solved on the farm in the early years. These men and women who plowed fields with horses, or were part of a threshing team, recall stories of hard work and fond

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Cut to the Chase: News is missing from the news

by Blake Hurst

I haven’t a clue when the submissions for the Pulitzer Prize are due, but I imagine the judges will gather soon. Why? Because The Kansas City Star has just finished publishing a series on the beef industry that can only be seen as the newspaper’s pitch for this year’s prize. It certainly didn’t contain any news, and the only reason a struggling paper would devote so many

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Cut to the Chase: The spare parachute

by Glen Cope

Some words of wisdom my dad once gave me about farming were “you must save in the good years to get you through the bad.” This is good advice when you consider that many Americans are no longer saving to overcome a job layoff or in anticipation of an injury or sickness that could lead to a loss in wages.

The drought of 2012 qualifies as a

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Cut to the Chase: When the river runs dry

by Tracy Grondine

If something barring an epic flood doesn’t happen within days, the Mississippi River could be too low for navigation. Because of this year’s severe drought, waterborne commerce on the middle Mississippi River is in real danger.

For barges to move through the Mississippi River there has to be at least nine feet of water throughout the navigation channel. Current projections show that as early as mid-December, water

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Cut to the Chase: Last minute shoppers

by Rebecca French Smith

A handful of days remains in the lame duck Congressional session. That doesn’t seem like much time. For lawmakers in Washington, D.C., maybe it feels like Christmas Eve at 6 p.m., the malls are closed and they haven’t done any Christmas shopping yet… and they have northward of 300 million gifts to buy.

It’s not like Congress hasn’t known what we want this year. In fact,

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Working for a dynamic Agriculture

by Barry Bushue

Open the food section of your favorite Sunday newspaper or visit the food and agriculture blogosphere and you occasionally get the impression that segments of agriculture are in a competitive feud with one another. It seems consumers are constantly pressured to pick a favorite. Organic versus conventional? Global market chains versus locally sourced? Traditional versus modern?

But visit with farmers who earn their livelihood working the land,

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