In our opinion...
Economics dictate when to get 'big'
By Andy Vance
As part of my role in the agricultural media, from time to time, I'm called on to speak with various groups and audiences about the stories I've reported or columns I've written.
Meeting with farmers and agribusiness professionals is one of my favorite parts of my career, and it helps me keep abreast of what's happening in our community.
Speaking to a group of feed industry professionals in New York last week, I shared the dais with two outstanding presenters who gave me a lot to think about.
One speaker's commentary, in particular, got me thinking about some of our (and the public's) preconceived notions about "big ag."
Talking specifically about the dairy industry, Dr. Roger Cady with Elanco shared some interesting trends and data dealing with correlations among herd size, productivity, management practices and milk quality.
An interesting history of food
By Willie Vogt
Foodies at heart love a walk through state fair buildings where amazing cakes, pies, breads and other foods have been prepared and judged by experts. To take part in a state fair competition as a judge was an idea that never originally entered my head, but when the opportunity arose I jumped at the chance.
The Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance has spent 2011 involved in a new Heirloom Recipe Contest to bring a closer look at the history of where our food comes from and exploring food traditions. This was no day of tasting 40 apple pies (not that it wouldn't have been fun) this was an afternoon exploring family histories, traditional foods and tasting a wide range of dishes.
Taste is really only one part of the Family Heirloom Recipes Competition. Judging each entrant also meant looking at how it was presented, reading a history of the food item and its relationship with the entrant. And it meant doing the hard part of being a judge - disqualifying entrants that didn't follow the rules.
Summer traditions remind us why we love this life
By Mark Klaus
Sometimes, it is pretty easy to get wrapped up in all of the negative happenings in the world today.
I realized that just the other day when I began thinking of what to write for this week's "episode." I was in a panic because it seems, at least in my view, that there really have not been any major events in animal agriculture lately about which to write. That is to say, I wasn't hearing much negative news.
However, there are so many positive things that always happen during my favorite season: summer. It is the best season to remind all of us why we choose to live the rural lifestyle.