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Weighing in on water

Water has been near the top of the headlines lately, and will continue to generate debate as the drought in California and much of the West reaches unprecedented proportions. And as water sources turn dry and municipalities claim a larger share of the resource, agriculture will need to adjust.


Consumer misconception is agriculture's greatest obstacle

In 1900, 41% of the US workforce was involved in agriculture. In 2014, less than 2% of Americans are farmers or ranchers. In the last 100 years, consumers migrated to urban areas, increasing their social and physical distance from farming communities. As a result, the average consumer knows less than ever about agricultural practices.


Meat of the Matter: An ecological 180

Eco-activists love to squawk that it’s people who ‘ruin the land.’ But one of the largest expanses of undeveloped land around needs more people — and a lot fewer animals — if it’s to survive.

Ask the proverbial “person in the street” to name the largest “wild,” undeveloped stretch of land on Earth, and most people would probably choose one of several well-known areas: Siberia, the Amazon rainforest, or maybe the Sahara Desert.

All of those places are indeed sizable, and in many areas, far from civilized.


Planting talks undercut corn futures on Monday

Planting talk seemed to undercut corn futures Monday. Surging equity markets, news of Chinese economic stimulus and the USDA Export Inspections result all appeared supportive of corn futures. However, prices declined rather significantly modestly Monday, which seemingly reflected a reaction to ideas that plantings surged in the southern Corn Belt last week. May corn futures closed down 1.75 cents at $3.78/bushel Monday, while December sagged 2.0 to $4.0125.


Meat of the Matter: Veggie for all; all for veggie?

It was only a matter of time before somebody started posing the ultimate question: Have we reached a point where so-called veggie diets offer something for everyone?

Even by the standards of provocative headlines designed to grab readers’ increasingly fragmented attention spans, this one’s a little out there: “Should everyone become a vegetarian?”

That question appeared in Great Britain’s The Guardian newspaper, as part of the publication’s “Virgin Voters” series, in which the 18-to- 24-year-old population voices its concerns about the issues of the day.


Show Mom Diaries: The gifts that keep on giving

Tradition is fine and dandy.

But when it comes to gift-giving in the Lee household – especially from husband to wife – tradition goes out the window.

Apparently, silk or linen is recommended as the traditional 12th anniversary gift. The pearl for the more modern gift-giver.

But our 12th anniversary brought me a more, ahem, practical gift from my adoring husband.

A concrete slab, to be exact.

Yes, always one for practicality, Craig decided to gift me (and the kids) with a new wash rack to celebrate a dozen years of marriage.


Proof of evolution

No, not Darwinism, but the deliberate shift of attack issues that activists use to bash animal agriculture: From health to safety to welfare, industry opponents are changing with the times.


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