Rural Community Challenges

As agriculture continues to evolve in the Midwest, the impact of this evolution on rural communities is increasingly becoming fodder for community discussion. At the core of the discussion is the often unspoken concern that rural communities are dying because youth are not returning to the communities. In any survey of rural communities that I’ve seen, the declining rate of youth returning to the community ranks high as a concern of the citizens. Read More...

Managing this winters propane expense

While it is 9 days until the official end of summer, many producers and contract growers are already planning for winter management of production facilities. This planning includes contracting of propane supplies. At recent meetings, I’ve had producers quote $1.71/gal up to $2.20/gal as the price they have pre-paid for this winter’s estimated needs. Read More...

COOL is less than 4 weeks away

Last week I sat in on a webcast from Iowa State University on the upcoming implementation of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). Hosted by Dr John Lawrence, extension ag economist and Dr Jim McKean, extension swine veterinarian, the webcast dealt with the myriad of details associated with the September 30 implementation of this federal legislation. While controversy continues to surround this legislation, the fact of the matter is that it will become a fact of life for US pork producers. Read More...