Weekly Column

Gearing Up for the Big Fight

Crop insurance is an important and necessary component of an effective farm safety net. However, it is a very complex program that will work more effectively with much-needed, commonsense reforms.
Under current law, we are subsidizing crop insurance at an average rate of 62% on every acre without limit regardless of farm size or wealth. We have an issue with that. Our tax dollars - the public trust - subsidize the largest operators no matter how big they get.

National Farm to Cafeteria Conference Coming in June

On June 2-4, 2016, more than 1,500 people will gather in Madison, Wisconsin for the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference.  The biennial event, hosted by the National Farm to School Network, is the only national gathering of people seeking opportunities to learn, network, and collaborate with like-minded farm to cafeteria leaders working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agriculture literacy across America.

Rural America Gets a Lump of Coal for Christmas - USDA’s new definition of “actively engaged in farming”

On December 17, 2015, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued their final rule defining what it means to be actively engaged in farming, and thereby eligible to receive federal farm payments. The final rule serves only to ensure access to unlimited farm program payments for the vast majority of the nation’s largest and wealthiest farms, and writes loopholes directly into regulation.

Fueling Our Kids and the Future: School Lunch

In the past three decades, much has changed in our food system and society. Schools aren’t purchasing as many fresh foods, yet they have more nutrition requirements to fill. Schools got away from purchasing locally. The number of local farms to purchase edible food from has become scarce.

Thankful for the Little Things Only Rural Living Can Provide

I don’t usually reflect much on the abundant amenities of where I live. Generally I take the wide open spaces, fresh air, breathtaking sunsets and a myriad of other things for granted.
But a recent Rural Housewives article reminded me of the many benefits that small town and rural living provide that are easy to overlook. There are the obvious things like beautiful landscapes, bright stars at night, friendly people, knowing your neighbors and so on.