Weekly Column

When should farmers retire?

Retirement from a farm business may not mean moving away or giving up on mentoring the next generation, but it does entail transferring management decisions to someone else. It can be a gradual or sudden process. It may be driven by long-term goals, by sudden health issues, or events outside your family.

Wind energy setbacks are important to consider

South Dakota is fifth in the U.S. for wind energy potential. That’s enough potential to allow residents to meet their energy needs 300 times over. In fact, the state has already started down the path to realizing this possibility by producing more than 26 percent of its energy from wind.

Insure commodities you have not insured before

Farmers and ranchers, have you heard of Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP)?

WFRP is a crop insurance plan that allows a farmer or rancher to insure the revenue for their operation in its entirety. The program is available in all counties nationwide. You can utilize WFRP as your sole source of crop insurance or with other federal crop insurance policies.

Veteran farmers’ service continues through agriculture

When I think of farmers, veteran farmers in particular, I think of hard working and innovative men and women. I see their work in rows of fields covering the rural landscape, in rolling green pastures dotted with livestock, and on shelves in grocery stores.

Farming is a livelihood, not an occupation. Family and community are at the center of its culture. These qualities help make farming an especially meaningful pursuit for many of our nation's veterans. The Center for Rural Affairs provides resources and education to help veteran farmers succeed.

Transmission lines and your health

Do transmission lines negatively impact human and animal health? Mounting research shows we have no cause for concern. 

To ensure safety, all electric wiring systems must be properly grounded. Small currents may flow from these grounding points, and are called neutral-to-earth voltages. Some of this is stray voltage that comes into contact with livestock and may cause behavioral changes.

Transmission developers try to avoid and mitigate stray voltage. Usually, this means siting transmission lines a certain distance from distribution lines.

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