Just in from National Farmers Union

WASHINGTON (Jan. 28, 2014) – The National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson, under direction from the NFU Board of Directors, sent a letter today to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House John Boehner calling for the 2014 Farm Bill to be called up and voted on this week. “Farm bill [...]

Just in: President Obama says it’s time for a Farm Bill

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson agrees. WASHINGTON (Oct. 17, 2013) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement today, after the end of the U.S. federal government shutdown: “Last night’s action by Congress ended a shutdown of our government and will return agencies back to normal operating status. This is [...]

We, the people…and the Farm Bill.

Growing up in Massachusetts means a special kind of connection to the Fourth of July. Along with Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July is one of two holidays all Americans can claim as our own. Both were born in Massachusetts: Thanksgiving in Plymouth around a communal dining table and the American Revolution, which started with the [...]

Unanimous high court backs Monsanto over farmer

Agribusiness food giant Monsanto took on Indiana farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman (NPR photo by Dan Charles) in a dispute over a patent to grow genetically modified soybeans. The case went all the way to the top, with the Supreme Court ruling unanimously yesterday that Bowman violated Monsanto’s patent. Monsanto’s soybeans are resistant to the weed killer [...]

Heartbreak in Whately, MA

A massive fire tore through the Golonka farmhouse in Whately, Massachusetts last week. Sonia and Mary Golonka died. A sad day for the Golonka family, the Pioneer Valley agricultural community and the never ending stream of customers who visit the Golonka Farm produce stand all season long. Most farms and ranches in the United States [...]

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Supreme Court to mull control of patented seeds

The case of an Indiana farmer who planted the genetically altered soybeans he got from a local grain elevator has reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Hugh Bowman’s dispute with agricultural giant Monsanto has evolved into a larger debate of the influence big agribusinesses have on farmers. Monsanto, the producer of the powerful herbicide Roundup and the [...]

Behind the Barn

Posted with permission from Richard S. Gilbert, this lovely piece of writing sets the stage for what happened in 2008. The second Barn for Barack was a story we posted as a slide show in September, 2008. Thank you, Richard, for allowing us a glimpse into the family and the people behind the Second Barn [...]

Dairy farmers struggled through drought, now battle armyworms; will suffer without Farm Bill

Dairy farmers will lose up to 10 percent of their monthly income from milk beginning in October because the Milk Income Loss Contract expired when the Farm Bill wasn’t renewed on Sept. 30. MILC is a program that provides dairy farmers with payments when the price of producing milk is more than the price for [...]

Drought slows rural economy in 10 central states

The economy in rural areas of 10 Midwestern and Western states continued to look weak this month as the region begins a slow recovery from this summer’s oppressive drought, according to The Rural Mainstreet Index, an economic survey of rural bankers by Creighton University in Omaha. The economic index for this month is 48.3, up slightly [...]