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 [...]

Happy Flag Day!

Each year on June 14 we celebrate the wonder that is Old Glory with pride and local flavor. Check out a few fun facts and the history of Flag Day from the Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus, Georgia. If I lived in the area, my event choice would be the free hot dogs at the Columbus/Fort Benning [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Rural matters a lot in election, liberal columnist says

It’s all politics at the Iowa State Fair in this presidential election year, as it has been for decades. Presumptive Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan visited the fair last week, but left John Nichols of The Capital Times in Madison, Wis., wondering what he was doing there after refusing to answer questions about the [...]

Farm bill update: good news first

There’s good news and there’s bad news out of the U.S. House of Representatves Committee on Agriculture. The Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM) passed by a bipartisan 35-11 vote. The committee rejected amendments to alter the no-cost sugar program and also voted not to remove the Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP) from [...]

Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday is Saturday; how about singing ‘This Land Is Your Land’ to mark it?

The 15th annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival opens tomorrow in the singer-songwriter’s hometown of Okemah, Okla., and it will be a special one, running through the 100th anniversary of his birth on Saturday, July 14. The Woody Guthrie Centennial website says, “His songs have run around the world like a fast train on a well oiled track. [...]