September 30, 2008 |
print-button

Every Four Years, We Need a Wake-up Call

Editorial Comment

I should have seen it coming. A quick glance at the calendar would have reminded me that 2008 signals the return of unique moments in time and spectacles seen only once every four years.

It begins with Leap Year, where we are "blessed" with an extra day in February. An extra day of winter, what a treat! All in favor of making June 31 days, say "aye."

Then come the Summer Olympics. Two weeks of captivating performances by the world's elite, supremely conditioned athletes, and yet another reminder that I'm getting old and need to exercise. Uggh!

Other than my once-every-four-year pilgrimmage to purchase a sport coat, we're now in the middle of the Grandaddy of them all, the quadrennial circus: the U.S. Presidential election.

Agriculture stands squarely rooted in the middle of several key campaign issues including energy independence, national security, food safety, trade and rural development, just to name a few. And while neither Barack Obama nor John McCain possesses experience with shaping policy through the Senate ag committee service, they are both quick to co-opt their existing positions for shaping their agriculture persona.

McCain, a self-made reformer, has publicly taken aim at subsidies for both farmers and ethanol makers, and would likely attempt to trim ag spending in those areas accordingly, and is openly pro-trade. Obama sees these subsidies as critical to adding stability for food and fuel production and vital to rural economies, and is more wary of trade agreements which ship American jobs overseas.

In the face of the current administration's economic bailout of Wall Street, the insurance community, et al, and the continued billions for the War on Terror, any meaningful gains in agricultural policy could be redshirted regardless of who occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. come Inauguration Day, Januray 20, 2009.

Since nobody should rely on a 30-second TV spot to make their decision, you'll need to rely on yourself to make an informed decision. Research your Congressional and Senate candidates' positions, get insight from your trade association, and above all, exercise a right that many in the world can only covet from afar. I know one thing, an extra day in June is definitely "change" I can live with.

More Articles

Beyond OSHA Combustible Dust Compliance
Star Milling uses a VAC-U-MAX breakaway central vacuum system, that meets OSHA's requirements for a combustible dust vacuum, to keep its facility clean and compliant. Photo by Air Cleaning Technology

Beyond OSHA Combustible Dust Compliance

November 24, 2014 | Online Exclusive |

Feed mill employs portable combustible dust central vacuum to remove fugitive grain dust and eliminates the need to enter confined spaces for cleaning.

[Read More]
Feed Industry Invests in Education
The Northern Crops Institute, located on the campus of North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND, has educated visitors from more than 130 countries.

Feed Industry Invests in Education

November 11, 2014 | Cover Story | Elise Schafer

The Northern Crops Institute renovates its feed mill on North Dakota State University’s Fargo campus with state-of-the-art equipment donated by feed industry suppliers.

[Read More]
Feeding Signals: The 
Cows Say it All

Feeding Signals: The 
Cows Say it All

October 28, 2014 | Online Exclusive |

Feeding perfect rations is only possible when you understand feed analysis, the properties of the feed, the way a cow functions and her milk production. The concept 'Feeding signals' looks at all these aspects: from mouth to rumen and intestines. In this article we touch on a few things to consider when using this concept.

[Read More]