Jonathan Knutson / Forum News Service
There’s a guy I know — with adult children of his own — who’s upset about his childhood. The guy is still a little angry that his own father didn’t spend more time with him when he was growing up. The guy’s dad wasn’t off sitting on a barroom stool or practicing his putting at the golf course; he was working side jobs to earn extra money for his family. The dad was determined to be “a good provider” for his wife and children, a goal shared by many husbands and fathers of his generation.
“Food Citizenship: Food System Advocates in an Era of Distrust,” written by Ray A. Goldberg and published in 2018 by Oxford University Press. Ray Goldberg tackles the fundamental issue in his introduction: “Perhaps no economic system is viewed with suspicion by so many people around the world as the food system,” he writes.
Specialization generally is beneficial in economics. But too much of anything, even economic specialization, may not be a good thing. “We need to be asking if putting all our eggs in one basket is wise when the basket is more sensitive,” said Ariel Ortiz-Bobea, assistant professor of applied economics and management at Cornell University.
GRAND FORKS — “Average” is one of those terms that can mean different things to different people. Daryl Ritchison, interim director of the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network, cautioned that could be the case when he predicts “average” or near-average 2019 weather in North Dakota. “The ‘80s were dry. The ‘90s and early 2000s were about as wet as this area can get,” he said. “People have forgotten what dry is,” skewing some area residents’ expectations for 2019 weather.
GRAND FORKS — Doyle Lentz has been working to win federal funding to fight scab for nearly 30 years. Now, he and others in the battle have scored a double-headed win. “We’re pretty happy with what’s in the farm bill for scab research,” said Lentz, a Rolla barley farmer and the former co-chair of the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative.
It didn’t generate much attention in the Upper Midwest, and I nearly missed it myself: The proposition on the California November ballot to place further restrictions on the use of cages in livestock production. The proposition passed, and I did a short day-after-the-election story. An eagle-eyed Agweek reader noticed the story and mentioned it to me later. “I see those crazy Californians are at it again,” she told me.
For the fourth straight year, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association is offering to help corn farmers pay for conservation-minded research. The Minnesota Corn Innovation Grant Program is accepting proposals “focused on innovation solutions to preventing both nitrogen and phosphorous loss to ground and surface water. Each accepted proposal will feature novel practices related to improved nitrogen and/or phosphorus management on a field scale program,” according to the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — Minnesota often is associated with lakes, trees, corn and soybeans. But cattle are important to the state, too, Minnesota cattle industry officials say.
THOMPSON, N.D. — Go ahead, call him “Farmer Nick.” A growing number of his friends and acquaintances do. Nick Schlief, now 15, farmed 20 acres in Minnesota this past summer with the help of his grandfather, parents and a $5,000 youth loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency. “Some people were already calling me (Farmer Nick). And now even more are,” Nick said with a pleased smile.
MINOT, N.D. — Sure, lentils are increasingly popular with consumers for their affordability and nutritional value. And, yes, lentils are found in a growing number of food products ranging from cereal to dog food. But now lentils are being used as an ingredient in a high-profile food product that could enhance awareness of the crop among people who know little, if anything, about it now. Beer.