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May 2010 Archive for U.S. Farm Report Mailbag

RSS By: U.S. Farm Report, US Farm Report

Comments, questions, opinions...this is your chance to speak out regarding anything and everything reported on U.S. Farm Report. Viewer feedback updated regularly.

An Eye for Horses

May 26, 2010
   Heard your report this morning and I agree with you one hundred percent. Genetic breeding will take the fun out of racing and the sport of it. Random luck and years of skill should not be replaced. Or what is next? I enjoy your show(s) every Saturday morning here in Indio, California -- at 5 a.m., no less. 
Bob Myre

***Editor's Note - Bob is referring to the following commentary from John Phipps that aired last weekend...
   THE WORLD OF THOROUGHBRED RACING IS STEEPED IN TRADITION AND HAS A LONG HISTORY OF ADMIRATION FOR INSTINCTIVE DECISIONS BY OWNERS AND TRAINERS WHO CAN JUDGE HORSEFLESH AND SORT OUT WINNERS. THAT RESPECT AND DEFERENCE TO THE WISDOM OF EXPERIENCE COULD BE CHALLENGED BY TECHNOLOGY.
   THE RECENT DISCOVERY OF THE "SPEED GENE" ADDS A NEW WRINKLE TO THE ART OF BREEDING HORSES. FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF THE HORSE GENOME, RESEARCHERS IN DUBLIN DISCOVERED A SINGLE VARIATION ON THE MYOSTATIN GENE SEEMED TO CORRELATE TO A HORSE'S ABILITY TO RACE WELL AT VARIOUS DISTANCES. FOR ABOUT 1,500 BUCKS, BREEDING STOCK CAN BE TESTED AND THE PRESENCE OF THE DESIRED GENE CONFIRMED. 
   WHILE TRADITIONAL HORSE BREEDERS ARE DISCOUNTING THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS TEST, I TEND TO BELIEVE IT WILL SIMPLY BE THE FIRST OF SEVERAL TECHNOLOGICAL SORTING TOOLS THAT WILL EVENTUALLY REPLACE MUCH OF THE INTUITIVE SKILLS SO HARD TO ACQUIRE BY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE. AS THAT OCCURS, MUCH OF THE MYSTIQUE OF THE TOP LEVELS OF THE HORSE INDUSTRY WILL DIMINISH, I THINK. AND COUPLED WITH THE UNCERTAIN REVENUES FROM WAGERING DUE TO GAMING COMPETITION, MUCH COULD CHANGE. REMOVING SOME OF THE CHANCE FROM HORSE BREEDING ALSO REMOVES SOME OF THE GLAMOR.
   SOMEHOW, WATCHING A VETERAN JUDGE OF HORSES EYE A 2-YEAR-OLD FOR POSSIBILITIES IS SLIGHTLY MORE FASCINATING THAN GETTING A PRINTOUT FROM A LAB TECH.
 
 

The Tax Cut Debate...Continued...

May 25, 2010
***Do tax cuts pay for themselves?  John's comments on the May 22-23, 2010 edition of the program generated debate amongst viewers.  Below is a transcript of John's comments, followed by viewer response...

*USFR MAILBAG:
   Time now for our weekly look inside the Farm Report Mailbag.  We received this comment from "Old Bob"..."You made a statement this morning to the effect that reduction on taxes does not result in increased (federal) revenue. If I am hearing you correctly, then I must disagree."
   Bob, I will post on our home page sources to back up my statement, most of them from experts on the right.  I was convinced by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office whose analysis suggests the best a tax cut can do is recover about 50 cents of every dollars over a very long period.  Also, Greg Mankiw, a leader of the Bush administration economic team and author of the top-selling economics textbook which states on page 29 that an economist who suggest tax cuts pay for themselves is a "snake oil salesman trying to sell a miracle cure."
   We desperately want to believe we can raise government revenues by cutting taxes as it would allow us to painlessly resolve our grim budget deficit.  Tax cuts are powerful tools for stimulating a slowing economy.  But they must be paid for with spending cuts or debt.  Too often we have chosen debt.  I don't think we have that option now.  
 
*Viewer Response:
#1:
   As always socialist can find statistics to confirm their answers - this  is  just  like the  global warming  crowd bending  the numbers to agree with their finding - why not bring on a conservative to offset your one-sided views.
Don Beaver

#2:
   You are 100% correct on your opinion about tax cuts. While on the surface they can help the economy, it is still a losing proposition for your reasons given. I see a tax "increase" after our November elections here in Illinois. While no one wants a tax increase, I think it is needed.  However, it should be mandated with very selective spending (good luck on that one) by our mostly inept politicians. I still say most of our dollar drain comes from the Windy City. We need a 51st state named Chicago, and let them "implode" without pulling downstate Illinois with 'em.  
   We love your program. Keep up the great work!
Sincerely,
Dan Dauw
Colona, IL

#3:
John,
    You are the one of the few honest commentators on TV.  It is too bad that you are on at 6 AM instead of 7 PM when some of the wingnuts come on and continue to indoctrinate the populous with false assertions.  I'm a conservative democrat or an independent.  I have been concerned about the federal deficit since I was in grade school in the 50's. 
    I thought Jimmy Carter was the best man elected President ever.  I still think so.  But when he ran a $50B deficit I voted for Reagan who promised to balance the budget in 3 years.  It was the biggest lie in history.  The laffer curve was a laugher.  I've been a Republican basher ever since. 
    Many of your comments tell me you lean Republican but you are honest and tell it like it is.  I believe I've also heard you saying it's time to rethink our farm subsidies.  The public had been bamboozled by Reaganomics for decades.  Walter Mondale and George Bush Senior lost because they were honest about raising taxes. 
    The Republican mantra says if you give the Democrats more money, they will just spend it.  The truth is neither party is bashful about spending and the income and expense are not hooked together.  The spending is there ALL THE TIME.  John Phipps for President!!
Gary Vanderwerf
Windom, MN

Do Tax Cuts Pay for Themselves?

May 19, 2010
Dear John,
   As a longtime viewer of your TV show, I enjoy the overall content and views expressed by you and your guests. However, this morning was the second time that I heard economic comments from you that make me wonder about your understanding of Econ 101. If I heard you correctly, you made a statement this morning to the effect that reduction on taxes does not result in increased (federal) revenue. If I am hearing you correctly, then I must disagree. As a retired business professor of over 40 years, and now a rancher in Colorado, I go back to the federal tax reductions under Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush and can only wonder about your statement. What we need at the federal level is a tax break for small business combined with a sharp reduction in federal spending -- thus we must begin to make a dent in our huge national debt. Your reactions?  
Sincerely,  
Old Bob "The Cheerful Malcontent"

***Editor's note:  Following is a transcript of John's comments in last weekend's Mailbag segment...

   TIME NOW FOR OUR WEEKLY LOOK INSIDE THE FARM REPORT MAILBAG.... RUSSEL LEE IN OLDTOWN, IDAHO, HAS THIS IDEA REGARDING FARM SUBSIDIES AND THE OBESITY PROBLEM: "WHAT WE SHOULD DO IN THE NEXT FARM BILL IS DRASTICALLY REDUCE OR ELIMINATE SUBSIDIES FOR CORN AND PUT THAT MONEY TOWARD SUBSIDIZING THE GROWING OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, NUTS AND LOW-FAT PROTEINS." RUSSEL, THE BATTLE BETWEEN FOOD AND FARM PROGRAMS IS TRULY UNDER WAY. JUST THIS WEEK, TESTIMONY AT ONE USDA HEARING FOCUSED ON THE PERVERSE SITUATION OF OBESITY PROBLEMS AMONG THE POOR. IN FACT, EVEN THE WAY WE MEASURE HUNGER MAY BE CONTRIBUTING TO THE PROBLEM. REGARDLESS, I SUPPORT YOUR IDEA. FIRST, BECAUSE I CONTINUE TO OPPOSE FARM SUBSIDIES AS MORALLY BANKRUPT AND ECONOMICALLY IRRATIONAL. AS THE CORN GROWERS HAVE STRESSED, THE PRICE OF SUBSIDIZED CORN, FOR EXAMPLE, HAS ONLY A TINY IMPACT ON FOOD PRICES. UNFORTUNATELY, THE MYTH OF FARM PROGRAMS BEING CHEAP FOOD PROGRAMS IS AS HARD TO LAY TO REST AS THE NOW THOROUGHLY DISPROVED IDEA THAT TAX CUTS PAY FOR THEMSELVES. BUT LIKE YOU, I THINK THE IDEA OF MAKING GOOD FOOD CHOICES MORE POSSIBLE FOR LOW EARNERS IS GOOD FOR CONSUMERS AND PRODUCERS. FOOD STAMPS ARE AN EFFICIENT ECONOMIC TOOL, BECAUSE EVERY DOLLAR GETS SPENT. WHILE I AM SUSPICIOUS OF SIMPLE SOLUTIONS TO COMPLEX ISSUES, THIS MIGHT HAVE POSSIBILITIES. SINCE WE ALREADY STIPULATE WHAT FOOD STAMPS CANNOT BE SPENT ON, SUCH AS ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO, WHY NOT HAVE FOOD STAMPS DESIGNATED STRICTLY FOR PRODUCTS SUCH AS YOU MENTION? DEMAND RISES, DIETS IMPROVE, AND JUST MAYBE, WAISTLINES SHRINK.

Sushi & Food Stamps

May 17, 2010
***We received lots of feedback regarding John's Mailbag segment focusing on sushi and food stamps...a transcript of the segment is below, followed by viewer feedback...

*Farm Report Mailbag:
   RUSSEL LEE IN OLDTOWN, IDAHO HAS THIS IDEA REGARDING FARM SUBSIDIES AND THE OBESITY PROBLEM: "WHAT WE SHOULD DO IN THE NEXT FARM BILL IS DRASTICALLY REDUCE OR ELIMINATE SUBSIDIES FOR CORN AND PUT THAT MONEY TOWARD SUBSIDIZING THE GROWING OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, NUTS, AND LOW-FAT PROTEINS". RUSSEL, THE BATTLE BETWEEN FOOD AND FARM PROGRAMS IS TRULY UNDERWAY. JUST THIS WEEK TESTIMONY AT ONE USDA HEARING FOCUSSED ON THE PERVERSE SITUATION OF OBESITY PROBLEMS AMONG THE POOR. IN FACT, EVEN THE WAY WE MEASURE HUNGER MAY BE CONTRIBUTING TO THE PROBLEM. REGARDLESS I SUPPORT YOUR IDEA. FIRST, BECAUSE I CONTINUE TO OPPOSE FARM SUBSIDIES AS MORALLY BANKRUPT AND ECONOMICALLY IRRATIONAL. AS THE CORN GROWERS HAVE STRESSED, THE PRICE OF SUBSIDIZED CORN FOR EXAMPLE, HAS ONLY A TINY IMPACT ON FOOD PRICES. UNFORTUNATELY, THE MYTH OF FARM PROGRAMS BEING CHEAP FOOD PROGRAMS IS AS HARD TO LAY TO REST AS THE NOW THOROUGHLY DISPROVED IDEA THAT TAX CUTS PAY FOR THEMSELVES. BUT LIKE YOU, I THINK THE IDEA OF MAKING GOOD FOOD CHOICES MORE POSSIBLE FOR LOW EARNERS IS GOOD FOR CONSUMERS AND PRODUCERS. FOOD STAMPS ARE AN EFFICIENT ECONOMIC TOOL, BECAUSE EVERY DOLLAR GETS SPENT. WHILE I AM SUSPICIOUS OF SIMPLE SOLUTIONS TO COMPLEX ISSUES THIS MIGHT HAVE POSSIBILITIES. SINCE WE ALREADY STIPULATE WHAT FOOD STAMPS CANNOT BE SPENT ON, SUCH AS ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO, WHY NOT HAVE FOOD STAMPS DESIGNATED STRICTLY FOR PRODUCTS SUCH AS YOU MENTION? DEMAND RISES, DIETS IMPROVE, AND JUST MAYBE, WAISTLINES SHRINK.

*Viewer Feedback:
#1:
   I see your point about Sushi as a healthy food, however the outrage over food stamps is a little more complex.  I'm ticked when they are used for snack foods too.
   I think food stamps should be limited to staples.  I eat old fashioned oatmeal for breakfast every morning.  The stuff is cheap, very healthy, and it is great if you take the time to prepare it correctly.  Maybe a lot of these people on food stamps would be better off if they learned to cook "staple" foods on a daily basis.  I would estimate saving $100-200 per month by sticking with staples and avoiding processed alternatives. 
Well, my two cents.
John
Au Gres, MI

#2:
    I agree there are many items that should NOT be purchased with food stamps. When I see parents weighing 300, 400 pounds or more leading around young children who are ALREADY 100 pounds overweight and their grocery cart is filled with snack cakes, honeybuns, doritos, potato chips, carbonated drinks, ice cream, candy and, if the kids are 'lucky,' some pizzas or tv dinners, I just have a hard time with that. When my children were very young (more than 35 years ago)  and I had to have food stamps for a short period of time, I did not buy such stuff as that...if I had, my children would not have had any healthy food to eat. I always made sure they had healthy food. If they got chips or cookies, etc., they had to use 'grandma's' allowance money to buy them! If you think the medical problems of Americans are bad right now, just wait a few years...you ain't seen nothing yet! I still have to use food stamps from time to time because I am disabled (crippled), but I don't even buy processed foods for myself! I cook my meals or eat salads from scratch. Only healthy foods should be paid for by food stamps...if people want junk food, they will FIND a way to pay for it...STOP making it easy for people to be SICK!
  
Thank you for your down-to-earth sensible show, I try to watch every week. We need some sanity in a world filled with INsanity. Please don't use my name...it's no one's business if I have to use food stamps sometimes. Until October 2003, when I became crippled, I worked 7 days a week, 365 days a year! I grew up on a tobacco/dairy farm in central North Carolina so you KNOW I had to work to survive. Then I raised my three daughters by myself for 30 years and you know I had to work hard to do that, too (no support from their father). Several of my neighbors who have gardens will bring me the produce they don't use and I either can it, dry it or freeze it. I get people to help me pick up apples and pears and anything else I can get for free and can that, dry it or freeze it, too. I work HARD for my food and I think everyone else should, too. I also garden a little, as much as possible but I try to have staples such as asparagus and sunchokes, things I don't have to plant every year. Lettuce in raised beds, tomatoes on the porch in big pots, etc. Oops, didn't mean to run on for so long! Love all your shows on RFD-TV and tell everyone about it!
Rebecca White
Lincolnton, NC

#3:
   I saw your broadcast of May 15, 2010. I think that people should be able to use food stamps to buy sushi. It is one way to get people to purchase, sample, eat, introduce to their children, and keep eating healthier foods. Healthier habits.
Sheree Lewis

 



More Viewer Comments

May 14, 2010
#1:
   Just wanted to say that the growers in our farming circle hear in Iowa
really enjoy the show!  We all agree on one thing, that we would like
more time devoted to the marketing round table discussion. I wondered
if anyone else ever said the same thing? In volatile times like these
we can't get enough of the commentary from your  guests. Thanks and
keep up the good work!

Darren Pruess

#2:
Dear John,
   I watch you at 5-6am on KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids, IA on Saturday
mornings.  In regards to your comments on budget cuts, you are correct that
people want them for society in general but not if it specifically affects
them.
   Our government debt situation reminds me of a heroin addict that
knows they need to quit but keep buying (to feed an unstainable lifestyle) on
credit (federal deficits and trade deficits)........and the lttle voice
of common sense in the background is saying the "Day of the Overdose" is coming.
Uncle Bob

#3:
Hi John
    I have wanted to compliment you and your ag efforts. Keep up the good
work. It is nice to watch a leader (somewhat modest) approach the ag
sector with just the right slant of actual and what if.
   I might not always agree with some of your views but I am always in
agreement for your reasons for bringing up the issues. I really
appreciate your ability to make your point as well as take the time to have the
issues well researched when you express your views.
   I'm now 59,  after purchasing my first tractor in 1972 a JD4000 fully
equipped for $8100 I have seen a lot too. I started a grain bin supply business in 1976 and integrated
manufacturing and now includes manfacturing of skidsteer hitch conversions to allow
older skid steers to accommodate the new standardized skidsteer hitch. I
also sell about 4000 hay bale spears per year.
www.hayspear.com
   I now ship my products worldwide and as a small business we are building
on to our facility to accommodate more production space for more
employees. Our business has been very good because we care for our
customers.
Alan Washburn
Lamar, MO

Lots of Feedback

May 11, 2010
***Editor's Note:  The following viewer feedback was received in response to the May 8-9, 2010, edition of the "U.S. Farm Report" program, specifically John Phipps' commentary on ag subsidies. We'll begin with the transcript fo that commentary:

   WATCHING THE TURMOIL IN GREECE AND THE HISTORIC ELECTION IN BRITAIN HAVE BEEN FASCINATING THIS WEEK. EXCEPT IF YOU ARE INVESTED IN THE STOCK MARKET, OF COURSE. BUT BEYOND THE USUAL OBSERVATION OF HOW CONNECTED ECONOMIES AND POLITICS ARE AROUND THE WORLD IS ANOTHER MORE PRESSING ISSUE. MUCH OF THE IMPETUS FOR THESE WILD EVENTS IS DISSATISFACTION WITH ENORMOUS DEBTS NOW WEIGHING ON NATIONAL ECONOMIES. NOTHING CAN INCITE AN ANGRY CROWD BOTH HERE AND ABROAD FASTER THAN RAILING AGAINST THE SIZE AND DANGER OF PUBLIC DEBT. I THINK WE ALL GET IT. PEOPLE EVERYWHERE ARE FED UP WITH THINGS AS THEY ARE. BUT ODDLY, THERE ARE VERY FEW SOLUTIONS BEING PROPOSED. LET'S CONSIDER U.S. AGRICULTURE FOR AN EXAMPLE. MANY FARMERS ARE ALSO RIGHTEOUSLY INCENSED AT FEDERAL SPENDING AND WANT SOME SERIOUS CHANGES. HOWEVER, AS WE ARE DISCOVERING AT FARM BILL HEARINGS AROUND THE COUNTRY, THE ONLY CHANGES WE WANT FOR OUR SLICE OF THE FEDERAL BUDGET SEEM TO BE TO MAKE IT LARGER. I HAVE HEARD NO TESTIMONY AT THESE GATHERINGS SUPPORTING THE IDEA OF SIGNIFICANT REDUCTIONS FOR AG SPENDING. IN OTHER WORDS, WE ALL WANT TO REDUCE THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT EXCEPT FOR OUR PART. WHILE OFTEN JUSTIFIED AS A GOOD NEGOTIATION POSITION, I THINK IS IS AN INDICATOR OF HOW UNSERIOUS WE REALLY ARE ABOUT SPENDING REDUCTION. BEING ANGRY IS EASIER AND MORE FUN THAN FIXING THE PROBLEM. 

#1:

Dear John,
I watch you at 5-6am on KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids, IA on Saturday mornings. In regards to your comments on budget cuts, you are correct that people want them for society in general but not if it specifically affects them. Our government debt situation reminds me of a heroin addict that knows they need to quit but keep buying (to feed an unstainable lifestyle) on credit (federal deficits and trade deficits)........and the lttle voice of common sense in the background is saying the "Day of the Overdose" is coming.
Uncle Bob

#2:
Good Morning John,
   The conundrum that is our belligerence toward federal spending/expansive government vs. our parochial selfish interests as farmers is obvious (though virtually every special interest group is as guilty). No one wants to be the lone sacrificial cow to balance the budget. I had considerable experience with this while active in the Farm Bureau at local, state, and national levels. In the late '90s the Wisconsin Farm Bureau adopted a policy of elimination of the federal dairy program, both the marketing orders and the price support program (the price support program, in particular, had always been sacred in Wisconsin). The parochial logic to this position was that these programs helped our competition more than they helped us. But I also think there was the natural appeal to our simple dignity of making it on our own, without a handout. I continue to believe that such an appeal is compelling. 
   So I like to believe that progress can be made if the seriousness of the situation is articulated with logic, that is, the integrity of our national economy is far more important to our selfish concerns as farmers than any benefit we may gain from our piece of pork. But what also resonates is our self-respect as farmers that comes with standing on our own (no more jokes about going to the mailbox to collect our government checks) and our self-respect as Americans who are fiscally responsible (most Americans don't want to be seen in the world media outlets rioting in the streets because our handouts are being taken away, i.e., Greece).    
Gary Anderson
Cecil, Wis.
P.S.  You and I differ on our approach to dealing with the federal deficit. I despise the idea of conceding to additional taxes and believe the budget can be brought back into balance with spending cuts alone. (Pollyannaish? I think not!) But that's an issue for another debate, another day.

#3:
   Consider the following...the obesity and diabetes rates are rising at an alarming rate in the U.S. and much of this is tied to fast foods and sugary soft drinks. The cost of purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables is higher than buying a meal at a fast food restaurant. The USDA subsidizes the production of corn, which keeps its price lower, is often  grown in excess, and which is used to produce high-fructose corn syrup. This product is then added to many of our foods and drinks, and has been scientifically linked to the obesity and diabetes problems. 
   Why can't we ever think out of the box and actually do what is right for the entire population instead of just what is right for the bottom line of the big corporations and special interests? I am a small farmer and rancher, but am increasingly discouraged by what I see going on between government entities, Congress, and the big companies. What we should do in the next farm bill is drastically reduce or eliminate subsidies for corn and put that money toward subsidizing the growing of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and low-fat proteins. All this would help small producers stay sustainable, would divert money from the largest farm operations that don't need it to survive, should allow low-income families to buy more healthy food, and help improve the overall health of us all. Is there anyone out there with courage enough to do what is right?
Russell Lee
Oldtown, Idaho

#4:
   These days, trying to find a farmer from the old days is about as hard as trying to find a Native American Indian. Traveling down a country road in the '60s and '70s, it was a common sight to see an old Case tractor slowing traffic down a two-lane gravel road. Or stopping along a country road to help an old Baptist farmer swearing in the heat of battle with his broken-down International pickup truck (Gears of War). It was not the invention of the lever action rifle that put the Native American farmer out of business of his land, but the modernization of the idea that bigger is only better business in farming (Sign of the Times )...
Bill Andrews
 

#5:
John,
   You hit nail on the head again with U.S. federal budget and "piece of the pie" thoughts. It hit me because my recently deceased aunt, Vivian Dedrick, Lansing, N.Y., gave me her usual "piece of mind" four decades ago and it matches with your words. I would modify those thoughts with the addition of the Northeast's former Regional Cooperative Marketing Agency.
   Both thoughts mirror yours and adding nearly 40 years to it. Viv used a political idea where people in the '60s and '70s voted in politicians to give them something "free." She added that under one type of fed government, farmers had less support, but the country as a whole did FAR better at first and in the end FARMERS improved as support wasn't "thrown at" dying farms where it would do no good.
   RCMA was the perfect example as milk processors actually gave "premium" bribes to farmers to keep them FROM joining RCMA. So many bought the lines that when all washed out the farmers were crying as contracts had fine print and the next year milk companies financially BUTCHERED the farmers and few had recourse, outside of some form of cooperative groups.
  Recently, a story recirculated: Farmer was pushed into adding a $2 MILLION digester. He laughed as workers feverishly built his digester and later admitted, "For a million I would have sold out and saved them a million" and didn't need digester anyway because he was going to retire soon.
   Anyway, just a few fleeting thoughts to add. I caught you as I clicked to RFD-TV to hunt down "Cowboy Church" and see if RFD had added streaming links. Found one  :o)
Pops/Seth Howard 
Apalachin, New 'Yuck'

Viewer's on Drought, Gardening, Pork Production & a "Green" Idea

May 03, 2010

***Editor's Note:  The following feedback was received following the May 1-2, 2010 edition of the program...

Mike (Hoffman), I thought you might be interested in this.
   As you know we are in a drought here (Northern Wisconsin) that has lasted for several years. I have told you before about some lakes up here are drying up. The worst seems to be in southern Bayfield county; a tourist area and a center for retirees who have cabins and 2nd homes on these lakes. There was a report on local TV last week and they showed 3 lakes. On one of them the folks were putting out their dock for the season and they had to go down the beach 14 more feet in order to get to water from last year. On another lake one owner said that his property valve has dropped $30,000 because he no longer has water front property. Probably the worst one is Pigeon Lake were one resident had to fly his seaplane out before he got stranded there. Apparently these lakes, that are pothole lakes and have no sources except drainage, did not exist before WW II. After the war there was a series of very wet years that caused the lakes. Prior to the war Pigeon Lake was a hay field farmed by the Johnson family. I assume that is the Johnson wax family as they have a large family retreat in nearby Cable.
   In the 20's the state declared the North unfit for farming and started replanting trees and pushing tourism. I find it ironic that farming is still hanging on (despite the state and the wolves) and maybe it's unfit for tourism.
Stan Ford 


    Living here in a 4-plex condo in Colorado Springs, I've had a small garden area in back of the building for 4 years.  This year, thinking that they may need to spray outside for termites, I had to expand my garden area, or at least move the area where I will be planting my tomatoes.  Our back yard is in about 3-4 levels, top level nearest the building.  I went downhill from the top level and dug out several good sized rocks just under the surface of the ground.  With them. I built a rock and dirt wall at the bottom end of my new garden area.  Next, I got several bags of composted manure and filled in a large hole where the rocks had been and got it quite level with the existing top level of the back yard.  Then I erected a fence to give it some privacy and also to have a place for my grape vine, which I transplanted, to climb on.  I like to place bricks around my plants then fill the inside of the bricks with potting soil.  As yet they haven't sprayed for termites, so I have another area to plant a row of beets and a row of chard. 
    After planting, I'll be spreading wood chips or some mulch around all of my plants.  Incidentally, when I started my garden, the ground was solid hard clay.  Now, I have nice easily manageable soil and even night crawlers.  A lot of things I learned about adding good things to the soil I learned from working on my uncle's dairy farm years ago near Big Rapids, Michigan.  
    If you would like to come out and see what I did and to see how my garden is doing later this summer, please feel free to contact me at:
Rex Mortensen
Colorado Springs, CO 


    My name is Scott Sands. I am 24 years old from Silver Lake, Indiana. I have been trying since 2008 to get in contact with a contractor to raise for and have had no luck so far. Was hoping you knew or could give me some names of people to contact.  I want to come back to our family farm and this is my best chance at doing so but cant unless I get a building put up to supply my own income. We currently raise around 4,000 head a year for Dykuis Farms out of Holland, Michigan.  We have been raising hogs since 1976 and strongly looking to expand our operation.  I have an older and younger brother also interested.  My younger brother just graduated from Michigan State University with a swine management degree, just like my father.  We have sites approved and ready to build just needing a contractor to supply the swine.  Please or forward this email to anyone that could possibly help.  I thank you for your time. 
Scott Sands 
Silver Lake, Indiana


Hi Al,
    I have a web site that I'd like to have you look at. Click here http://www.wedgeairfoil.com  This design can be made large or small, but it would be especially suitable for farms where most of the electricity could be used by the farm and the extra transported back over the current R. E. A.  lines without the need to install new high power lines as is necessary with large wind turbines.
    I hope you find this interesting. Oh, one more thing, I love your TV program.
Regards, 
Clark Pattee

 

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