Tailgate Talk: A Lifetime Connection to Agriculture

02:43PM Feb 09, 2013
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p58 Talkgate Talk

Investor Jim Rogers reads a current issue of  Farm Journal, quite different than the magazine he sold in the ’60s.

Written by Sara Brown and Sara Schafer

In some way, agriculture plays a role in all of our lives. In an interesting twist, internationallyknown investor and business author Jim Rogers got his first taste of agriculture not by working the land but by selling magazines.

In 1961, Rogers was attending college in Iowa. "I was an 18-year-old kid, walking from farm to farm with another college student, selling Farm Journal for a nickel a copy," he says.

One day the local sheriff got suspicious about the two unknown boys and decided to investigate. Rogers says they explained they were working their way through college selling Farm Journal. After confirming they were legitimate, the sheriff then asked where they went to college. "My buddy said, ‘I go to Princeton, and Jim goes to Yale.’ The sheriff replied, ‘I should arrest you just for that. I couldn’t even get into the University of Iowa.’ "

After being fond of agriculture and farmland for decades, Rogers recently returned to Iowa to speak at a farmland investment conference. "I’m very optimistic about farmland and farming," he said. "People used to think I was nuts when I said farming was going to be great. They thought I was joking—and now they are all trying to buy farmland."

Farmland will be a great way to preserve and increase wealth over the long run, he adds. What intrigues him most about agriculture is the high average age of the U.S. farmer.

"We are running out of farmers. I’m not suggesting agriculture will be the promised land for the next century, or even 50 years, but I would urge young people to think about farming," he says.

What a Day!

Worse than Snow

p58 Talkgate Talk  What a Day

A busy harvest season this past fall had the farm employees working late into the night. This farmer went in for a short nap and came back out the next morning to find a blanket of corn on the ground!

If you’ve had one of those days—or caught someone else’s on film—we’d love to share it with our readers. E-mail high-resolution images to [email protected], or mail prints to What a Day!, Farm Journal, P.O. Box 958, Mexico, MO 65265. Photos for publication will be selected on a first-come basis.

Stat Rack

The mighty Mississippi River is vital to U.S. commerce:

3 mph
Average surface speed of the water at New Orleans; at the headwaters, it runs at 1.2 mph.

Longest river in the world

U.S. states and two Canadian provinces are drained by the Mississippi’s watershed between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains.

Dams moderate the Mississippi River’s flow from its origin in Lake Itasca, Minn., to St. Louis, Mo.

Of grain exports from the U.S. are shipped on the Mississippi River through the Port of New Orleans and the Port of South Louisiana.

2,340 miles
Long from Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico.

Depth and width regulated by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1930, which called for a navigation channel to accommodate multiple-barge tows.