Farm And Ranch Country Posts


2016 will go down as the election year the parties lost control.

trump bernie save democracy

Both the democratic and republican establishments have taken big hits and have had a lot of exposure in how “the process” really works.

Dan Carlin on his Common Sense podcast calls Donald Trump a “Historical Arsonist” an

d that Bernie Sanders is “Supplying the Firewood”.  Others now

call Trump the Tangerine Tornado for tearing through the republican primary system.

One of the reasons Bernie will not win the democratic nomination is that the democratic party has even a more rigged process than the republicans do.  It is called “super delegates” on the democratic side.

I have always believed sunlight is one of natures best disinfectants and shining the light on how the parties pick “their” presidential candidates has lots of people in the general public in an uproar.  It has always been this way.  Now was just the first time with the “new” media it has been exposed for what it really is.  a rigged game from the start.  The two party system was designed so that whoever won the nominations could go on and be President that would satisfy the “elites” in this country.  Or the establishment if you will.

Occasionally a Barry Goldwater or George McGovern would win and then the establishment figured we will just make sure “our” candidate will win the general, and they did.

I really wonder could the political establishment destroy Barry Goldwater in this day and age with conservative talk radio, the internet and everybody having a phone on their camera.  When it was just the three big liberal networks and they controlled the message it was pretty easy to control the process.  But not now.  Newspapers also had a big say in what went on, but now how many 20 somethings  read a daily newspaper?

Trump has really shown people how to use the internet, social media, and self funding to win.  Jeb Bush’s super pac was spending money on billboards outside arenas where Trump had people in line who had ordered their tickets to the event on their cell phone.  Like they were going to look up from their phone to see a billboard?

Trump has also gone around all the high priced handlers, money bundlers, pollsters, economists, message makers, etc., etc., etc.  He has hurt the business of politics.  He also was meeting voters while early in the campaign other candidates were busy spending most of their time raising money, meeting high priced donors, and having their “message massaged” by all those high priced handlers.

My father is a World War 2 combat vet and this is a quote “first SOB to come along and not be politically correct, I am going to support them”.  Think a lot of people feel that way.

So where to from here.  I think there will be lots of resistance to change, but after lots of people found out they did not even get to vote (Colorado) or their vote was pretty worthless, several things will happen.

I see more open primaries.

I see delegate results tied directly to candidates and who the delegate HAS to vote for at the convention.

People really want to have a say in who is governing them.  I believe we are on the edge of more changes and a weakening of the party structure.

OPEN and HONEST elections are what people want.  Of course I can also say “be careful what you ask for you just might get it”.

Bernie and the Donald, two outsiders who I think if they could have had a chance running as independents for President would have.  But, the system was so rigged they had to work from the inside out and make it happen that way.  Bernie just did not have Donald’s resources.

2020 election especially the primary for whatever party does not win in 2016 should be real fun to watch!


farm size matter part 2I just continue the discussion on farm size from part 1. My first morning’s periscope created lots of comments and discussion so I did a follow up the next day. People are real sensitive when it comes to farm size. Big guys think you are trying to make them look bad. Smaller farmers think the big guys get unfair advantages from input suppliers. The downturn in the farm economy has probably hit the big farmers harder. I also discuss the role of off farm jobs in making a successful operation.


I do a periscope #BreakfastWithBill every morning at 7:30 am central time on the periscope app. You can eitherDoes farm size matter? listen there or on twitter. This is part 1 of a 2 part series I did a couple mornings back to back on farm size.

I discuss size of farms. I talk about a farm outside of San Francisco that is a direct marketing operation and this farm said their “sweet spot” for profitability was 10,000 broilers sold a year, 5000 laying hens and 300 hogs marketed which were raised farrow to finish. This is a pasture operation also. Which is a pretty big size for a direct marketing operation.

I talk about how if you do not have many acres how you probably need to be in livestock and / or vegetables and in a direct marketing or community supported agriculture. I also mention you probably will not be able to drive big 4 wheel drive tractors over lots of acres and drink beer in your shop all winter.

Size is relative to the type of operation one has. 10,000 acres of small grains way out west is not the same as 10,000 broilers direct marketed to individuals in a large city.

Enjoy the discussion.

My marketing plan for 2016.

The following video is about ARC-County Farm Program.

There is a problem in how multi tract multiple county farms are paid.  They are paid at the rate of the county they are administered in, not the county the tract of ground is actually located in.  This could pay you more or pay you less depending on the individual county rate.


Farm Service Agency

Lets face it, the ARC program is complicated.  Payment rates and coverage levels are figured on each individual county.  FSA farms often times consist of multiple tracts and they are often in more than one county.  Here is where the problem is at.  If you pay at the rate the farm is administered in and not where each individual tract is located then payment rates are not correct.

USDA/FSA probably just needs to re-write the software but that costs money.  Money that has already been spent implementing the program and is there no more.  This falls directly on whoever was at the top making decisions about how these programs were administered.  This is why you need a couple farmers at least in the top decision making roles, especially ones who have had experience in farm programs, writing or helping to write the rules.

Farm Programs

My advice is whether or not you received a post card telling you about this and what your options are to go check it out at your county office if you have multiple county FSA farms.  This also stresses the need for Congress and the administration to make sure there is enough money to implement programs correctly.  So much money is wasted on “feel good” stuff and the actual commercial production agricultural programs suffer from lack of funds to administer them.

I talk about computer software upgrades.  Some of the problems are on how FSA keeps historical information at the tract level on each farm.  This information and the desire to keep it causes problems every time you try to improve both the hardware and software of USDA.  Maybe at some point in the future we need to just move forward “leave” the old data behind and start all over building a new data base.

FSA Deadline

For right now you can request a “special” waiver and this has to be SIGNED BY APRIL 15th and get 2014 and 2015 payments done at the correct levels.  For 2016 and beyond FSA is suggesting that you move the tracts in different counties back to their “home” county to avoid this in the future.  Well this is a step back in customer service.  This means for all the years FSA said you could move farms to fit your business patterns and where you did all your business to now go travel around for a couple days to visit multiple county offices.  Confuse your landlord into having to sign more papers not less.  Increasing the numbers of FSA farms and trips, and office visits, etc., etc., etc.  Just fix the software to pay at the tract level not the farm level.  Somebody was not thinking here.

I also suggest that the average Washington D.C. USDA government employee has no idea how commercial production agricultural actually operates.  Heck, most of the average politicians and political aids don’t really understand commercial production agriculture.  Some do, most of our rural Congressmen and aids do, but the vast majority from cities and suburbs don’t.

Direct Payments

My advice to agricultural producer groups in the future is make it real simple because we all are real stupid at times.  And, complication costs money to implement.  I was a big fan of direct payments.  I discuss that at some length.  Yes, we were doing some things to qualify for those payments.  We were complying with the environmental rules of wetlands and conservation compliance and we were required to report acres to qualify for the payments.  They were easy to make, easy to administer and understandable.  Maybe that is why they were a target.  Remember money to administer a new farm program comes from the pool of money available to farmers and ranchers for the programs.  Less is more.

I also discuss what I think is the coming battle for continuation of farm programs, especially crop insurance.

Maybe I should just do a full blown podcast on this.  Thanks for listening, all for now.