Category: Podcasts

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Recorded while in our diesel truck, delivering a heifer to a friend. Trial run for recording in tractor this spring. Farm And Ranch Country Thanks for putting up with the noise.

Muslim Unrest
Protests/revolution in Egypt. Now in Libya, Bahrain, Saudia Arbia,etc. Is Obama going to lose the middle east to radicals much as Carter lost Iran? Where does peace with Israel fit into all this?
Loss of faith by pro-western Arab States in the Middle East. Will oil rich nations look for a new ally, such as China?
Will oil rich nations fund the radicals (buy them off) to leave the current rulers in power?
Why did we not support green revolution in Iran more? Is unrest in Egypt over? If Suez Canal closes oil goes through the roof.
The communist takeover in Russia was not the first revolutionary government there. Is the radical Muslim Brotherhood going to be the eventual leadership in a “new” middle east?
The U.S. cannot fight ’em all. Our military is already committed to major conflicts, Iraq, Afganistan, Korea,etc. We no longer have a 600 ship navy that Ronald Reagan left us with. We are down to a little over 200 ships in the Navy.
Remember lots of this fighting is still based on politics between religious sects.
Sunni/Shiite conflict is an inside Muslim religion war. Has gone on for a thousand years. They really hate and despise each other. Saudis are Sunni and Iran is Shiite. Some in Iran want Iran to become the new Persian Empire.
Where will this end? We need to look at history, not politically correct Social Studies.
Are we witnessing the fall of the US empire and the breakup of the current geo-political matrix?
I also discuss how to survive Chaostan in your ag business.

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Farm BoysHow many farmers do we really need?

It is personal to us, at least one of our children wants to farm.

Farm And Ranch Country

“Beginning” and “Young” farmer may not be the same thing, many beginning farmers have already retired from a 30 plus year career in another job.

How does less farmers affect ag-businesses, farm organizations, politicians, bankers, agricultural retailers, manufacturers, etc? How more dependent on your customers does your business become when you used to have lots of small to medium sized customers, compared to the future when you will have very few, but very large customers?

Agriculture continues to do more with less, which translate into increased productivity per person.

Traditional commercial production agriculture does not need a bunch of “new” farmers. 210,000 (less than 10% of the total number of farmers) farmers produce 85% of total farm production in the United States.  The other 90% have room to grow to join the 10%.

Non-traditional, such as organic, grass fed, local sourced, is one growth area for “new” farmers, but it takes a different kind of farmer than what many “new” farmers from traditional backgrounds want to do. This type of agriculture is only about 1% of total production and is generally located near large population centers.  As long as people have excess money to purchase food, this type should grow in numbers.

Every farm group, political entity, agricultural journal, etc. either has a “new” program for “young” farmers or is writing about wanting more farmers.  Is this concern about farmers or about the survival of themselves? Less farmers probably means less of them.

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Tea Party has changed the Farm Bill debate in ways many in agriculture are Farm And Ranch Countrynot even thinking about.

The Tea Party has a lot of its strength from rural areas.  Rural areas get the majority of farm Bill monetary benefits.

Conservative Republicans have always been against spending big dollars on benefits of all kinds, but have been caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the farm bill.  Rural areas do not like to spend “welfare” money, but farmers and rural people do not necessarily look at farm payments and things like ethanol subsidies as “welfare payments”.

Between the Progressive liberals  which can defeat or weaken most democrats in their primaries and Tea Party Republicans that can defeat or weaken most republicans in their primary, politics is being drawn out to the ends, not the middle.  Not that this is necessarily bad, the people of the United States need to decide what they are, socialists like Europe or Free Market, Freedom loving people that this country was for its first 150 years.

The “middle” is losing ground which is not good for USDA funding, note I did not say bad for agriculture, just bad for USDA funding.  The middle is where things for years was done – but people in the middle did not always survive.  They did it for the greater good.  But, starting with the liberal republicans and then to the “blue dog” democrats the middle went into protection mode.  All for the benefit of itself not for the country.

Now with the Tea Party on the right and liberal groups, such as the Environmental Working Group on the far left, it will be interesting how and with what elected officials come up with for a farm bill in the next 2 to 3 years.

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Where to from here?

Real hot topic in Agricultural circles right now is the question Farm And Ranch Country

“Are Land Prices Too High”.

Conclusion – NO, based on obvious and not so obvious factors discussed in this podcast.