Filed under: Farm, Farm Bureau, food, food safety, Minnesota, Politicians, Politics, travel | Tags: farm, Farm Bureau, Food, food safety, Minnesota, politics, travel
Part of March was spent in the halls of politics for me.The 8th of March my bride and I went to D.C. to visit our daughter who is in grad school and see what life is like for her this year. (http://minnesotafarm.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/into-another-land/)
While there the rest of the Minnesota Farm Bureau delegation arrived. We got a chance to visit with American Farm Bureau President Stallman and see D.C. from his 10th floor office.There were 20 of us from Minnesota and we usually split into two groups to visit with congressional members and all 20 of us in a senate office.
The week we were there was the time that Obama was pushing congress and the senate to do something about the budget. That meant that our pre-arrainged times could be changed if the president decided to visit. We were lucky to get to the offices of 7 of the 8 representatives from Minnesota. We presented out requests, tried to add in a few personal stories, and left hoping they would get something done.
Until the “Sequester” is figured out there is really going to be nothing that can be done in Washington. One of our concerns was in the meat packing industry. Because of lack of funds, meat inspectors were going to have their work weeks shortened. This could mean a lack of inspection and possible problems for our food supply. That issue seems to have been taken care of, but the concerns about paying for government services are still there.
I was only back a few days and I was off to St. Paul for our Ag Week visit to our Minnesota legislators.
Farm Bureau members from several areas of the state were in town to express our concerns about future legislation. These visits rarely do much more than help out representatives put a face on a name. It will be our future contacts on behalf of upcoming bills that will really have an impact. I always enjoy the visits and the chance to be brought up to speed on what is happening in politics. I hope to see you someday on one of my visits.
Filed under: Biofuels, cars, ethanol, Farm, food, Minnesota, Politicians, Politics, travel, wood heat | Tags: car, cars, ethanol, farm, Food, machines, Minnesota, politics, transportation, travel
I’ve made no bones about it, I’m in favor of ethanol. The fact that I’m part owner of a small ethanol plant here in Minnesota does color my perception. That ethanol is cleaner burning than gas or diesel is a given. Bio-fuels are a renewable resource, being produced new again every year.
I’ve alway been one who hates to pay any more money to Big Oil than I have to. The main heat source for my home and shop are dead trees harvested from my farm. I have air to air solar collectors on my house and shop. I try to keep the house tight and all equipment operating at peak efficiency. I limit my trips as much as possible and will use public transportation when practical.
Big Oil does not like my little ethanol plant. They also do not like conservation practices that use less fuel, they want you to keep paying them for ever. In fact they don’t seem to like anyone who gets between them and their fat profits, and they are very, very fat profits.
Big Oil is worried. They have to be to keep saying the bad things about ethanol that they have been for so long. They try to tell us that ethanol is bad for our cars when the same cars we use are on the road in Brazil and in some cases are using 100% ethanol and have been for many years. They try to tell us that using more ethanol is causing our food prices to go up when more of your food dollar goes to oil related costs than to the farmer. They push a message of the carbon foot print of farming when they blow much, much more carbon into the air than any other industry. Big Oil has convinced our politicians that agriculture does not need any financial help so that they can protect the much larger tax breaks and hand outs that they take in.
This is nothing more than a coordinated effort by oil companies and refiners who will stop at nothing to hold their near monopoly on the liquid fuels market in the long quest to blame others for their absurd profits and never-ending increasing gasoline prices at the pump. I find it very interesting that the states with the largest ethanol industries have some of the lowest gas prices in the nation.
All we hear about is a domestic energy boom; more drilling and new oil and gas reserves. But nothing changes; gas prices still increase and every time it’s the other guys fault, not the oil companies. Let’s be honest here. The oil industry is experiencing record profits on the backs of the American consumers. And their industry sees renewable fuels such as ethanol that can be produced far less expensive than gasoline as a threat and they will go to great lengths to discredit any competition through misinformation and smear tactics. Enough is enough – it is time to call this what it is – an orchestrated sham by the oil companies to manipulate markets, cause panic and attempt to use false data to blame an industry that has grown to be a threat to their record profits and bottom lines.
Ethanol is a win-win for America, creating jobs and revitalizing rural economies, it is better for our environment and it is reducing our dependence on foreign oil, all while providing consumers a choice and savings at the pump. It is time for Americans to hear from someone other than oil companies, which are holding American consumers hostage to excessive prices and a dangerous dependence on a finite resource.
Filed under: Ag education, Ag promotion, Animal care, Biofuels, ethanol, Farm, farm animals, Farm Bureau, food, food safety, genetic modification, Minnesota, Politicians, Politics, travel | Tags: Agriculture education, biofuels, ethanol, farm, Farm Bureau, farm bureau members, Food, food safety, government, Minnesota, minnesota farm bureau federation, politics, travel
Filed under: Politics, science | Tags: censored, censorship, freedom of the press, politics, science
Our nation, which has long held freedom of the press to be among our most cherished liberties, the U.S. currently ranks 47th in the world for true freedom of the press. Almost every one of our news outlets is owned by one of just six multinational conglomerates. Increasingly, the editorial content of our press is controlled by advertising dollars and internal corporate conflicts of interest. The nonpartisan organization Reporters Without Borders ranks the U. S. behind such countries as Niger, El Salvador and Estonia. We need to be asking ourselves why? Increasingly the news is censored to suit someones agenda. All too often what the press reports is opinion and not science. Check the credentials of the person reporting. Are they an expert in their field or a celebrity with an opinion.
We need to be asking ourselves some questions when reading or viewing any news story; If this is not true, who will suffer? If this is true, who stands to benefit.
Filed under: Politics, travel | Tags: big oil, environment, gas prices, politics, transportation, travel
Gas prices have increased across the country again. As the consumer struggles with how to pay for everything, the one item that is most effecting our prices is going up.
There is no way to avoid it. When oil prices go up, we pay more for everything that comes to our stores. As oil prices go up we end up with less and less in our pockets after every paycheck. The only ones who seem to be getting bigger paychecks are those in the oil industry. I say it’s time for oil companies to stop getting handouts from our government.Oil companies are proud to tell us that they are finding more oil here in the U.S. so that we will no longer be dependent on foreign oil. Consumers are buying more fuel efficient cars and driving less. These two items should give us lower prices at the pump, they are not.
For some reason Big Oil is taking every opportunity they have to increase their profits, all the time holding on to every government hand out they can find. If any group should come up with an alternative to fossil fuels, you can be sure that Big Oil will be right there working on our government to get laws passed that will cripple that competitor, and they are using taxpayer dollars to do it.
Burning of fossil fuels is the biggest threat we have to the environmental and economic future that we have. As long as big oil keeps putting road blocks in front of all alternative types of energy we will be stuck with it. It’s time to say no to Big Oil. Contact the president, your senator and your congressperson and tell them to end handouts to Big Oil. We all will be better off for it.
Filed under: Ag education, Ag promotion, Farm Bureau, Minnesota, Politicians, Politics | Tags: Agriculture education, Farm Bureau, farm bureau federation, farm bureau members, Minnesota, minnesota department of natural resources, minnesota farm bureau, minnesota farm bureau federation, minnesota pollution control, politicians, politics
It’s been a long week. But one of the most interesting days I had this week was spent in St.Paul at the Farm Bureau Council of County Presidents meeting.
Each year the Minnesota farm Bureau’s county presidents get together to find out what is going on in our state and national politics. We have people from many different state, and if we can get them, federal organizations come in and brief us on the things happening in their area. It is a chance to get to know each other and to find out about issues we will be dealing with. Below is a picture of myself with some area Farm Bureau members as we greet our State Senator Bill Weber.The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) recently held the Minnesota Farm Bureau Council of County Presidents meeting on February 5 at the University Club in St. Paul with 120 Farm Bureau leaders, elected and appointed officials in attendance. County Farm Bureau presidents heard from state legislators, as well as Minnesota Agriculture Water Resources Center Executive Director Warren Formo, Minnesota Board of Animal Health Executive Director Dr. Bill Hartman, Minnesota Department of Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Douglas Knowlton, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner John Stine, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Deputy Commissioner Dave Schad, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Policy and Government Relations Director Bob Meier and Minnesota Department of Agriculture Deputy Commissioner Jim Boerboom. Pictured left to right are Dave Van Loh-Minnesota Farm Bureau District III director, Kevin Bock-Redwood County Farm Bureau vice president, Mike Wojahn-Cottonwood County Farm Bureau president, Senator Bill Weber (R-Luverne), Susan Hansberger-Nobles County Farm Bureau, Tim Hansberger-Nobles County Farm Bureau president and Rachel Daberkow-Jackson County Farm Bureau president.
Filed under: fertilizer, history, make a difference, Politics, safety | Tags: culture of violence, gun control, gun violence, guns, history, politics, safety, violence
Again another senseless shooting. Again innocents die. Again the press and many anti-gun people talk about the culture of violence we live in, but do we? A culture of violence is one in which it is, or seems to be, right to be violent, is that what we have here?
I would have to say that here in the “Western Nations” we do not. We here look at ourselves and wring our hands and talk of all the gun violence, but we are safer here from gun violence than many other countries. If you want gun violence look to northern Mexico, the Middle East or parts of central Africa, there you have gun violence.
In most western nations we have police and a rule of law that is lacking in much of the rest of the world. Many think that because we still have people being killed with guns we must do more to ban guns, and yet violence will still find a way.
I myself have been bullied and treated violently, yet there was no gun involved. Every day we have adults and children treated violently, yet without guns. There are many more ways to die besides with a gun. For most of human history there were no guns, and yet people died at the hands of other people. Getting rid of guns will not stop the violence. If there were no guns people will still find ways to kill large amounts of people. Just look at the huge number who died when a few people took over three airplanes with box cutters, or the number who died when a fertilizer bomb went off in Oklahoma City.
We humans have not yet removed ourselves that far ancestors who had to use violence just to survive. There still are bad people out there who must be controlled, and because of that we still need people willing to use controlled violence to protect us. I bless the soldier and police force that has taken on that job.
Do I long for a day when there is no more violence in this world, Yes I do. Do I expect to see it in my lifetime, no, nor perhaps even in the lifetime of my grandchildren. Despite what we want to believe, violence is written into our DNA. It is well controlled by only a few, much of the rest of the people in the world are only a split second from doing something violent. Most likely that violence will be to protect someone they love, but it is there.
So please, act for and promote peace and non-violent activities. Just do not expect laws controlling guns to stop violence.
Filed under: Politicians, Politics | Tags: conservative, Democrat, politics, Republican
I cannot stand it any longer! The whining of the Republican party of how they need to get more conservative if they expect to win elections has got to stop.
I’ve been a life-long conservative. I want lower taxes, a better business climate and the government to leave me alone without putting too many rules in the way I do business. I expect the American economy to fluctuate, there will be bad times and good times and during the good times we must put money away for the bad times, if you do not, expect to fail.
I am not however, one who feels that to be a “true conservative,” you must lock out those from other lands, oppose all abortions, oppose socialized medicine in all forms, oppose the teaching of evolution, think of global warming as a sham or hate your neighbor because he believes something different from you.
For many years now I have watched the Republican party make their tent smaller and smaller as they exclude those who are in the middle and tighten the definition of being conservative. At the same time Democrats have expanded their tent to include more and more groups until they are both center and left. No wonder the Republicans have a hard time winning. I’m sick of it!
I know the news will again be full of complaints of how Republicans feel they have been cheated, but I place the blame firmly on those doing the complaining. Until the Republicans can wake up and realize that they are the problem now and that we must all work together to make this country great, they will be a shrinking party.
This month the Republicans got kicked in the butt, but they may need to be kicked in the head before they catch on. The longer we continue to make our definition of conservative tighter, the harder it will be to win elections.
Filed under: Politicians, Politics, Vote | Tags: current-events, government, politicians, politics, vote
The election is over. It doesn’t matter now if your candidate won or lost, what matters is what you do with your time until the next election. Will you moan and whine because you did not get your way? Or perhaps you are celebrating because your candidate won! Your work is just beginning.
Our elected officials rarely hear from the general public. They hear from lobbying groups all the time, and they do not want to believe what these groups tell them. They want to hear from you. Stay informed. Write letters, send e-mails, make phone calls, tell your elected representatives what you believe. Even if you did not vote for them, talk to them! If enough people like you let them know what you want, they will listen. If you do not stay in contact, you will get something you do not want.
The election is over, now the real work begins.
Filed under: Biofuels, cars, ethanol, Minnesota, Politicians, Politics, travel | Tags: big oil, biofuels, car, cars, gasoline prices, gasoline usage, machines, Minnesota, NASCAR, politics
Why is it that while Americans are now using 8% less gasoline, gasoline prices are going up? Who stands to profit by higher gasoline prices? Big Oil that’s who.
Why is it that while American ethanol producers are producing ethanol at $1 per gallon less than gasoline, oil company blenders do not choose to buy ethanol to help hold the price of gasoline down? We are currently shipping ethanol to other countries, including Brazil which used to be a net ethanol exporter. Who stands to profit by using less ethanol and more gasoline? Big Oil that’s who.
I’m lucky to have a blender pump in my area so that I can buy 20%, 30% or even 50% ethanol if I choose to lower my price of transportation fuel. Many areas have to search to find 85% ethanol, which is the most available alternative fuel. I use 20% ethanol in my car whenever I fill up, no engine problems. I’ve even used 30% ethanol for short periods with no problem. E20 and E30 give you more power at less cost.
Tests by universities here in Minnesota show no adverse effects on automotive engines for using 20% ethanol blends. NASCAR is has completed 1.5 million miles with no engine issues using 15% ethanol. Despite all of this testing, Big Oil supporters are calling for more testing. They do not want to miss out on one of your dollars making it to their pocket.
It’s time to tell the money guzzlers at Big Oil to back off. They don’t need any more help from our government, they are already making record profits.
Reduce your consumption of gasoline, and increase you consumption of home-grown biofuels like ethanol. Drive less. Car pool or use pubic transport whenever possible. Reduce your speed on the highway. Do everything you can to cut gasoline usage. Stop sending your money to Big Oil.