Latest Posts

  • Law and Order Candidate Charged With Stealing Beer

    Remember Dale Peterson, the Republican candidate for Alabama Agriculture Commissioner who released one of the greatest campaign ads of 2010, attacking the "thugs and criminals" that "don't give a rip" about the state? According to Walmart security, he's one of those criminals, charged with shoplifting beer from a Hoover, Alabama store…

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    Tags: Agriculture, Alabama, Crime
  • The Dodge Super Bowl Ad, Explained for Non-Farmers [VIDEO]

    And on the day after the Super Bowl, God looked down on a bleary-eyed America and said, I need someone to re-watch that Paul Harvey-exploiting Dodge Ram commercial and explain it to the overwhelming majority of Americans who can't tell a farm from FarmVille. So God made a blogger.

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    Tags: Advertising, Agriculture, Cars & Vehicles, Super Bowl
  • Everything You Need to Know About the Milk Cliff

    Ugh, why are we talking about dairy products instead of the "fiscal cliff?"

    Because the fiscal cliff is bullshit. The panic surrounding it has been concocted by media outlets that like countdown clocks a lot more than they like explaining policy. If Congress fails to extend the current tax rates and spending levels before midnight tonight, they can always amend the tax code in January, which means your taxes will go up for two weeks. We will all find a way to get by. Meanwhile, there's a chance you won't be able to afford a milkshake in January, so let's talk about what matters.

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    Tags: Agriculture, Fiscal Cliff, Food, Tom Vilsack
  • What Should We Call the Milk Cliff?

    Unless Congress reauthorizes the current milk price support program that expires on December 31st, a 1949 dairy price support law will go into effect, sharply raising prices for consumers while guaranteeing a financial windfall for dairy interests.

    Much like the fiscal cliff, keeping the old law on the books was meant to goad Congress into passing a new farm bill, but if congressional incompetence remains more powerful than the dairy trigger, prices could rise to $6 or $8 per gallon. You can call it the milk cliff, or see what else the Internet hive-mind has come up with:

    1. The Dairy Cliff

    2. Udder Disaster (h/t Todd Zwillich)

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    Tags: Agriculture, Food, Twitter
  • Rain God Barack Obama Responsible for Drought, Says GOP

    To his credit, Speaker John Boehner has never entertained theories of Barack Obama being a Kenyan-born secret Muslim.

    But neither is the president a boring mainline Protestant. The truth is much more interesting: President Obama is the Hawaiian deity Lono, a rain god sometimes known as Lono-makua (Lono the Provider) for his ability to part the skies and bring fertility to starving crops.

    Yet for some reason, Obama-Lono is displeased. Maybe it's the insufficient tribute of his relatively lackluster fundraising. Maybe we have not sacrificed enough Christian gun-clingers in his honor. Whatever the reason, Boehner would like Obama-Lono to stop taking it out on Midwestern farmers…

    Obama, "continues to blame anyone and everyone for the drought but himself," reads a release from Boehner’s office posted online and distributed to reporters Monday. The quote was attributed to Boehner himself in a Financial Times story. The online post and the press release came from Boehner spokesperson Kevin Smith.

    The statement was later amended to read, "the president continues to blame anyone and everyone for failing to respond to the drought but himself," but the Republican National Committee went ahead with an attack blaming Obama for a 15% hike in the price of groceries, which can partly be attributed to the drought.

    Whatever the haters say, this approach to the drought represents an improvement in conservative messaging. Not only do these Obama critics reject Islamophobic conspiracy, they're beginning to accept anthropomorphic climate change. Though in this case, the "anthro" is just one guy.

    This is also means the Republicans believe that government has some role to play in disaster relief, either by passing a farm bill or literally making it rain, a definite improvement from the old philosophy of beating the drought with nothing but bootstraps and Boehner's tears.

    Photo by David Greedy/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Agriculture, Barack Obama, Climate Change, John Boehner, Republicans, Weather