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Agriculture

Dairy Farmers’ Struggles

The AP reports Farm bankruptcies on the rise in Upper Midwest: The number of farms filing for bankruptcy is increasing across the Upper Midwest, following low prices for corn, soybeans, milk and beef, according to a new analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. The analysis found that 84 farms filed for bankruptcy in Wisconsin,…

Tales of Unrequited Support

Wisconsinites who went for Trump now find themselves economically disadvantaged despite their support.  It’s become an international tale: how some residents of America’s Dairyland foolishly hoped for better from Trump and now find themselves experiencing worse: Plymouth, Wisconsin, styles itself as “the cheese capital of the world”. The town of 8,445 people, about an hour north…

Gazette Thinks Janesvillians Are Too Stupid to Buy Milk of Their Own Choice

Among the items in its ‘Monday Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down’ editorial, the Gazette argues against allowing Wisconsinites to drink organic milk (subscription req’d).  It’s not merely that the paper’s editorial board thinks that drinking raw imprudent (pointing to illness from a recent incident), it’s that the board thinks sales should remain illegal.   Without a law, the…

A Model Ordinance

These last few months, beginning in September, Whitewater’s Planning Commission has heard, and subsequently considered, a proposal for an urban (backyard) chicken ordinance. The proposal is not mine; I have been a mere observer of this effort. One may write about a topic, but only after months of careful observation, as in this case. I…

How Ag Gag Laws Suppress Free Speech

Utah and Iowa, among other states, have passed ‘ag gag’ laws to prevent the recording of videos that reveal animal abuse at slaughterhouses. These private recordings are a consequence of regulatory failure, just as laws to prevent them are proof of political hypocrisy. If states regulated properly the videos wouldn’t be necessary; likewise, proper regulation…