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The CommStock Report: How long until they hate us too?

A headline read, "Farmer sentiment plummets as production costs skyrocket." They were referring to a 22-point drop in the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer that surveys farmers. Let's start at the beginning … my beginning. I started writing these reports back in about 1985. One of my first major reports talked about how there were separate producing and consuming economies.

Outdoors: Without plants

If you ask any aquatic ecologist or botanist, limnologist, fisheries or marine biologist about aquatic plants they will tell you how important they are to the health of a lake, an estuary, river, pond or wetland. They’ll tell you about the interactions the plants have with all the creatures below and the delicate balance they help keep with water chemistry and nutrients. They will tell you cool facts about each plant and its habitat.

Outdoors: The need for the 'ned rig'

In the world of fishing, new lures and new techniques are developed regularly. Some of those lure types and techniques take a long time to become popular. Ned Rigs are like that. I’ve been aware of the Ned Rig and Ned Rigging for a good number of years, but have never really put it to use.

It takes a village to raise a senior — Part 5

What a great time of year: long days of sunlight, summer activities in “full throttle” and our nation’s celebration of independence on the horizon.

This past week I have been working on a new piece: “A Song of Liberty (A Patriotic Medley for Organ.)

If you are like me, some of those lyrical phrases become repetitive mental images that bring a smile: “From sea to shining sea,” “for amber waves of grain,” and “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”

Letter to the Editor: Thank you

The Avenue of Flags Board members and their families would like to thank all who came out to help to look for holes on Thursday, May 26, at Riverside Cemetery. Without our incredible volunteers, we could no keep this going.

One Man’s Perspective: Prison labor questions

An article produced by the Iowa Capital Dispatch caught my attention last week. The piece written by Robin Opsahl on Thursday centered around an ACLU prison labor report indicating Iowa prisoners earn less than $1 per hour while working.

Just as a clarification, while they are working in prison.

Extension Outreach: What I remember about my days in 4-H

As we finish weighing in and tagging animals for Clay County Fair, I started to reminisce about my many memories at the Clay County Fair. I had commercial heifers, market steers, prospects calves, junior feeder pens, horses, and photography. The first specific fair memory that came to mind was one of my Junior Feeder pens. They were three home raised steers and they were not ready at fair time. They could have used another probably 30 days on feed to really be finished.

One Man’s Perspective: Election apathy

Voting is not just a privilege, but a civic responsibility.

Members of my family and yours spent time in battle dating back to the Revolutionary War to secure that right and privilege for today’s generation. Blood has quite literally been spilled to ensure the citizenry of today and generation’s past would have the right to go into a private ballot box and make their voice known regarding to representation at the local, state and federal.

Letter to the Editor: Moving into summer

As Father's Day approaches, there are many things for which we can and should be thankful. We live in northwest Iowa, and the Spencer area specifically. Our law enforcement personnel are not defunded or underfunded. Patrol vehicles are out and about the communities, despite the escalating price of fuel. We don't threaten or deface churches and congregations as a protest against views concerning the right of babies to be born, rather than be "terminated" on demand.

Community Billboard: It takes a village to raise a senior — Part 4

With 38 years of Flagfest behind us, the celebration truly is a Spencer tradition, a good one. I must confess I was tempted to miss festivities this weekend and head northeast to my hometown Mapleton, Minnesota, sometimes known as the “Curling Capital of Southern Minnesota.”

Randy’s Review: ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’

The gangs all here for the “final” go around with modern day dinosaurs in “Jurassic World: Dominion.” Mixing the three heroes form the original “Jurassic Park” trilogy with the duo who have battled through the past two films, we’re introduced to a world where the prehistoric beasts and humans are thrown together and forced to live side-by-side.

The CommStock Report: Opportunities to fight inflation with biofuel

One thing that they left out when teaching the civics of making laws in the U.S., is that after they are written they still have to be implemented. That process starts with rule-making where bureaucrats take license to tweak and even reverse the intent that Congress had when making them. This process is heavily influenced by stakeholders. Big Oil has had undue influence over the rule-making process of the RFS to where U.S. Sen.

Pastor’s Column: ‘From sin to salvation …’

In a recent message that I preached, I tried to connect God’s relational capacity and His desire to connect with you and me by using the very first words of the Bible. See if this makes sense to you.

Genesis Chapter 1, Verse 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

The word Elohim translated “God” means deity. He is the God of all creation — everything!

Home Country

Delbert McLain was seen going into Marvin Pincus’s house the other evening. We wondered on it a bit, because those two were less likely to become friends than any other two people in the valley.

But Marvin, an old curmudgeon, is an amazing tier of fishing flies, and Delbert, who thinks blizzards are wonderful because the grass will be greener in the spring, is also an amateur fly tier. But Marvin is the real expert.

On the Side: Battling biases

Gannett, publisher of USA Today, hundreds of newspapers across the country, and most recognizably in our state, The Des Moines Register, announced in recent days that it is reducing editorial pages in its markets. The company said it would be instead doing a more reader interactive format. Editorial pages will not completely disappear from Gannett properties, but they will be less frequent.

Two items in Gannett's announcement struck me.

Letter to the Editor: Gun control laws — the con

This statement on shirts and bumper stickers says it all: “Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People.” Or “When you ban guns, only the criminals will have guns.” Good guys buy guns from legitimate dealers and register their guns. Bad guys buy guns from other bad guys, who seem to have an endless supply of whatever they wish to purchase. If there were laws to stop this particular flow of guns into the wrong population of people, and it was enforced, that could make a difference.

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