Sunday, June 12, 2016


Every day for four days now the heat and humidity built up in layers until even the welcome breeze could not dispel the heavy oppressive atmosphere.  Toward evening the thunder the dog had heard all day became audible in the west.  The breeze died, the heat rose, the sows puffed under their sprinklers, the hogs lay in the doorways, and the cattle grouped around their water tank.  The thunder became a steady roll, like a huge freight train; finally a few drops fell kicking up dust on the yard.  The wind switched to the west, and the rain came in buckets.  A small river fell in a waterfall from the eave trough at the house corner, water covered the driveway, and the other buildings fell out of sight. 

After a time, the rain eased and then the sun came out.  There was a rainbow at the garden gate.  Just under an inch in five minutes, with more to come, looks like.  The cattle spread out grazing.  The sows wallowed in the puddles, the chickens came back out of the coop.  The rain fell on thirsty corn and hay.  Also on some hay cut and in swaths for baling.  Tomorrow's work plans just got changed.  A prairie thunderstorm! 


Sunday, June 5, 2016


My first memories are of the early fifties, a time by which the industrialization of American agriculture was well along.  My lifetime in this business and on this farm has seen the trend develop and accelerate until we now have one six thousand cow dairy and two 10000 cow dairies within twelve miles of the farm, with another 10000 cow job only two miles distant, proposed to start in 2017.   The goal of these dairy factories as nearly as I can see is to use up fertility (soil and animal) and get the menial work of foreign young men to drive milk prices down far enough to drive any and all dairy farmers out of business.  Industrialism is the primary tool of capitalism and this is what capitalism does.  It turns everything and everyone into garbage or money and collects the money for its own ends. 

Meanwhile, today I watched my granddaughter play on equipment at a local park with perhaps several dozen other children.  I read the plaque at the site and noticed that every donor of note was either an individual or a family owned and run local business. WalMart came in at the bottom of the list.  The shark joining the prey.  I wonder where this all ends.