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Farm Sense

Author: Farm Journal

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A weekly commentary on some of the biggest issues facing agriculture and rural America. From the farm economy to new ag technology, to rural healthcare, rural living and raising good kids, Farm Sense takes a common sense approach to tackling real-life problems. Guests will join host Clinton Griffiths to discuss these poignant topics and offer a perspective on their expertise and life experiences.
5 Episodes
Suicide and Mental health issues are one of the side-effects of a stressful ag economy. Clinton Griffiths talks to a dairy farmer in Canada about losing a loved one to suicide and with Farm Aid about the recent increase in calls for help to their hotline.  See for privacy information.
June and July are big months for the dairy industry. June is National Dairy Month and began in 1937 as a way to promote drinking milk and help stabilize dairy demand during surplus months.  July is National Ice Month. It gets its roots from a 1984 designation made by then-President Ronald Reagan.  The third Sunday of the month is considered National Ice Cream Day. President Reagan, according to the International Dairy Foods Association, recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food enjoyed by more than 90 percent of the population.  As the dairy industry continues its fight for demand, improved market prices and pressure to consolidate or grow, some smaller producers are finding hope in value-added products. "We risked everything that his family had worked for all those years," said Karen Kelley of Kelley Country Creamery. "We're very fortunate that building an ice cream shop in the middle of nowhere has worked."  The fifth generation family farm started an ice cream business near Fond du Lac Wisconsin. "We make ice cream Monday through Friday and sometimes we have to do it on the weekends if we're running short," said Kelley. With 65 cows and couple hundred acres the farm, that dates back to 1861, needed more income to survive.  "It's five generations and our son will be taking over as the sixth generation," said Kelley. "I will do everything we can to make sure that we're doing the best we can so  we can keep it in our family but only God knows the final outcome." Listen to more about this tenacious family on the Farm Sense Podcast with AgDay host Clinton Griffiths. See for privacy information.
Everyday science makes new and incredible strides in the world of biotechnology and its ability to influence plant biology.  These discoveries will help protect our plants, the farmers that grow them and the industries that rely on them from things like diseases, drought or floods.  That research is already underway and new discoveries are being made thanks to new tools and new meta-analysis. From using spinach proteins grown by a host-virus to protect orange trees from citrus greening to using CRISPR/Cas9 find genes that regulate disease resistance in cacao trees, to finding new corn traits for photosynthetic efficiencies that lead to higher yields, the biohacking future is now.  "Through new tools like genome editing can begin to harness the natural genetic potential of plants in ways that we really couldn't have imagined a decade ago," said Benson Hill Biosystems President and CEO Mathew Crisp. "I think over the next five to 10 years, we're going to see enormous strides in employing those tools to create more choice, more profitability, ultimately, both at the grower level but also for consumers." Listen to more about this fascinating future on the Farm Sense Podcast with AgDay host Clinton Griffiths. See for privacy information.
The world can be a volatile place and American agriculture is facing its own unique headwinds. But is it in crisis? The experts say not yet but that doesn't mean there aren't preparations to be made. Lyle Orwig is a "Crisis Management" expert and has helped some of the nation's largest agribusinesses through public disasters. He shares his thoughts on mitigating the damage, planning for the future and finding calm in the heart of the storm. See for privacy information.
Joe Farris watched his entire Oklahoma cattle ranch burn in April. He lost pasture, already stressed by drought, he lost cattle and miles of fencing. Joe says its the biggest fire he's ever seen; the biggest in 100 years. Thanks to Eddie Fahley at Ag Community Relief and hay from Michigan, Joe is getting help. But why haul hay to the Southern Plains from Michigan? Eddie explains why agriculture gives back to each other in times of need. See for privacy information.
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