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MORNING Midwest Digest, July 23, 2019

A woman was found near Lake Erie after falling off her jet ski.

Market analysts are focusing more on crop progress than crop condition. Only about one-third of the corn has reached the silking stage so far.

A NASCAR crew chief has passed away.

USA Today has published its list of the dirtiest beaches in the U.S. 

The Big Boy locomotive is still out touring around the Midwest.


Photo: bjorn999/Getty Images


Farm Progress America, July 23, 2019

Max Armstrong made a recent visit to Racine, Wis., to see the new AFS Connect Magnum tractor that farmers will get to see at the 2019 Farm Progress Show. The show will offer farmers a look at a range of new technology from new tractors to grain handling systems. Max shares insight on what he learned from Matt Jungmann, events manager, Farm Progress.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

Photo: Farm Progress Staff

4-H kids four times more likely to give back to their communities

4H kids.jpg

County fair season is upon us, and if you have 4-H kids, you’ve likely been spending any free time you have this summer in the barn working on livestock or at the kitchen table putting together indoor exhibits.

I’m a proud graduate of the 4-H program. I loved my years in 4-H where I showed cattle and hogs, judged livestock, exhibited projects such as baked goods, photographs and crafts and competed in the public speaking and demonstration contests.

Through 4-H, I learned professionalism, competition, winning and losing gracefully, sportsmanship, interview skills, community service and so much more.

I’m looking forward to the day when our kids will participate in this youth program. In today’s modern society where kids have so many activities to choose from, I still think 4-H truly offers the most value and teaches the sometimes considered “antiquated” lessons that simply aren’t offered anywhere else.

To truly understand the value of 4-H is to see a kid blossom in the program. There is so much growth that takes place from the 8-year old first-year member to the graduating high school senior. It’s really incredible!

But if anecdotal evidence isn’t enough, consider this 10-year study conducted by Tufts University, which looks at the effectiveness of various youth programs.

Evaluating more than 7,000 adolescents from diverse backgrounds across 42 U.S. states, the study revealed that 4-H youth are four times more likely to give back to their communities, two times more likely to make healthier choices, two times more likely to participate in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities and two times more likely to be civically active.

According to researchers, “The 4-H Study is a first-of-its-kind longitudinal investigation that continues to yield important information about the bases and implications of personal youth development, information that can help launch young people into healthy and productive lives.

“The findings continue to be used widely by youth program professionals and, to an increasing extent, policy makers. These impacts on application move the 4-H Study toward its chief objective: To provide useful scientific evidence about actions that may be taken to enhance the lives of the diverse young people of America.

"One of the conclusions we have drawn from our findings to date is that youth programs cannot remain static; they must expand and change in order to address the diverse and changing characteristics, needs and interests of adolescents and their families,” the study relates.

“We also have concluded that youth programs must address both prevention and promotion; contrary to popular belief, focusing on one does not necessarily affect the other.

“We hope that in the future we can build upon and extend this longitudinal study so we can gain powerful and practical insights into what guides a thriving young person into a productive and successful adulthood.

“With such additional research, we would also be able to determine which personal youth development assets are related to critical life events, such as completing high school, going to college, successful entry into the workforce, or embarking on military service to our nation,” the researchers say.

“Following the 4-H Study participants beyond high school remains an important next step that will provide novel insights into how youth development programs such as 4-H can help adolescents develop into productive and healthy adults. Such knowledge would be of inestimable value for science, for practitioners and for developing the social policy of tomorrow.”

Read the full report here and share with me — if you were involved in 4-H or have kids and grandkids participating today, what do you value most about the program?

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or Farm Progress.

MORNING Midwest Digest, July 22, 2019

Road conditions are in rough shape in many areas. Some gravel country roads are better than the paved ones.

Farm Tech Days in Wisconsin starts this week.

The Big 10 conference had some of the best-attended football games in college football.

A young man at a county fair saluted the national anthem during the middle of a cattle showing competition.


Photo: johny007pan/Getty Images


Farm Progress America, July 22, 2019

Max Armstrong shares insight from a recent visit with a group of farmers who talked about the challenges they faced in 2019. Max offers a look at the concern that farms are increasingly at financial risk. A recent report from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation shows the growing problem facing the industry.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

Photo: zakaz86/iStock/Getty Images Plus

This Week in Agribusiness, July 20, 2019

Part 1

Greg Soulje is in early to talk weather and heat.

Max talks with Steve Johnson, Iowa State University, about keeping costs down, including cash rent. He also offers insight about land stewardship.

Dale Durchholz, Grain Cycles, joins Max and Orion to talk about markets.

Part 2

Dale Durchholz is back talking markets, including the impact of African swine fever.

Chad Colby shares some insight into equipment prep for harvest.

Steve Bridge joins Max and Orion via phone to talk about what’s happening in his listening area of Illinois.

Part 3

Chad Colby is back, talking about autonomous sprayers.

Jamie Johansen visits a suburban farm that produces beef to market to urban neighbors.

Part 4

Dave Fogel, Advance Trading, shared some marketing insights for 2019 with Max.

Greg Soulje is in with the weather forecast.

Part 5

Greg Soulje shares an extended weather forecast, which includes a heat wave…again.

Part 6

What’s in Max’s Tractor Shed? A 1947 Oliver 77.

The FFA Chapter Tribute goes to Waverly-Shell Rock FFA in Waverly, Iowa.

Orion updates the status of his congressional scorecard in Samuelson Sez.

Part 7

Ross Albert, Illinois farmer, talks about farming challenges of 2019, and protecting crops that will need it.

Yes, Jesus would eat meat & you can, too

What Would Jesus Really Eat? Meat Eating Jesus.png

Animal rights activists have a fundamental goal of ending animal ownership, animal agriculture in particular. To accomplish this goal, these organizations will go to great lengths to undermine meat eating and make people feel guilty about using and consuming animal products.

First, they waged a war on beef and nutrition.

They cry, “Surely, meat will kill you! It will clog your arteries and give you cancer, diabetes, heart disease, childhood obesity!”

Next, they tugged on our heartstrings and played up extreme cases of animal cruelty.

They scream, “Look at this sad puppy! Give us some donations, and we’ll save every last animal from their abusive owners!”

Then, they went with environmental concerns.

“The world is ending, and the cow farts are to blame,” they proclaim! “Don’t eat meat or you’ll destroy the planet and steal our natural resources from our children and grandchildren!”

While these tactics have become standard warfare material for these activists, there’s one last battlefield these organizations are aiming their sightes at.

It’s your faith.

“The last barrier for animal rights groups is to win the war on religion,” said Wes Jamison, PhD, associate professor of public relations at Palm Beach Atlantic University. “Christians believe that we were created in the image of God, and animals are not. Activists understand this, so they are taking a philosophical call to arms against Christians to change the way we view animals and people. They want to try to influence people that eating animals is somehow morally wrong.”

Remember the “Jesus was a vegetarian” campaign from PETA years ago? That was just the beginning.

On July 17, Jamison released his newly published book titled, “What Would Jesus Really Eat? The Biblical Case For Eating Meat.”

Written with Paul Copan, PhD, Palm Beach Atlantic University professor and Pledger Family chair of philosophy and ethics, the book is written to refute these claims and alleviate some of the guilt Christians may feel about consuming meat in their diets.

“It’s not a question of consciousness if you choose to eat veal, pork, lobster, steak, chicken or turkey,” said Jamison. “You not only have permission, but a blessing, to eat these animals, and the source of these animals isn’t addressed in scripture.”

Jamison said his new book is an “approachable read” for Christians and church-goers who want to know the philosophical and theological reasons behind eating meat.

“This book is a resource for those Christians who seek a defense of their freedom to raise, slaughter and consume animals, while worshipping God and giving thanks for his bountiful provision,” Jamison writes in the book.

I had the opportunity to read a review copy of the book prior to the release, and it’s a quick read filled with incredible information for the Christian meat eater.

Frankly, the Bible is often used against you or taken out of context to promote a “less cruel” plant-based diet. However, this book really evaluates scripture and shows how meat-eating is a gift from God.

An excerpt from the book reads, “It cannot be overemphasized that animal rights groups are dedicated to redefining and co-opting Christian support for animal use. The HSUS founded its ‘religion and animals’ campaign (later to become its ‘faith outreach program’) to empower theology that opposes the exploitation of animals.”

The book explains not only activist strategies but also shows a troubling shift in cultural values where animals are valued more highly than people. The fast-page turner dives into our God-given right to have dominion over animals, our human exceptionalism, and how we, as Christians, can respond to the growing cry to go meatless.

I devoured this book in a weekend, and I encourage you to check it out if you have a chance. It’s an easily digested read on a very complicated topic, and I’ll definitely be using this as a resource in the years to come!

Books can be purchased from the Animal Agriculture Alliance for $15. Click here to order.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or Farm Progress.


MORNING Midwest Digest, July 19, 2019

There have already been 20% more store closing announced in 2019, than all of 2018.

The congressional August recess is coming up, and farmers should get in touch with them to talk about issues that impact them.

There's been an uptick in loon deaths in Minnesota.

Many places are celebrating the 50th anniversary of man walking on the moon.


Photo: WendellandCarolyn/Getty Images



Farm Progress America, July 19, 2019

Max Armstrong looks at the Chinese swine herd and the impact of African Swine Fever. There’s one key word on the topic: uncertainty. There are many questions about the impact of the disease on the swine market. The key is when the “hole” in the market will develop, which could impact protein supplies.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

Photo: Stringer/Getty Images News