Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fair Time

Some of the best entertainment this time of year is the local county fairs and - then the Minnesota State Fair. The cost is reasonable, the food is great and the people watching is unique.

Many of the exhibits are a testimony to the creative talents of people of our state. These people are busy creating wonderful, beautiful things and should be rewarded. They are "learning by doing" (The 4-H motto.) Also they are keeping busy which is good for mind and body. Congratulations to all fair participants for a job well done.

P.S. If you want to get a pulse of people's feelings or beliefs, a fair is the place to go. They are people of all races, all income levels, and all levels of intelligence. end

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another Day, Another Gaff

Michele Bachman has a lot to be proud of. There are few people (men or women) who could rise from first bring elected to office in 2000 to being one of the top three (at this time) vying for the Republican endorsement for President.

As smart as she is and the strengths she has; are all brought to nought when she constantly says things that are not accurate. I have read that she has a campaign advisor who is top notch. But why does not this person or someone else screen her speeches so she gets her facts straight?

One of the pundits stated that she has been so successful because she "puts a face" and "gives a voice" to the anger people are feeling. Evidently there is a need for that "face and that voice".
While Bachman might be the face and the voice now, I want a Joe Friday candidate. "The facts, Maam, give me the facts."

My problem with her is the fact that she presents a woman candidate in a bad light. Women candidates are more highly scrutinized than men and she has been the subject of undue scrutiny. But it is a fact of life for women candidates today. That is why I am upset that she keeps making these gaffs or mistakes, or errors. The general audience will write her off an "just another ditsy" female. Being the subject of late night comedians never helped anyone, especially a woman, running for office. end

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Hope I'm Wrong

The news has it that President Obama is visiting Minnesota and will hold a town hall meeting in Cannon Falls. I wish that he would use a different tactic.

The country needs to hear some positive news and there is positive news in Southern Minnesota and especially in the heart of agriculture and agri industry. Okay, maybe I am too over the top in my assessment of the economy of ag - but all you have to do is look at what farmland is selling for to know that the ag industry is a heck of a lot better off than the rest of the economy.

Why couldn't the president visit a farm or agribusiness where things are going well and give the rest of the United States a glimpse of something positive?

I have a feeling that the town hall meeting will mean people going there griping about how bad government is running things which just emphasizes the downer feelings we all have. Certainly those comments are justified - but these actions will do nothing to change or improve the attitudes of all parties regarding the future of our country.

People need to know that there are some good things happening in the farm belt. end

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

I'm Surprised

Some of us like to live abiding by the motto that "bigger is not better". This has been hard to do when it comes to the agriculture industry. Mostly, the advances in our industry have come with "getting bigger". This is how we have managed to keep food relatively cheap in America.

I just heard about a study at the University of Wisconsin. They studied 14,000 dairys in that state. The size of the study herds were between 140 head and 800 head. (In other words all over the board.) The study found that the largest of these herds had the lowest somatic cell count. Evidently the larger herds are profitable enough so they can hire excellent management and that leads to success. end

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


The following is a resolution submitted to the local unit of the Nicollet County Farm Bureau. This is the first step for the formulation of state policy for the state Farm Bureau organization. It will be discussed, debated and voted either up or down at the Nicollet County Farm Bureau Annual meeting on September 10. If adopted, the resolution will go to the state resolutions committee and if adopted there, stands for adoption at the Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Farm Bureau.

Whereas Minnesota has always held education and a highly qualified work force in high regard and…..

Whereas in recent years, our elected leaders have borrowed funds from school districts in order to adopt a balanced budget and….

Whereas it is highly unlikely the school districts will ever be repaid and….

Whereas this practice has placed a heavier burden on property taxes now and in the future and….

Whereas in recent years our elected leaders have used accounting gimmicks and shifts instead of acceptable budgetary practices and…..

Whereas the Fitch Rating Service has lowered the state of Minnesota’s bond ratings from the highest grade of AAA to an AA+ rating and…..

Whereas the Commissioner for the office of Minnesota Management and Budget has stated the rating down-grade was caused by elected leaders in recent years relying on temporary solutions to budget problems and…..

Whereas in the past, when Minnesota’s rating was downgraded, it took 15 years to regain the highest rating……

Therefore be it resolved that the Nicollet County Farm Bureau urges our elected state leaders to adopt a state budget by using generally accepted accounting principles that will pass the scrutiny of the Government Accounting Standards Board.