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Archive | RURAL ISSUES

Making do at the end of the easy oil era

By Joel McNair, Belleville, Wisconsin — Talk of $200 per barrel crude oil and seven-dollar per gallon gasoline grabs headlines and earns sound bites, and indeed these things may be reality sooner rather than later. Or they may not. History and common sense tell us the current oil price trend line will not continue unabated. […]

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To succeed, we must plan for seven generations

By Jim Van Der Pol, Kerkhoven, Minnesota — This is the fifth and final column of a series on my thoughts on the impacts our farms and businesses may have upon our families, the communities in which they are located, and ultimately upon the world at large. I started with an illustration of a deflected […]

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Our hope lies with the ‘one degree deflection’

By Jim Van Der Pol, Kerkhoven, Minnesota — Joel has challenged me to begin to think and write about a better and more satisfying life on our farms and in our rural communities. So this and several columns to follow will assume that we all pretty much know the problems, that we as farmers, graziers […]

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Too much ‘cheaper,’ not enough ‘better’

By Jim Van Der Pol, Kerkhoven, Minnesota — I have been thinking about the poster the Kerkhoven blacksmith had hanging on the wall a half century ago, when I would follow Dad everywhere. This was in the mid-’50s, when blacksmiths were still called that, in part because they were not at that time so very […]

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Our pursuit of success vs. our boys

By Jim Van Der Pol, Kerkhoven, Minnesota — We are not doing so well with our boys. I know this because I used to be one. Statistics says that boys are twice as likely as girls to suffer and die from physical abuse. They are four times as likely as girls to commit suicide. Learning […]

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Where farmers and oil connect

By David Kline, Fredricksburg, Ohio — The past week I have been mulling 1874 sketches of two farms in Sangamon County, Illinois. Maurice Telleen, founder and editor emeritus of Draft Horse Journal, sent them to me along with these words, “When I bought these two prints last April in Springfield, Illinois, my thought at the […]

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