—Wondering where to find the best accounting of where the CARES funding was spent in Illinois.
—Has there been any effort in Illinois to end daylight savings time?
—What percentage of big agribusiness does Illinois have (vs smaller family farms) compared to Iowa and other Midwest states? Are we family farm friendly?
- Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 7:45 am:
The last QB got the “LeBron vs. Michael Jordan” answer wrong, and look what happened. But I suppose most Cub fans will excuse this one considering that the team is often unwatchable these days.
The wind is pretty much out of my White Sox sails right now. I have been such a fan of Adam Engel’s outfield defense and it is just unbelievably unfortunate for both him and the team that he, too, has been on the IL when he is so needed out there to help cover and compensate for the other OF injuries.
U.S. Taxpayers paid 100% of the development costs of the Moderna vaccine whose patent is owned by a private company even though it’s development was 100% taxpayer funded. “We” haven’t made the patent public.
Whatever your thoughts are on the United States and what ideal we should be striving for the fact that we all paid for the development of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and are refusing to share what we developed with the rest of the world in order to prioritize a private company’s patent and long term profit over the lives of others is hopefully enough to outrage you.
I’m not originally from Chicago, so I’m not a Bears fan. But I honestly do hope Fields does well. I know too many Bears fans who have had to put up with too much mediocrity for so long. They deserve some excitement on the field.
This really depends on how you define “family farm.” The over all concentration of rural land ownership is a real thing which has caused a significant reduction in people actually earning an income or a majority of their income from farming. There are folks who will be raising a handful of cattle on a handful of acres who will call themselves a farmer when they’re 100% depending on other income sources because farming can also be an identity.
In general there is no place in the United States that is a “family farm” friendly as the industry has broadly shifted towards commodity production and the buyers of most things produced on a farm have been allowed to concentrate their industries, or vertically integrate to the point where the folks who actually feed and raise livestock are contract workers feeding and raising live stock that belong to the company that owns the meat packing plant and fills the orders to major suppliers.
So the question of whether or not we’re family farm friendly greatly depends on how much of the illusion of farming you’re distracted by and whether or not you include hobby farmers (for lack of a better term.) Otherwise it’s like pretty much every industry in the United States — unless you’re big, you’re struggling.
That may be true for the livestock business, but not as much for corn and soybean farmers. Or maybe it depends on what you mean by big.
Anecdotally, the livestock people I know are mainly in the breeding/breeding stock business. They seem to be doing very well. The feedlot people have to be big operations it seems. Again, that is anecdotal from a small sample.
Corn and soybean growers is a bit tougher to discerene. The acreages have increased quite a bit but I think (again, mostly anecdotal) the money has continued to be good either due to commodity prices or subsidies. Most farmers don’t just farm, they are also seed salesman, sell crop insurance, or they are hail/wind adjusters. Those who own their own trucks also use those trucks to haul all sorts of non-farm materials when not used for harvest or moving grain.
Farmers are smart and know how to maximize their production beyond the fields. Illinois is very family farm friendly.
Candy - you’ve done a good job on the whole “family” farm angle. Nearly every grain farm in the state is a family one - just now that one family farms what maybe 8 or 9 used too.
Are we friendly to family farmers? Most farm policy is set at the national level. I think the state has tried to do what it can to encourage upstart farm operations. But they can really only do so much.
From what I know of the family grain farms, they went big and somewhat corporate many years ago. Some of then have set up multiple separate corporations to limit their risk. For example, one owns the land, another owns the equipment, and yet another actually does the farming.
And every one of them leases 5 to 10 times more property to farm than they own.
Those are the real farmers here in Illinois. There are lots of property owners who lease their land, sometimes for cash and sometimes for shares. The cash leasors are just landlords, and are often trusts managed by banks. I’m not sure I would call them farmers, even though they hold the land.
- TinyDancer(FKASue) - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 10:35 am:
=U.S. Taxpayers paid 100% of the development costs of the Moderna vaccine whose patent is owned by a private company….=
And I add - be wary of the image of the farmer portrayed today. The Farm Bureau and many others love to cultivate that image… keeps you thinking of these small time, pick up truck driving, salt of the earth farmers. They are bending perception to fit a narrative to further a political agenda.
“Farmers” run million dollar businesses, work to avoid taxes, shelter operations to increase government subsidies and payments and use big agribusiness to bend back regulatory laws.
===Or maybe it depends on what you mean by big.===
Gotta define what you mean by “family farm.” That’s the challenge and no one in policy/political circles likes doing that because when you start getting specific is when people stop being farmers.
===non-operator landlords – landowners who rent out agricultural land but do not operate land themselves===
See — this is where the definition gets important because to me this is a fancy way of saying “people who own agricultural land but are not farmers.”
===Most farmers don’t just farm, they are also seed salesman, sell crop insurance, or they are hail/wind adjusters.===
Again this is where definitions get important because being reliant on outside income is an important factor, but our political tendency to kowtow to farmers comes from what farming used to be and used to represent and a time when more people were actively engaged in working the land. Monocropping corn and soy beans, besides destroying the quality of our top soil, has also reduced a lot of farm work to sitting in an expensive satellite guided self driving vehicle which is something that a lot of folks also don’t want to acknowledge.
===Farmers are smart and know how to maximize their production beyond the fields. ===
This is a really cynical way of describing people actively engaged in agriculture requiring an outside income to support themselves and their families. But again, you didn’t define what a farmer is either.
===I think the state has tried to do what it can to encourage upstart farm operations. But they can really only do so much. ===
If we’re going to be doing anything to encourage future farmers we need to actively start investing in policies that support urban and vertical agriculture. That’s also much easier than trying to address the fact that most of the U.S. Corn crop gets used to make ethanol for our automotive fuel purposes and represents a horrific energy balance so that we’re basically depleting our top soil in order to produce an incredibly inefficient bio-fuel that usually has an energy balance that is worse than getting two units of energy out of every unit consumed.
That’s the ugly fact that no one really likes to address — our current agricultural policy in the United States is basically a very dumb energy policy and we’re encouraging farmers to engage in horrific land management practices while letting them pretend like monocropping is the true heritage of farming.
Meanwhile the cost of agricultural land — which has been propped up by bad federal policies — puts becoming a farmer out of the affordability of most people. If we’re looking at something we could do on the state level we could probably look at laws that would allow for the creation of and zoning for urban farm productions. Start growing tomato plants in your front yard or put up a green house in your back yard and suddenly you might be looking at thousands of dollars in municipal fines. There is some pretty good research that a single person can draw a relatively decent income from a single acre of land of land so long as they’re diverse in what they grow, utilize things to extend their growing season, and have an easy route to market. All of those things can be addressed by the state.
But we’re too distracted by the concept of a “farmer” as presented to us by confusing truck ads featuring Bruce Springsteen.
===“Farmers” run million dollar businesses, work to avoid taxes, shelter operations to increase government subsidies and payments and use big agribusiness to bend back regulatory laws. ===
If the state really wanted to have fun it should start performing systematic income tax audits of farm subsidy recipients.
I want to clarify that I’m not explicitly trying to pick on anyone that identifies themselves as a “farmer” but that in terms of questions about farm policy we really need to define what constitutes a farmer and what constitutes a family farm.
I don’t think a corporate entity that is farming many thousands of acres of land, in some cases exceeding 10,000 acres of land really counts as a family farm — even if the corporate entity is exclusively owned by a family group.
At the heart of the issue is that there are people who identify as farmers even though it would be difficult calling it their occupation.
In my opinion state and federal polices are not friendly towards family farmers as I define that term because their number continues to shrink, but I am not running for re-election so I think I am able to be more honest about that.
If we’re looking for opportunities for young folks to get involved in agricultural production we need to create those opportunities in markets where young people are already being drawn unless we’re about to start going after agribusiness monopolies and anti-competitive practices.
Bumblebees are taking an interest in my front door this year; keep opening it to find them hovering nearby. No nest; just on their flight path this year. Dangit.
The Cubs are getting a ton of hits; but not wins. 12-16; 5th in division. Sox 15-12; 2nd in division. Na na na, na na na, hey, hey, goodbye. :)
And there were 2 more politicians indicted recently. “There is no corruption in Illinois politics. Signed, convicted Illinois politicians. (Thanks to Jim Rome for the inspiration; he used to do the “there is no…Signed…thing on overnights years ago)
- EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 1:12 pm:
==The Cubs are getting a ton of hits; but not wins. 12-16; 5th in division. Sox 15-12; 2nd in division.==
Cardinals, 16-12, 2nd in NL Central after sweep of San Diego this weekend.
=That’s also much easier than trying to address the fact that most of the U.S. Corn crop gets used to make ethanol for our automotive fuel purposes and represents a horrific energy balance so that we’re basically depleting our top soil in order to produce an incredibly inefficient bio-fuel that usually has an energy balance that is worse than getting two units of energy out of every unit consumed.=
Not at all true. And I don’t love ethanol. But its about 35-40% of all the corn produced is turned into ethanol. AND then a byproduct (1/3 of a bushel) of the process becomes dried distillers grains, is sold off as animal feed. So the density of the ethanol use ratio you have is way off.
Read a nice article about Justin Fields today. I don’t follow football so I hadn’t heard of him until then. However I’m now a big fan and hope he does well. His discipline and perseverance following his dreams while having a medical condition is inspiring. There are many teens with epilepsy out there wondering what their adult work and personal lives will be like.
As for the people who dropped his ranking because this medical condition was disclosed. I hope your teams lose against him consistently. He’s had this condition since early high school and he proved he could get the job done with the condition…. and you discriminated anyway.
I was out on a job yesterday and couldn’t return to this thread. I am still looking through these responses and links. I appreciate these thoughtful answers. Thank you so much to all. There should clearly be a lot more reporting on land use and agriculture.