Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Will farmers plant record number of corn acres?

by ann baskerville

The United States Department of Agriculture is releasing the Farm Acreage and Stock report tomorrow, March 31, 2011.  The information in the report will likely affect commodity prices.  For example, if the report shows farmers deciding to plant more acres in corn than soybeans, that could push prices for soybeans higher, depending on other factors such as world markets and soybean crop yields in other countries.

Corn is currently (as of April 10, 2011) trading above 7 dollars a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.

One local farmer is indeed increasing corn acreage plans based on current commodity prices:
Seagulls flock to newly-plowed soil.  This field of alfalfa is getting plowed so that the farmer can plant corn on this acreage.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

"We have tractors" on the square in Madison, Wisconsin, Photos, Videos of Farmers Protesting Budget Repair Bill

This is the first YouTube video I could find of the tractor parade around the Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin. The tractors came to Madison through the organization of the Wisconsin Farmers Union and the Family Farm Defenders. Both groups came out to protest Gov. Walker's Budget Repair bill, saying it is bad for Rural America.




More video of tractors circling the State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin on 3/12/11:



A representative from Family Farm Defenders says the purpose of the tractorcade is to show how the budget repair bill affects Rural America. He said Walker is attacking school funding and Badger care. The representative from Family Farm Defenders said 11,000 Wisconsin farmers are on Badgercare and will lose it due to the Budget Repair Bill:



Check out this great video of the Tractorcade on madison.com: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/video/vmix_836d3f40-4d15-11e0-a547-001cc4c03286.html

Tractors and farmers arrive in Madison, Wisconsin, tens of thousands protest Walker's budget bill

The tractors have arrived in Madison, Wisconsin and are circling the capitol: http://yfrog.com/h4qydzdj
and http://yfrog.com/gz4xopsj.

The Wisconsin Farmers Union organized a tractorcade to Madison in order to protest Gov. Walker's Budget Repair Bill.   In a press release, the Wisconsin Farmers Union said:

“Much has been said about billionaires or union ‘bosses’ calling the shots about what happens with this legislation,” said WFU President Darin Von Ruden, a Westby-area dairy farmer. “The drive for this tractorcade and rally came directly from farmers and is being done under farmers’ direction.”

“Our grass-roots farmers say it’s wrong to take away things like BadgerCare and destroy our public schools when that doesn’t really have to be done,” said FFD Executive Director John Peck.

Family farmers say the bills would potentially take BadgerCare from the approximately 11,000 family farm people who depend upon BadgerCare as their primary health insurance, and that the bills will destroy rural schools.

Farm Labor Tractorcade organizers are inviting participants and supporters to wear green during the tractorcade and rally to reflect the event’s grass-roots nature."


Friday, March 11, 2011

Wisconsin Farmers Union to drive tractors to Madison to Participate in Rally at the Wisconsin Capitol

The Wisconsin Farmers Union is planning a "Tractorcade" to Madison, Wisconsin, read the full press release from the Wisconsin Farmers Union website:


"WISCONSIN FARMERS UNION
For immediate release
: March 9, 2011
For More Information Contact: Scott Schultz 715-723-5561 (office) or 715-533-5906 (cell)
sschultz@wisconsinfarmersunion.com 
Hightower to join farmers during farmers’ ‘tractorcade’ and rally Madison, Wis. (March 9, 2011) – Nationally syndicated populist columnist Jim Hightower will join Wisconsin family farmers during a tractorcade and rally Saturday at the state capitol in Madison.

The Farm Labor Tractorcade, sponsored by Wisconsin Farmers Union and Family Farm Defenders, will have a tractor parade 10-11 a.m. from John Nolan Drive to Capitol Square. The tractor parade will be followed by an 11:30 a.m. rally at the capitol.

Hightower, a long-time political activist and former Texas agriculture commissioner, will add to voices from farmers who want Gov. Scott Walker and supporters of his budget repair bill and biennial budget proposal to hear how the bills would hurt family farmers and rural communities.

“Much has been said about billionaires or union ‘bosses’ calling the shots about what happens with this legislation,” said WFU President Darin Von Ruden, a Westby-area dairy farmer. “The drive for this tractorcade and rally came directly from farmers and is being done under farmers’ direction.”

“Our grass-roots farmers say it’s wrong to take away things like BadgerCare and destroy our public schools when that doesn’t really have to be done,” said FFD Executive Director John Peck.

Family farmers say the bills would potentially take BadgerCare from the approximately 11,000 family farm people who depend upon BadgerCare as their primary health insurance, and that the bills will destroy rural schools.

Farm Labor Tractorcade organizers are inviting participants and supporters to wear green during the tractorcade and rally to reflect the event’s grass-roots nature.

Farmers who want to drive their tractors in the tractorcade should contact Peck at the FFD office, telephone (608) 260-0900, or e-mailfamilyfarmdefenders@yahoo.com.

The tractorcade will approach the capitol John Nolan Drive to Broom Street, and then on Broom Street to Wilson Street. It will continue on Wilson Street to Hamilton Street, and then to Capitol Square. The tractors will be on the square until about 11 a.m.
# # #
Wisconsin Farmers Union, a member-driven organization, is committed to enhancing the quality of life for family farmers, rural communities and all citizens through educational opportunities, cooperative endeavors and civic engagement."


Earlier in the week, almost immediately after the State Senate passed Walker's bill, the president of the Madison Firefighters Union advocated for a general strike, "first statewide, then nationwide."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

General Strike in Wisconsin? Madison Firefighter Union President advocates for general strike, chaos as Assembly passes bill

The President of the Madison, Wisconsin Firefighters Union advocated for a general strike, saying the strike should go, "statewide, then nationwide."


Here is a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Video from the Assembly floor as the bill passed to shouts of "Shame" from both the people in the gallery and the Democratic State Representatives.  The Rev. Jesse Jackson was also on the floor and can be seen in the video: http://bcove.me/4s3um1gx


Live from Madison: http://theuptake.org/2011/03/09/wisconsin-senate-votes-to-eliminate-collective-bargaining/

Madison Wisconsin Firefighters Union President advocates for General Strike as Gov. Walker's bill passes in Wisconsin Senate

Thousands of protesters rushed to the Wisconsin State Capitol after Governor Scott Walkers budget repair bill was passed by the Wisconsin Senate after being amended slightly to allow it to pass without the quorum currently denied the Senate because 14 Democratic State Senators fled the state to Illinois.

Some protesters at the capitol were calling for a general strike, including the President of the Madison Firefighters Union, who said the strike should go, "statewide, then nationwide":




Here are some more scenes from the 3-9-11 protests at the Wisconsin Capitol:






Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living receives $181, 921 grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living, located at 2415-A West Jefferson Street in Joliet, received a grant of $181, 921 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, according to the federal website, recovery.gov.


According to Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living Executive Director Pam Heavens, the ARRA funds "made an enormous and positive difference in our ability to continue to service our consumers."  Furthermore, Heavens said the ARRA funds allowed the center to retain a  staff that "provides information and referral to more than 2300 individuals annually."   


Since opening in 1989, the Center has operated only on grants and contributions.


According to its website, the Center provides services such as: housing referrals, peer counseling, interpreter referral, amplified telephones and more.  To find out more about the services offered by the Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living, visit the Center's website