About

About

Bill Spiegel


Editor
High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal
E-mail: bspiegel@hpj.com
Phone: 785-587-7796

From the Editor by Bill Spiegel

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As you read this week’s edition of High Plains Journal we share in our appreciation of what farmers and ranchers mean to us and encourage you to take time say thanks to your employees, which is fitting because it is Labor Day.

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This is the most eventful time of the year, so getting you to stop for a few minutes to read a column about the merits of putting the safety of your family first might seem trite. But let’s remember this is the busy season for many farmers and ranchers and their urban cousins.

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Show me a farmer and rancher, and I’ll show you a lifelong learner. In the agriculture industry no one sits still. No one begins farming, plants a seed, breeds a cow and then sits back and says, “I’ve got it all figured out.”

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When people ask me what the best part of my job is I always say, without exception, telling the stories about the people of agriculture. It’s not necessarily talking about the latest technology, although that’s pretty fun. It’s not about traveling to the beautiful parts of rural America, alt…

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Over the past year, I’ve had random texts from my brother-in-law, Scott. The first was a photo out the tractor window with “Cover crop going in at Campbell Farms.” The next was a progress photo a few weeks later that showed exactly no weeds in a problem field the year before. 

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After wheat harvest 2018, I carefully appraised my fields. In some, washouts were so deep the combine had trouble crossing. In others, a lack of residue on the ground allowed sunlight to hit bare soil, giving energy to more weeds than I’ve seen in some time.

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When I was a teenager, I convinced my folks that I would raise feeder pigs in an effort to bolster my college fund. My mother—who had heard plenty of my get-rich quick schemes before—called the county Extension agent, Bill Wood. He came to the farm from Mankato, offered me some pointers abou…

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