Food Monopolies

I usually take The Guardian with a grain of salt – some of the articles can be alarmist and dramatic – but this article is interesting and worth the look.

Farmers know that a few food conglomerates control the grocery supply; this article goes into detail about which companies own how much of each segment of the food industry in the United States.

Check out the full article for a deep dive into who controls the food you eat.

Our Unequal Earth: Revealed: the true extent of America’s food monopolies, and who pays the price

[I did not know that Keurig/Dr. Pepper was on the list – check out the Beverages Section of the report]

Isaac Newton and Pi

The concept of Pi as representing the circumference of a circle has been around for *thousands* of years. Isaac Newton revolutionized the concept as part of his development of Calculus.

Yes, this is very nerdy. But it’s also fascinating – the history of Pi, and how Isaac Newton revolutionized a concept that had been used for thousands of years.

(Ag) Myth-Busters

Myth-busters: Farm policy misconceptions debunked (link)

Ag News article by Tom Doran about the four most prevalent myths surrounding farm subsidies.

  • Myth:  US Farm Policy gives preferential treatment and payments to corporate agriculture
  • Myth:  Farm Subsidies to go large food agribusinesses
  • Myth:  Farm policy gives preferential treatment to “the big five or six grains.”
  • Myth:  The government subsidized the sugar industry

Please read the article for more detailed explanation of each of these myths.  You’ll need a little familiarity with how the farm program works in order to fully understand the article, but worth the read.

 

Rural v Urban – Digital Divide (Update)

In almost every way, I prefer my rural life over urban life.  I grew up on a farm, I still live on that farm, and I would not want to live anywhere else.

However, rural internet is years behind urban internet.  Folks who live in cities take for granted internet speeds that are impossible to achieve in rural environments.  While improving rural broadband is percolating up as a priority at both state and national levels, technology, affordability, and deployment of adequate internet speeds to my home and farm are on a deployment track of “later, rather than sooner.”

Check out the article (link below) from Farm Journal’s Ag Web about the digital divide and some opportunities that might help close that gap.

For the record, I believe that it will take multiple platforms working together to provide adequate, reliable, and affordable internet into the rural markets.  No single provider can invest the millions of dollars in the infrastructure necessary to provide high-speed internet to the sparsely-populated rural areas.   While there are grants available, my experience has been that the grant dollars tend to go into deep pockets for “research,” and are sometimes not applied where the services are needed.  I’ve seen millions of dollars “awarded” for broadband development in rural markets.  I have yet to see improvement in my neck of the woods.

The article discusses a couple of current options in development.  If you read my blog regularly, or if you care to check previous posts on the Agriculture topic, you’ll find references to several other technologies in development for application in the rural environment.

Our farm uses technology in every phase of our operation.  Progress and efficiencies are slowed because we don’t have access to reliable and fast internet (by “fast,” I mean at least 50MBs – which is not even on the radar for most governmental agency discussions).   Until the rural environment starts to experience the speeds available in the city, rural development will be hampered.

Ag Web:  Will 5G, StarLink, and Private Networks Narrow the Digital Divide?