The Buzz

Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year.

As I hang a new calendar on the wall for 2007, it's good to start fresh. Oh sure, there will be some lingering effects of 2006 as we begin a new year - holiday- and farm-related year-end transactions, mostly.

  • There will be memories, as well. Two weeks before Christmas, my father, Ralph, died from a heart attack at the age of 75. Not a day goes by that I don't think of one of his famous (or infamous) anecdotes or stories of yesteryear. Many friends and associates have told me that my father was a most interesting man. He had many hobbies, self-taught trades and skills, had earned a college degree and was a veteran of the Korean War…
  • My father's last few years were marred by a disability caused by a virus caused transverse myelitis. He was left paralyzed from the waist down, but that did not stop his pursuit of happiness. With a mobility scooter, he cruised the streets of Mankato, Kan., living life to the fullest. The garage of his assisted living apartment was filled with woodworking and clock-and-watch repair tools and his days were occupied tinkering with these tools and looking forward to the next project…
  • My father's death was sudden. I take comfort in knowing that he was able to meet his two-month old, twin grandsons just a few weeks before his death. But I regret the things I didn't do and say. Still, as I look back, I admire this man whose life was well-lived…
  • Thank you for indulging my personal interests. Onto some news from the last week…
  • Conestoga Energy Partners, LLC, will manage the soon-to-be-built Northeast Kansas Bioenergy, LLC, biorefinery, which will be located near Hiawatha. The integrated Northeast Kansas Bioenergy plant will feature a 50 million gallon-per-year ethanol plant and 40 million gallon-per-year biodiesel plant. Groundbreaking is planned for spring, 2007, with completion due in 2008…
  • Conestoga Energy, based in Liberal, has management contracts already with Bonanza Bioenergy and Arkalon Energy – both of which will start production in 2007, and Boothill Biofuels in Ford County, which is projected to begin production in 2008…
  • As its 8th class heads into the homestretch, the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership program has received great news. First, southwest Kansas residents Ted and Florence Metcalf have teamed up with the High Plains Heritage Foundation to contribute a $20,000 gift, the earned funds of which will be used to assist KARL. Florence Metcalf was the program's first curriculum committee chair and a founding board member…
  • Also, KARL received a $10,000 grant from the Farm Credit System Council, in Washington D.C…
  • Applications for KARL Class IX are due in April. Call (785) 532-6300 or log onto www.karlprogram.com for more information…
  • Would you eat meat if it came from cloned animals? You could soon have the opportunity, now that the Food and Drug Administration has released a Risk Assessment study that indicates meat and milk from cloned cows, pigs and goats are safe for consumers…
  • The research report, released last week, came after the FDA reviewed hundreds of scientific and medical studies. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington, D.C., free enterprise organization, champions the research as a step forward for improving food safety for consumers…
  • A host of special interest groups, of course, oppose the FDA's opinion. The Humane Society of America, for example, suggests that using cloned animals for food represents a "significant setback for the welfare of animals." The HSA suggests that research shows clones animals suffer from a wide range of maladies and do not improve efficiency of food animal reproduction.
TAGS: USDA
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