Why Chipotle's Pork Problem is a Bad Sign for its Future: Perhaps you heard earlier this week that Chipotle says it can't find enough "humanely raised pork" and has cut the item from its menu? This piece bears reading, if only for the catching up. It appears the supplier couldn't provide enough pork from hogs raised in open stalls (no gestation crates). Rather than source meat from conventionally-raised pigs, Chipotle took pork off the menu. The question of course is whether the "good" press from this decision will bring in enough animal-loving burrito eaters to offset the lack of pork sales. Time will tell.
#FiveWordsToRuinADateWithAFarmer: Do yourself a Friday favor and go look this up on Twitter. It's hilarious.
Farmers Say Goodbye the Bull Who Sired 500,000 Offspring: As farmers, none of this will surprise us much. But it's a great read coming from the Washington Post. Check the comment section, too.
Westlands: A Water Story: Photographer Randi Lynn Beach captures striking images of farmers enduring the California Drought. It's a beautifully heartbreaking series of photographs, from a land that can't quite solve its water problems. I spent a couple days in San Diego this past week with the AFBF convention and though it's not the same area of the state as where these photographs were taken, it was hard to complain about the rainy days we experienced. They need every drop.
The Race to Nowhere in Youth Sports: This is less agricultural but certainly symptomatic of what I see happening in small towns all over the Midwest: youth sports are becoming all-consuming. I understand that for some kids, that's not a bad thing. They're good and they like it. But I think it might be too much for a lot of families. Where once upon a time, a youth basketball league lasted 4-6 weeks, 10-year-olds can now find themselves in leagues that play for five months. There are volleyball clubs and fourth-graders in full-contact football. Young people can, if they desire, play a particular sport to near obsession – three and four games of baseball a day, for weeks on end. Perhaps they'll become professionals. Or perhaps their families will wish they'd spent more time eating dinner together. I'm not sure of the answer, but I think it's worth asking the question of your family, and your community.