Ed Greiman, a cattle producer and president-elect of the Iowa Cattlemen, climbs onto the front of a truck hauling silage on his ranch near Garner, Iowa. Like other ranchers, he's getting a feel for what life would be like without a farm bill.
Roy Pralle is an 85-year-old retired farmer from Latimer, Iowa. He spends most afternoons playing cribbage with other retired farmers at Dudley's Corner, a diner attached to a gas station in north-central Iowa.
When Jan Phillips was a baby, her parents said they knew by her laughter in response to a cow-driven buggy ride that she would be adventurous. Seventy years later, she's still proving them right. This is her last year on a trip to Asia.
Ninety years ago this May, my grandfather, Ronald Merle Phillips, and his twin brother, Robert Earl, were born on a farm near Chetopa, Kan. His twin died of influenza before their second birthday, but my grandpa is still alive and well. To celebrate that fact, 150 family and friends gathered at the community center in Parsons, Kan. last month.
Craig Rowles grew up on an Iowa farm, and like a lot of farm kids, he’s done his share of heavy lifting.
“I know what that means to carry feed in 5-gallon buckets through the mud and through the snow and through the heat,” he said. “And I understand what it takes to try to keep animals alive in those extreme kinds of temperatures.”
Drought has set in early and hard across the Midwest, parching the Arkansas River basin. The river trickling out of the mountains is dry before it reaches some of the major agricultural uses downstream. And the drought is torching crops, sapping tourism and threatening supplies of drinking water.