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From plumbers to bird-seed sellers, who gains when sub-zero temps hit?
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From plumbers to bird-seed sellers, who gains when sub-zero temps hit?

It’ll take something pretty amazing to compete for headlines with the extreme weather outbreak ongoing this week across much of the United States.  When people are trying to make it through the daily commute and  other activities despite zero-degree temperatures, another half-foot of snow and other manifestations of Mother Nature, they won’t be in the […]

Dear Reader: The farm bill, pizza and you
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Dear Reader: The farm bill, pizza and you

Editorials from the heartland are growing increasingly pessimistic about the prospects of farm billpassage before Congress decamps for holiday break.   And with the giant omnibus law back in the headlines — including the specter of $7/gallon milk, if the bill’s expiration automatically makes an old law kick in — you might want to dig around […]

Spotlight holiday horticulture for a fresh seasonal story
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Spotlight holiday horticulture for a fresh seasonal story

As we wait for Congress to return from vacation and take up the stalled farm bill — or perhaps pass an extension – there’s another aspect of agriculture that, aside from Christmas trees, often gets overlooked this time of year:  plants and flowers for seasonal décor. Live or real Christmas trees still are a $1 […]

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Gauging local support for foreign treaty
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Trans-Pacific Partnership: Gauging local support for foreign treaty

Like me, you may have seen references here and there to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, without really knowing what it is.   The TPP, announced by the White House in 2009, is a trade agreement being negotiated by nine countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States […]

Gobble, gobble & cha-ching:  A cornucopia of Thanksgiving stories
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Gobble, gobble & cha-ching: A cornucopia of Thanksgiving stories

Hard to believe there are only two weeks left until Thanksgiving, the day of eating, parades, football, traveling and — increasingly — shopping.   Each pasttime offers its own cornucopia of business angles.  Here are a few ideas to augment what you may already be doing.  And don’t forget to tune in on Nov. 18 to SABEW’s “From Turkey […]

A global glut puts the spotlight on U.S. sugar subsidies
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A global glut puts the spotlight on U.S. sugar subsidies

As piles of leftover Halloween loot are picked over for what’s left of the good stuff, and the pumpkin pies and sugarplums of the next couple of months warm up in the wings, it’s a good time to take a look at the business of sugar. Whether you cover food, health care, agriculture, alternative energy […]

If the government shuts down, what does that really mean?
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If the government shuts down, what does that really mean?

Whether it’s predictable political theater or a genuine possibility (or both), the impending month-end deadline for Congress to raise the nation’s debt ceiling or shut down the federal government will be the buzz this week.  Pundits are warning of dire consequences if these issues are not resolved quickly, and some say even the spectre of a […]

How are companies meeting the growing demand for gluten-free goods?
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How are companies meeting the growing demand for gluten-free goods?

Niche markets always make for an array of interesting business stories, especially when they are growing.  And one that fits that bill right now is the gluten-free industry, catering to consumers who want or need products that don’t contain gluten, which according to the Mayo Clinic is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.  I’ve […]

As harvest time looms, food and agriculture stories are ripening
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As harvest time looms, food and agriculture stories are ripening

The 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour kicked off this week, and while that may sound something like a golf tournament with a down-home sponsor, it’s really a sign that summer is flashing to a close and harvest time is here.  Which means a lot of good business stories are coming ripe for the picking. […]

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