Opinion: Jury still out on whether Costco’s chicken experiment will fly

“Si Dieu me prête vie, je ferai qu’il n’y aura point de laboureur en mon royaume qui n’ait les moyens d’avoir le dimanche une poule dans son pot!” -King Henry IV

Way back in the 16h century good old King Henry IV of France knew how to appeal to the masses, declaring:  “If God keeps me, I will make sure that no peasant in my realm will lack the means to have a chicken in the pot on Sunday!”

Those sentiments jumped to this side of the pond, becoming something of a point of debate in the 1928 presidential campaign between  Herbert Hoover and Al Smith. Turns out the Republican party in support of Hoover purchased campaign advertisements stating “Republican prosperity has reduced hours and increased eating capacity, silenced discontent, put proverbial “chicken in every pot.”

Smith mocked the ad on the campaign trail, suggesting the average working man could not afford a chicken dinner every Sunday – an argument while certainly true didn’t win him the election. Enter Costco which absolutely adores its $4.99 rotisserie deal.  The chicken is so popular with the public that it has its own Facebook page. In 2014, Costco reported selling 78 million of these processed, four-pound birds a year.

Opinion: U.S. trade shouldn’t be just about the Benjamins

I’ve watched with interest the twists and turns of the U.S.-China trade war. Reportedly, the two nations have made significant progress in sketching out a series of memorandums of understanding on forced technology transfer and cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services, currency, agriculture and non-tariff barriers to trade. At the core all these issues have one thing in common – money.  In a nutshell: How will the China U.S. trade pie and associated issues be financially sliced and diced? That’s fine as far as it goes, but making U.S. trade with China about the Benjamins is a massively lost opportunity to deal with the nuclear threat that is North Korea.

Opinion: Missouri’s meat law panders to beef industry

I think tofu (curdled soy milk) is delicious.  Tofu is a foodies’ blank canvas, a vehicle for other ingredients and bold flavors, that create healthy, creative meals.  And it can serve as a tremendous meat substitute.   

And that’s where Missouri is drawing a line in the sand.  Missouri has become the first state in the nation to make it a crime for food manufacturers to label their products as “meat” if “not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry.” Violators face fines up to $1,000 and a year in state slammer.

Opinion: Court gets it right in striking down Iowa ag-gag law

At some farming operation in Iowa animal activists may legally be running an undercover sting operation to reveal inhuman treatment of animals. That’s because last month the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, and senior Judge James Gritzner, threw out a 2012 Iowa law that made it a crime for people to gain access to agricultural facilities by “false pretense.”

Opinion: Ag blazing 5 for 2019 (and beyond)

Breaking out major prognostic tools (including an 8-ball, Ouija board, paper fortune teller and dart board…yeah we’re high tech around here) here are some of the big agricultural issues on the horizon for 2019.