2009 demanded patience. Not only are there lingering contentious issues, such as the embattled National Animal Identification System and the climate change issue, but corn was too high in moisture to harvest and fields were too wet to navigate. Still, those who got their corn and soybeans out are justifiably pleased with their yields.
Tom Vilsack became the U.S. Agriculture Secretary shortly after the inauguration of President Obama. Dairy producers faced a crisis resulting from low markets and high production costs. Pork producers learned the meaning of financial difficulty from a virus, a human virus that could not seem to shake its misnomer.
Meanwhile, activists bent on ending animal agriculture continued their efforts at passing restrictive ballot measures. But Ohio voters took their own initiative, which is considered a victory for livestock and poultry growers in that state.
A hero of the Revolution died this year, the Father of the Green Revolution is credited with saving billions of lives. Norman Borlaug’s work and his humility continued well into his tenth decade. These and other ag stories, including voices of the newsmakers, are part of Brownfield’s 2009 Year in Review.