Too Much Information?

by William C. Bailey
School of Agriculture Western Illinois University

Each spring, it is a real pleasure to see corn poking out of the ground. We all can anticipate the harvest that will follow in the fall, but seeing the thin green lines of corn across the fields provides a clear indication that summer is on the way. And, if you are like me, you notice some of the rows of tiny corn plants are perfectly, and impressively, straight while other rows tend to wander a bit. The straight rows were probably planted by farmers using sophisticated global positioning systems (GPS) while the more traditional rows were not. Read More

Understanding Illinois: Steps to a Stronger Illinois Economy

NowlanBy James D. Nowlan
and J. Thomas Johnson

Outside Columnists

The Illinois economy has been struggling. In January 2014 the state’s unemployment rate was 8.7 percent, second highest in the nation. From our employment peak in November 2000, Illinois lost 656,000 jobs and has regained only 257,000.

What can be done about our parlous situation? 

We asked the experts—the state’s economic development professionals, the men and women who recruit businesses to their communities. Read More

Ag in the Classroom Events Mark the Season

Kinney_Kara OP 08 (2)Submitted by
Kara Kinney
MCFB Manager

The Moultrie County Farm Bureau recently sponsored an Agriculture in the Classroom event that we are very proud of.

The first was the annual Ag Education Farm Tour on Friday, April 4 at Mike and Joel Reedy’ farm in rural Lovington.  

Close to 250 students went through Farm Machinery, Farm Safety, Chemical Look A Like, Seed and Livestock stations.   Read More

Open Up to the Wonders of May

KimForColumnby Kim Riedel
NP Columnist

May is an exciting month in the garden…watching all the buds forming on the blackberries, raspberries and miniature roses, blossoms on the apple tree, and small fruit appearing on the strawberry plants and the pear and plum trees. I have also loved the scent of my white lilac that is putting off a beautiful fragrance that floats through the air around our yard. One of the things that I love about perennials, plants that come back year after year, is that I can have blooming flowers before it is time to plant annuals, and there are already many that are blooming or getting ready to bloom. Gardens are taking shape as vegetable plants and flowers are being planted with the hopes of produce and beautiful colors. Read More

LTE: National Nursing Home Week

National Nursing Home Week, which begins on Mother’s Day May 11 and ends May 17, is a special week to recognize the caring staff and wonderful residents at our homes. Eastview Terrace, Mason Point, and Sullivan Rehabilitation & Health Care, all skilled nursing facilities in Sullivan, will be celebrating this week with several special activities and community events including a luau at Eastview, a special dedication of the new 50’s themed activity room with an Elvis impersonator at Sullivan Rehab, and Mason Point will have “Hoof Prints for Christ” with pony rides for children in the community.  Read More

Understanding Illinois: Illinois Must Upgrade Education

NowlanBy James D. Nowlan
and J. Thomas Johnson
Outside Columnists

Illinois’s achievement in education is mired in the middle of the states. If Illinois were to make a major commitment to transforming how we educate our children, we would send the world a strong signal that we were serious about fixing our state.

Illinois enrolls more than three million students from pre-kindergarten to post-graduate education, almost one in four of our residents, and spends more than $30 billion, or four percent of gross state product, on the enterprise. Read More

Move Like You Mean It!

by Angie Hogan RN MSPH
Mo. Co. Health Dept. Administrator

April showers bring May flowers, and all of this great weather we have been having! If the nice weather alone hasn’t inspired you to get active in the fresh outdoors, May is also National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!  Read More

Understanding Illinois: Fixing Illinois Possible, But Will Take Time

NowlanBy James D. Nowlan
and J. Thomas Johnson

Outside Columnists

When we were boys in the 1950s, we were proud to be from wealthy, self-confident Illinois.

Today, many of us in Illinois are in a funk. When we travel and mention we are from Illinois, there are disparaging responses about our governors being in jail.

Polling confirms our worries that others don’t think much of us. Read More

Selective Breeding–The Imposed Form of Evolution

Hoganby Patrick Hogan

Natural selection is a way of life; survival of the fittest has always been nature’s most cruel – but constant – rule. So why is it so hard for some people to grasp the concept of selective breeding? Claims of it being immoral, unethical, and men playing God are simply extremist in nature and futile in attempt. The truth is, selective breeding and natural selection are the same – except humans are making the decisions on what is to be natural. Read More

Breeding Dogs and an Ethical Dilemma

Tori Floyd2by Tori Floyd

In the United States, the routine breeding of animals, dogs in particular, has been a traditional practice for hundreds of years. But this intentional production of puppies walks a thin line and poses a few ethical questions. Where does tradition break ethics? Where does breeding become a burden? When does human intervention go too far?

Many people breed dogs to preserve a pure bloodline, but too often people breed dogs to make a profit. Each puppy bears a dollar sign. This fact is what makes innocent breeding escalade into puppy mills. This fact is what causes the horrible conditions. So many dogs are being born that the basic needs in living conditions, sanitation, exercise, and human socialization are all too great to be met. Read More