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What? A meatless corny dog? You’re kidding!

What? A meatless corny dog? You’re kidding!

By Gene Hall

No, I guess they are not. The State Fair of Texas will serve meatless corny dogs for this first time at this year’s event.

A Fletcher’s corny dog at the State Fair of Texas is, for that brief moment in time, “Texas on a stick.” It’s a rite of passage. A Texas moment that can even be experienced by those of you “not from around here.”

The news of a meatless corny dog shook me up a bit. I like veggies as much as the next omnivore and I salute the farmers who grew the ingredients for this experiment. But a corny dog without meat is like church without a prayer. You kind of know you’re there, but leave feeling a bit empty.

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5 things you should know about the EPA WOTUS rule

5 things you should know about the EPA WOTUS rule

By Mike Barnett

$37,500. Per incident. Per day. Per violation.

Does that grab your attention? It should.

That’s what you could be fined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if you have an unauthorized discharge of “pollutants” from your farmland that requires a Clean Water Act (CWA) permit. It’s all part of the new rule recently issued by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers defining waters of the U.S. (WOTUS). It expands the federal CWA jurisdiction over many landscape features found on farm, ranch and forest lands across the nation. The rule is expected to go into effect Aug. 28.

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‘I’m from the EPA. Trust me.’

‘I’m from the EPA. Trust me.’

By Gene Hall

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not been shy about pushing for a new clean water rule that extended its already considerable authority over land everywhere in the nation.

In doing so, EPA ignored previous Congressional decisions and Supreme Court decisions. They claimed a joint mission with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Now, documents have surfaced that the Corps was not all that keen on the EPA trampling over the facts.

EPA ignored public comments and engaged in a massive public relations program to sway those comments their way. This is more than playing fast and loose with the facts. This is astonishing arrogance that is confident nothing is standing in the way.

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A super solution to protect Texas private property rights

A super solution to protect Texas private property rights

By Mike Barnett

Fighting for truth, justice and the Texas way.

Sounds like a job for Superman!

And the Man of Steel answered the call. But he wasn’t wearing blue tights and a red cape. Adorned in jeans, boots and a cowboy hat, this superhero took on a government juggernaut, mired in its rules and regulations, in a battle over private property rights. His name is Tommy Henderson.

Tommy didn’t flex mighty muscles to win a battle over the rights to his land. He used a shrewd mind. A willingness to cooperate. And the tenacity of a bulldog to achieve his goal: reclaim 94 acres he lost to the federal government in the 1980s.

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Are you a real cowboy?

Are you a real cowboy?

This Texas Agriculture Talks post was originally published on Jan. 21, 2013.

By Mike Barnett

Cowboys: Real deal or pseudo? How do you tell?

I thought about that over the weekend as I settled on the movie Urban Cowboy while flipping channels on the tube.

“Are you a real cowboy?” Sissy, played by Debra Winger, asked.

“Well, that depends on what you think a real cowboy is,” answered Bud, portrayed by a young John Travolta.

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Agricultural technology is a partner of the human race

Agricultural technology is a partner of the human race

By Gene Hall

I love making lists and writing about lists of accomplishments and great deeds. I can hardly wait during college football season for the “Top 25.”

I don’t know how I missed this list more than a year ago in The Atlantic detailing the top 50 breakthroughs  since the wheel.

Very correctly, I think, the top three on the list are the printing press, electricity and penicillin. Agriculture is also prominent on this list:

No. 6—Some say paper was an agricultural crop. It certainly is today. It’s what made the printing press—and mass communication—work.

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