Both of my parents’ funerals, visitations and memorials were heartbreaking. The planning was uniquely different because the COVID-19 outbreak was finally acknowledged as a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020.  Cases worldwide had been detected before this in 2019.

Wow, Christmas in July.  A guest column and a letter to the editor both in need of serious clarification.  I am referring to the Mr. Harp and Ms. Pottinger’s writings in the July 15 edition of the OCL. Both addressed the same issue – Donald Trump as a threat to our country’s democracy.

Moving past Independence Day our next holiday won’t occur until September on Labor Day. We will just have to sweat out the next two months of summer before we can take another break. Maybe that’s why they call them the dog days of summer.

Away from the sports beat for a while, it was time to get back in the fray with a trip to the Quad Cities for the John Deere Classic golf tournament.

In 1961, Yale Psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted a series of social experiments intended to measure the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience. Milgram was trying to understand why so many Germans had behaved as they had during Hitler’s regime.

Donald Trump probably won’t destroy American democracy if he’s re-elected. It’s been ailing for some time, but has deep roots. It will most likely take more than one presidential term to finish it off.

The Forreston FFA Alumni would like to express their greatest thanks for all the support in the past at our annual tractor pull. We also appreciate the understanding from all the fans as to not being able to have the pull this year due to the weather.

Any politician who claims to be concerned with animal welfare should support increased federal funding for cultivated-meat research.

Thought the last number I heard was the U.S. had a $32 trillion debt. What’s a trillion? Just a crooked number with 12 zeroes behind it. I’m sure we all have better ideas on how Uncle Sam can spend or save our money, and yes, I did say our money; seeing as the only source of income from the government is us.

Crop insurance remains a crucial safeguard for farmers, tracing back to the Great Depression and evolving into a vital tool amidst today's market and weather volatility.

Ethanol represents a significant market for my Ogle County family farm. We can deliver corn to seven ethanol plants within a 70-mile radius, and distillers’ grains are a valuable input for our livestock enterprises.

Time to wrap up another year of writing about high-school sports until the calendar kicks off again later this summer.

The Environmental Protection Agency published the latest edition of the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2022. The report has been published annually since 1990 and provides an annual estimate of all man-made greenhouse gas emission sources in the U.S. as well as estimates of the amount of carbon trapped in forest and vegetation soil.

Quite frequently I get calls from farmers across the area asking how they can dispose of old chemicals. Often these were left over from prior years plantings or many times they are cleaning out barns due to a death in the family.

As someone employed in food service for most of my life, it is with much interest that I attend the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago each May. Though I am retired from the business, it is still fascinating to observe the latest trends and changes in the industry.

Planters continue to roll out in the fields as we near the completion of spring planting. Weather forecasts through the summer continue to predict warmer-than-normal temperatures for the Corn Belt with near normal precipitation. Should that occur as predicted it should be a relatively-good growing year. Of course, we never know until Fall harvest kicks-in.

With Forreston’s sectional final loss to East Dubuque in baseball and the IHSA track & field meet completed, the high-school sports year for Ogle County comes to a close.

It’s that time of year when farmers head to the fields for spring planting. That means encountering farm equipment on rural roads across Ogle County. Roadway safety is important so let’s look at precautions we can all take to make travel safer.

Thank you to the businesses in the Forrestville Valley area who over the years have contributed to the Easter Seals Autism School. I hope you will continue to help in the years to come. April was Autism Awareness Month and I'm sure donations were solicited.

As of press time, Forreston and Stillman Valley remain alive in boys baseball. Everyone else in softball and baseball has been eliminated, including No. 1 sub-sectional baseball seed Byron.

Things have been hot and heavy this week with all of spring sports engaged in the post season. At press time, the only thing to report on is girls track and field, with a sectional taking place May 10.

Breanna Cisketti, Gracie Prose, Cooper Alderks, Molly Blum, Carter Conderman, Aylivia Danekas, Bailey Jackson and Jack Richolson were all recently named as recipients of scholarships awarded by the Ogle County Farm Bureau in 2024.

We Americans are practical. We cast a suspicious eye on theories. We rely on common sense — self-evident ideas that nearly everyone shares.

Planting season continues at a robust pace as farmers across the area try to hit those optimum planting dates. As for me I failed in that regard this year.

I was born in Oregon. But my father and I moved to California where I finished my last two years of high school. I immediately joined the Army and was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington for nine months then was sent overseas.

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