Jon AngellFrom the Publisher ... Jon Angell

What a busy summer! On the cover, we prominently display a few photos of a handful of the many fairs that are abundant right now. These photos represent a summer highlight for many in our reader families and also continue on page 11 as well.
We had several others submitted that we didn’t have space for this month, but hopefully we can fit them in our next issue.

The Gray Line of Borders
It seems these days that some would have you believe that borders are merely unimportant political divisions drawn upon maps. My conventional conservative nature leads me to believe that borders are actually very practical and more critically important than that. You might say that I am a far stretch from an open borders guy. I’m for trade and travel sure. I just think it should be regulated, monitored and maybe significantly less commonplace. Let me explain.
When I was kid, it was common for folks to say “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.” I thought bed bugs were a fanciful imaginary creation. Yet evidently they were a problem of old that had largely been eradicated in our country to the point that I don’t recall a single occurrence locally until well after my midlife crisis. Thanks to widespread international travel and immigration in recent years, bed bugs are now a common issue.
Bed bugs – as bad as the little monsters are – may be the least of our problems.
The CDC (Centers of Disease Control) website is an interesting read. Measles were nearly a thing of the past in this country until recently. Couple a larger group of our population rejecting an aggressive vaccination program, along with a huge increase in unscreened migration, and we can expect problems. Measles are coming back around with a mild resurgence attempt. TB and Zika virus all have me thinking a controlled border is a good thing.
I’m not just thinking of people. This month on the front page, we have a story of the pork producers attempts to keep AFS out of this country. The cattle industry’s biggest nightmare is foot and mouth disease. With cheap and common travel these days, along with porous uncontrolled borders with uncontrolled/monitored migration, I can’t help but think problems could be lurking closer than we think.
The importance of border crossings show up in business all the time in places you might not think about. The other day I was visiting with someone in the wood pallet business. He was explaining about adding value to pallets by heat treating them to kill any insects, worms and larva to make them qualified for international trade, which seems not only prudent, but reasonable.
Another thing that seems prudent and reasonable to me is for beef to retain its differentiation in the supply chain. I still don’t think it is right the way imported cattle and beef can be sold to the consumer without being differentiated from 100 percent USA products. Beef from Uruguay – as good and healthy as it may be – is still different than beef born, raised, fed, and processed within our borders.
I have no problem with my local grocery store selling inexpensive canned mushrooms from China, but I want nothing to do with them and thankfully they are labeled so that I can choose to avoid them. Beef should be as easy!

Infrastructure Needed
A recent announcement out of Missouri calls for a rather large grant secured to help with some key bridges and MoDOT key projects. We have a terrible road/infrastructure problem in Missouri that we have spoken to often among these pages. The bridge between Missouri and Illinois is being replaced and it sounds like the I-70 bridge across the Missouri River is now slated for replacement in an expedited manner, as it has been determined to be in far worse shape than they taught.
I have heard some interesting discussions on the many issues with the flooding in the area. Some involve things I really don’t understand, such as the levy districts and how they are built and funded. I am hearing that the flooding potential may be with us for a long time due to levy rebuilding issues.
I would direct you to read the opinion place from Kyle Smith on page 17. He raises some interesting and legit points. I am all for being environmentally responsible and am more than happy to credit labor unions for their valuable contributions of the past and even today.
We need to gather our wits about building new and replacing infrastructure in this country. I think this article on “Why can’t America fill a pothole?” is a great discussion starter.

As we ready for printing this issue, we have breaking news of what has every appearance of a tragic incident among us.
The cattle business is overwhelmingly populated by far with some of the best people a person could know. Unfortunately, there are some individual outliers operating in our livestock industry that are the material that horror stories are made.
I am afraid that this breaking story of the disappearance of the two Wisconsin cattlemen here in Missouri is looking to be evolving as one of those tragic and horrible stories that we all dread. This story sounds as if it could have been conceived in the twisted mind of a fiction writer and we are distressed to confront the fact that senseless tragedies are sometimes a sad reality.
I am often bewildered at how evil can manifest itself and feel so bad for the families who are confronted with it.

Hints to the next issue
Readers of the Under the Tail column should take notice that there are some changes evolving. Dr. Cerven has an announcement of some breaking news in his column on page 8. I will try to cover this in a more complete fashion next month.
Also take note of the benefit auction on page 12 for the Perry Carousel to be held September 21. You might save the date. In the September issue I hope to provide details to encourage area support.
Next month, we also hope to highlight more of the photos received from readers, similar to what we did on page 11 this month. I’d welcome something like this with captions of submitted photos from our readership – not just fairs, but maybe in general about the farm and rural living of every day. I think that could be of interest and maybe we could do on a more regular basis. What do you think?

Thanks for your support of our efforts and for your reading ….