Note: Doc Callahan, retired professor, part-time farmer, and full-time pontificator, lays out his predictions for 2013. Doc’s viewpoints are not necessarily those held by CAST—or, frankly, anyone else.
So, time for a little prognosticating. Some naysayers will point out that I was off on several of my predictions last year, but you can’t blame me if the Mayans miscalculated their calendar and the Cubs didn’t win the World Series–for the 104th year in a row. Anyway, I’m confident this list contains the news you need to know before you even know you need to know it. So toast the passing of 2012 and let’s look at the year ahead.
1 Early in 2013, legislators pass a fair and concisely written Farm Bill that satisfies all interest groups. Later that day, a flock of pigs flies over the Capitol Building.
2 Livestock producers and animal rights groups decide that Temple Grandin should arbitrate a ruling about the use of confinement buildings, cages, and stalls. She devises a plan that lets the animals decide.
3 Jamie Oliver endorses a new McSlime Burger after he goes on an educational tour of packing plants and meat processing facilities with Dr. Oz, Oprah, and Andrew Zimmern.
4 The Bureau of Aging and Nostalgia encourages a “Tech-less Tuesday” program. Some farmers seem interested until they realize that means milking by hand and not tweeting at all one day a week.
5 A new reality TV show features genuine farmers caring for their land and livestock. Its ratings knock Honey Boo Boo out of the top spot on cable networks.
6 The book, Fifty Shades of Bacon, briefly hits #1 on the NYTimes nonfiction list, but sales fall off when the public realizes it really is a cookbook. (editor’s note: Apparently Doc doesn’t get out enough as our research shows this is actually a book published in 2012 and available on Amazon–and it does offer bacon recipes. When we contacted Doc, he said, “Dangnabit, it’s impossible to write satire anymore cuz reality is stranger.”)
7 Weird Al Yankovic records a parody of the agriculture parodies done by the Kansas farm boys. Its title: “Thank God–and You Tube–I’m a Country Boy.”
8 Vendors at the Texas State Fair offer deep-fried-fat-and-cream-cheese-on-a-stick. Sales are brisk, but the Heart Association tweets, “Our hearts go out to anyone who eats this; #flatline #bypass.”
9 A new super tractor includes a cab equipped with heated seats, tinted glass, and a 56-inch flat-screen TV. A small jacuzzi is optional.
It looks like another great year to be involved with agriculture. Oh sure, we might have to contend with drought, floods, pests, weeds, regulations, fluctuating prices, bad publicity, and nematodes, but let’s face it—food production is important and rewarding. Happy New Year, Doc (by dan gogerty, cartoon from squidoo.com)