The Problem With Grain Agriculture

While I was still living in Denver, I started to act on my dream of becoming a farmer. My aunt lived nearby and had a large corner lot. I convinced her to let me put in a garden along with raising a few backyard chickens. There was a simple joy in planting a seed, adding water, and seeing it grow. Of course, there were all types of problems with the garden. I learned first-hand how many different insects love to eat brassicas, that a rabbit or squirrel can undo months of work in an evening…

An ally lost

One of the sure signs of spring are when the buzzards nest on the trees in town. They spread out their wings to catch the morning sun in an ominous embrace of the thawing bodies they intend to find. Death is one of those things that happens all winter long. And life on the farm here is not any different.

The first week of setting up new electric cattle fence is always an interesting one here. Spring is often considered the season of renewal but one of the things that I’ve learned over the years is that winter is the…

Having more transparency in the political process is a good thing; right? As a culture here in Colorado, and in the United States, there is an ever-growing belief that the ills of the political process can be solved using the tools of the digital era. These tools of transparency consist of live streaming, online meetings, and digital recordings of all meetings. Even during my short time as a reporter for the Tribune, I have seen Custer County Commissioner meetings go from a few people listening to a meeting, with official minutes posted almost a month later, to hundreds of people…

Originally published in the Wet Mountain Tribune on December 24, 2020

In the year 2020, humanity collided with the Problem of Induction. The question is, did we collectively learn anything from the pain caused by our crash? To answer that question, we have to first understand what we ran into, and then decide if the lessons learned can be applied to future problems.

The Problem of Induction can best be understood as the limits of evidence. Longtime readers of this column know that I often refer to the analogy of the Thanksgiving Turkey as described by the probabilist Nassim Nicholas…

Over the years I have learned to appreciate Thanksgiving over all the other holidays, and no it's not because of the food, because it asks a fundamental question we humans often forget to ask ourselves; what are we thankful for?

Philosophers since the dawn of history have consistently noted the dissatisfaction that permeates mankind and tried to hint at the source of this deep-seeded need for more. Why do we always want more?

One of my favorite parables is known as the paradox of progress. There are many versions of the story, but all follow the same line of thought…

When I was working as a broker-in-training at a Charles Schwab call center, I would often stare out the window near my cubical. On clear days, I could see a massive snow-capped mountain in the distance. Staring at that mountain, I remembered that as a boy, I looked at the same peak but from the opposite horizon. As call after call was piped into my ear by a computer, I dreamed more and more of my childhood ranch located on the other side of that same snow-capped mountain. …

Dear Stewart Brand,

I have been deeply troubled by last nights presentation by Mariana Mazzucato. Your nice emailed summary of the talk pinpointed my uneasiness. In all of the talk about innovation, research, progress, private, public, returns, profits and investments, a fundamental long-term subject has been left out of the discussion. As is often with such discussions that are deeply ideological — basic and fundamental assumptions about the texture of reality are made without much regard. Where — in this discussion of progress — are the questions regarding risk?

It is not my intention to talk about investment risks, but…

I am giving up one of my little secrets that have helped me to build my cattle herd. For me, this is how I arbitrage the price of beef cattle ranchers get paid vs the price customers will pay for grass-fed beef. The profit I make is enough to make a profit that gets invested in my ranch. But more importantly, it generates cash-flow from cattle that is quick.

I write this from Colorado, so what I have learned is based on my experience here. Each area will be different, but the same rules apply, but results will vary.

I…

On the front page of my newspaper, The Wet Mountain Tribune, is a story about how the Florence Volunteer Fire Department has decided to stop sending ambulances to the Wetmore and Greenwood Village region of far eastern Custer County. In a time when many in modernity take for granted that rescue in an emergency is certain, it is important to remember that for many in the areas in, and surrounding the Wet Mountain Valley, it is not certain help will arrive.

Florence EMS pulled out because the citizens of Wetmore and Greenwood do not pay any taxes towards fire or…

When I was a reporter for the Tribune, a constant question always nagged at the back of my mind: what does it take to get people interested in the stories of a county that is just shy of 5,000 citizens? What can we find interesting in news generated from a sleepy town? But the question is bigger than getting people’s attention. The real question is, how do you get people involved in local issues, and not national movements?

There are many divides between Custer County and the United States. The most striking is the urban verses rural divide. But while…

Jordan Hedberg

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