Friday, September 26, 2014

The Farm

I once heard a story from a Nebraskan who grew up in a large farm family. When he was a teenager, his father put him on a tractor to teach him how to farm. Long before GPS, his father was renowned for having the straightest crop rows in the county. The young man took off and carefully began to cultivate the field, often glancing over his shoulder to make sure the rows were absolutely straight. At the end of the field, he and his father examined this first effort. The snakelike meandering rows were a disappointing surprise. His father said to him: “Son, you have to pick one point in the distance and just stay focused.”

There are many life lessons in that story!

As we enter the beautiful fall harvest season in Nebraska, it’s a good time to remember just how much our agricultural way of life means to our economy, culture, and values. There is something very special about the farm way of life – it takes staying focused on a worthwhile goal, dedication, and patience. And this time of year, we see the results.

Nebraska’s ag economy is uniquely situated thanks to a convergence of factors: a strong agricultural tradition, fertile lands, good resource inputs, a robust transportation network, and viable markets for byproducts. We are one of the top states for cattle production, the third highest corn producer, the fourth leading soybean exporter, and a leader in biofuels. One in five American hamburgers comes from Nebraska. Our $7.3 billion in annual ag exports brings our state an additional $9.4 billion in economic activity.

Emerging trends in cover crop rotation will offer advances in naturally preserving soil health while also increasing biodiversity – a positive development for resource sustainability and environmental health. New trends in local foods production are linking farmers to families, and urban to rural, creating an exciting new opportunity for young and beginning farmers. It is interesting to note that the need for global food production will increase substantially by 2050. Nebraska will see increased demand for our products.

In a recent speech in Washington to a large number of development specialists, I jokingly asked, “When did agriculture become cool?” Ag studies are seeing a surge of interest. Additionally, young people, born into an increasingly interconnected world with a particularly globalized mindset, have a keen interest in using market-based initiatives and sustainable development to fight poverty. All of this is helping shape policy and form new visions for how we effectively leverage government resources in partnership with the private sector for more innovative models.

One of the new initiatives in Congress is the Global Food Security Act. This would codify what is currently called “Feed the Future,” which has shown great promise as a holistic approach to meeting food security needs. The United States has a long tradition of leadership in this area due to our devotion to humanitarian causes. This leadership also benefits us economically and culturally, creates the conditions for international stability, and enhances our own national security.

The Nebraska values of hard work, personal responsibility, family and community life are rooted in our great agricultural heritage. Agriculture will play an important role in shaping the outcomes of the 21st century, and with determination and focus, Nebraska is uniquely positioned to guide the way. We have much to offer.

About the Author:

JEFF FORTENBERRY has served as the U.S. Representative for Nebraska's 1st congressional district since 2005. He is the Chairperson for the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry. Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights and has a seat on the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. He is a member of the following Caucus groups:

Civil War Battlefield Caucus - Congressional Biofuels Caucus - Congressional Farmer Cooperative Caucus - House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus - International Conservation Caucus - Sportsmen's Caucus.

Congressman Fortenberry has become the most knowledgeable representative on Capitol Hill for nuclear security issues.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dobrev Crossover Into “The Originals” New Orleans

Actress Nina Dobrev, who stars as Elena, and a host of other doppelgängers on the long running vampire show will pay a visit to The Big Easy as Tatia [the original ancient Elena], according to E! Online.

In an exclusive interview with showrunner and head guru Julie Plec reporter Kristin Dos Santos got the latest FYI from the set of the show.

“There’s a lot of people that could cross over, and when we plan our crossovers, we like to think of the most clever way to integrate The Vampire Diaries mythology into The Originals mythology,” Plec told Santos. “There was a character’s name introduced a long time ago in season three in association with Klaus [Joseph Morgan] and Elijah [Daniel Gillies] and how they became vampires and a girl that they both loved a long time ago who was the original doppelgänger, Tatia. So Nina Dobrev will be visiting The Originals for a nice little storyline in our fifth episode which airs November 3.”

Both shows return in October on The CW Network. The Vampire Diaries season six premieres on October 2nd with The Originals second season bow taking place on October 6th.

For those who may need a reminder here is the scene in which Klaus tells the Salvatore brothers a little bit about Tatia, the original Petrova, the girl he and Elijah both loved and would spend decades fighting over.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Blizzard Axes "Titan"

Blizzard Entertainment has decided to pull the plug on their gestating MMORPG "Titan".

The game went into development a little under ten years ago as a big followup to the company’s highly successful World of Warcraft. While not news that has been digested by all, those in the gaming world have been patiently waiting for Titan’s unveil since November 2004.

In an interview with Polygon Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime laid his cards on the table and stated, “I wouldn’t say no to ever doing an MMO again, but I can say that right now, that’s not where we want to be spending our time.”

“We had created ’World of Warcraft,’ and we felt really confident that we knew how to make MMOs,” Morhaime added. “So we set out to make the most ambitious thing that you could possibly imagine. And it didn’t come together … “We didn’t find the fun,” Morhaime continued. “We didn’t find the passion. We talked about how we put it through a reevaluation period, and actually, what we reevaluated is whether that’s the game we really wanted to be making. The answer is no.”

Monday, September 22, 2014

Nick Frost In Doctor Who 2014 Christmas Special

Nick Frost, mostly known from his bromance roles with actor Simon Pegg (Star Trek), has been offered and accepted a lead role for the 2014 Doctor Who Christmas Special. Production for the episode has already begun.

Frost recently starred in The World’s End, the story of a group of old friends, after high school, went their separate ways and have rejoined years later to hit every pub in their childhood town ending with the infamous bar The World’s End. What they soon find out is their old haunts have been overtaken by a group of aliens with nefarious plans to overtake humanity.

Doctor Who showrunner and head writer Steven Moffat made the official announcement through BBC One saying, “Frost at Christmas — it just makes sense! I worked with Nick on the ‘Tintin’ movie many years ago, and it’s a real pleasure to lure him back to television for a ride on the TARDIS.”

In an official statement Frost commented, “I’m so thrilled to have been asked to guest in the ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas special, I’m such a fan of the show. The read-through was very difficult for me; I wanted to keep stuffing my fingers into my ears and scream ‘No spoilers!’ Every day on set I’ve had to silence my internal fan boy squeals!”

Other actors starring in this episode will be the son of the second Doctor Who Patrick Troughton. His name is Michael Troughton. Michael is famous in his own right having starred in several successful UK television series over the last 30-years. Also guest starring for the Christmas Special are Natalie Gumede (Coronation Street), Nathan McMullen (Misfits) and Faye Marsay (The White Queen). Of course the big question is — are the rumors true that this will be Who companion Clara Oswald’s (Jenna Coleman) last time travel adventure with the Doctor?

Frost currently has three other films at various levels of production due out in late 2014 and Summer 2015.