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Here are short bios of our Ag Life hosts:
Bob comes from a family farm background that consisted of row-crop production, and a small cow herd. After studying broadcasting in college, he started work in Extension Information and moved to commercial Farm Broadcasting. Bob also served as Head of Editorial at Data Transmission Network (DTN) where he helped develop an information service aimed at the California Dairy Industry. Today, Bob covers National Farm News, Farm Policy, and attends National Commodity Organization meetings and trade shows. Bob and his wife Ann also own a small farm. Email Bob Quinn
Mark grew up with farming in his blood. His father and uncle farmed together during Mark's childhood and both of his grandfathers farmed. Mark studied radio broadcasting at Brown College in Mendota Heights, MN with his first job being an overnight shift on a country station. Mark has worn many hats in his broadcast career including Farm Director and Program Director. He's done sports play by play, assisted for several years in the news department, hosted a morning show and in 2006 became a full time farm broadcaster. In November 2012 Mark was recognized for his farm market reporting at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Convention in Kansas City by placing Second nationally in the NAFB Marketcast category. Mark and his wife Melissa have a little boy, Gavin, who can't seem to get enough of his toy tractors and Little People Farm Set. Email Mark Dorenkamp
China's economic growth ticked up in the final quarter of last year from a
three-year low. The World Bank and private sector forecasters expect economic
growth of about 7.5 percent this year. That would be stronger than the West and
Japan but China's weakest performance since the 1990s.
Inflation eased to 2 percent in January from the previous month's 2.5
percent despite a 37 percent jump in vegetable prices after the coldest winter
in seven years damaged crops, the National Bureau of Statistics reported.
Vegetable prices in some areas soared 74.6 percent.
The inflation decline was due in part to comparison with last January, when
the Lunar New Year holiday began earlier and food prices spiked as families
stocked up for banquets. This year, the food price spike will show up in
Pressure for prices to rise has increased in recent months, possibly
constraining Beijing's ability to support the recovery if needed with more
spending or interest rate cuts. Inflation is politically dangerous in a society
where the poorest families spend up to half their incomes on food.
Beijing is pinning its hopes for recovery on government-driven investment
and domestic consumer spending. That is rising but not as fast as authorities
want, forcing the government to fill the gap with spending on building subways
and other public works.
Analysts warn China's recovery could be vulnerable if trade or government
spending weaken. Societe Generale said last month there still is a chance of a
"hard landing," with growth dropping below 6 percent, which would be
dangerously low for China.
"A deceleration is likely by the end of the year if further stimulus
measures are not forthcoming, which they probably won't because of latent
inflation pressures," said Chan of Moody's. "Exports are expected to record
moderate growth as the global economy recovers."
China's global trade surplus widened 6.5 percent from January 2012 to $29.2
billion. Exports were $187.4 billion while imports totaled $158.2 billion.
The politically volatile trade surplus with the United States, which has
temporarily overtaken the struggling European Union as China's biggest export
market, narrowed by 2.8 percent from a year earlier to a still-hefty $17.2
The trade surplus with the 27-nation EU contracted 10.9 percent to $12.3