Opinion: Ag blazing 5 for 2019 (and beyond)

Breaking out major prognostic tools (including an 8-ball, Ouija board, paper fortune teller and dart board...yeah we're high tech around here) here are some of the big agricultural issues on the horizon for 2019.

Photo of dogs “Okie” (left), “Jenny” (middle) and “Foot” (right) at former dog breeding facility owned by Debra Pratt near New Sharon, Iowa, in this photo taken March 26, 2013, during an authorized USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service investigation.

Federal judge strikes Iowa ‘ag-gag’ Law

A federal judge has struck down as unconstitutional a 2012 Iowa law that banned undercover recording at agricultural production facilities in the state, saying the law’s primary aim is curbing speech critical of practices at those facilities.

USDA rural broadband investment tops $200 million in 2018

The USDA has announced plans for a pilot program to bring broadband internet to all of rural America.

The plan, which Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue calls a “proof of concept,” will provide $600 million dollars in grants and loans to internet service providers to bring connection to parts of the country that are too remote, underpopulated or expensive to serve.

The air they breathe
The Trump administration bowed to livestock-industry pressure, and made it harder for neighbors of CAFOs to learn what pollutants they're inhaling.

Recent actions by the GOP-controlled Congress and the Trump administration have exempted big livestock farms from reporting air emissions. The moves follow a decade-long push by the livestock industry for exemption and leave neighbors of large-scale operations in the dark about what they’re inhaling. If that weren’t enough, environmental advocates warn that the failure to monitor those emissions makes it even harder to assess the climate effects of large-scale agriculture.

Opinion: Is half a loaf of bread better than none?

Many of my blog posts notwithstanding I root for big-agriculture.  I want them to succeed. At heart, I am a pragmatist that realizes big ag must be part of any solution to feed the world's growing population.  But having said that there are specific things I believe big ag must do as part of its corporate identity.