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.

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.

High-Grade Cropland Gives Way To Urban Growth In Iowa – At Least Where There’s Growth

Urban expansion, at least in the few areas where Iowa cities are growing, is eating up some of the state’s best farmland. In Ankeny, a central Iowa suburb of Des Moines that a May U.S. Census Bureau report ranked as the nation’s fourth fastest-growing large city from July 2016 to July 2017, much of the land being developed for housing is high quality soil for raising crops, an Iowa State University agronomy department survey shows.

Opinion: Smithfield may profit from U.S. China trade war

Generally speaking, pork barrel politics amounts to politicians trading favors to constituents or special interest groups for political support, often as campaign contributions. Pork barrel spending, better known as earmarks in federal spending bills, have surged in 2018. Who may be profiting this year? Smithfield Foods.