Ag Lobby Archive

Today the Senate Agriculture Committee is holding a hearing on fraud in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — better known as food stamps. The hearing is at the behest of Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS). According to Bloomberg News, Roberts is using the hearing as a beachhead for a larger plan...
The situation in Flint, Michigan has rightly has put a spotlight on the deplorable state of drinking water in America. Water pollution in the U.S. from agriculture is also a big problem getting bigger. From Toledo to Des Moines, municipal water systems are being overwhelmed trying to filter out farm pollutants. The residents of Adrian, Minnesota...
Food and farm reformers have rightly been focusing on the presidential primary season, urging candidates to talk about agriculture and engage in “good food” issues. But there’s another presidential race that will have profound impacts on our future food and farm system. And this contest has been flying under the radar of the good...
The increasing vagaries of climate change are already having profound impacts on agriculture and how we grow our food. The short of it is unless we find a way to drastically reduce green house gas emissions while sequestrating more carbon, we’re screwed. Droughts, floods, volatile weather and pests will make it much harder to...

The Wrong Way

Republican Matt Bevin’s recent triumph for the governorship in Kentucky underscores the long downward slide for Democrats in rural America. Due to Tea Party waves and cycles of lackluster outreach efforts the blue squad has seen its numbers dwindle in farm country. What could help farm state D’s wander out of the darkness? According...
There have been rumors of the demise of the farm lobby’s power. But recent events with agriculture check-offs suggest otherwise. Check-offs are government monitored promotion programs that siphon off money from farmers to pay for marketing and research. They are the money machine behind much of the ag and food sector’s marketing appeals, and sometimes sketchier efforts....
You may have noticed that the price of eggs has gone up. That’s partially due to the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza epidemic that decimated poultry farms across 15 U.S. states this spring. The death toll from the flu and culling has surged to over 48 million birds. The bulk were egg-laying hens, many concentrated in massive...
The modern farm lobby has many similarities with the Republican Party like denying climate change and calling for the repeal of Obamacare in policy books. Until today, DC based ag lobbyists have largely adhered to a peace accord similar to the GOP 11th Amendment axiom made famous by Ronald Reagan to not attack other...
Consumer preference for more ethical and healthy fare is driving change in food and farming. Animal welfare concerns are often at the heart of this change. Spurred by activists exposing cruel treatment of livestock, many operations have made welcome and humane improvements in how farm animals are handled. Still, it seems every week another...