Ag Lobby Archive

Corn Pile
Food historian Rachel Laudan touched a nerve last week when a long ago published essay “A plea for culinary modernism” resurfaced on Jacobin magazine. The gist of her thinking is that the good food movement is unjustly ignoring the efficiency and bounty our industrialized food system produces. From an interview of Laudan by Washingtonian’s...
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There’s a growing public fight brewing over industrial agriculture’s water pollution. The most prominent scuffle is the Environmental Protection Agency’s highly contentious Waters of the US rule. At the local level much of the heat is centered on the recent lawsuit filed by the Des Moines’ Water Works over fertilizer derived nitrate run-off. Minnesota...
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When it comes to changing the food system, Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) might be the most outspoken member of Congress yet. Now in his sixth term, Ryan is the author of Real Food Revolution, Healthy Eating, Green Groceries, and the Return of the American Family Farm. Former President Bill Clinton describes the book as “a straightforward and much-needed...
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Republican politics — especially the presidential primary — have become a contest of appealing to the far right voter by demonstrating conservative street cred. That’s why it was fascinating to observe March 7th’s awkward march of Republican candidates to the Iowa State Fairgrounds to articulate their position on the Renewable Fuels Standard — a government handout for those...
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The 114th Congress has convened and the agriculture committee membership has been set. It’s a little-known fact is that the federal farm bill – drafted by the agriculture committees — represents the single largest U.S taxpayer investment in the environment, with $39 billion spent on agriculture-related conservation programs from 1995-2012. The conservation programs authorized...
Secretary Vilsack , House Ag Committee, "State of the Ag Economy."
How do the agriculture committees in the 114th Congress stack up? Last November, Mark Bittman, Micheal Pollan, Olivier De Schutter, and Ricardo Salvador made the case for a national food and farm policy to improve American diets and the environment. In a collectively penned Washington Post opinion piece, the authors and food system experts identified a...
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The new Republican Senate’s fist move is legislation to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. The bill was introduced today despite the pipeline’s dubious benefits and heated opposition. If passed, Canadian tar sand oil will be pumped through South Dakota. The machinations of pipeline approval also open a window into the craven politics that have come...
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Lead by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the agriculture lobby  has relentlessly pushed back against new Environmental Protection Agency proposed rules for improving U.S. water quality. Through their “ditch the rule” campaign the AFBF has spent lavishly on PR, intensely lobbied Congress, mobilized their vast membership, and joined forces with big-time polluters in opposition to...
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Republicans took total control Congress last night. And a handful of races focused specific agriculture issues and legislation or have implications on future food and farm policy decisions. Iowa Republican Joni Ernst defeats Democrat Bruce Braley to replace Tom Harkin This race is seismic for agriculture lobby influence. Iowa, state of my birth, is...