ROA Archive

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...
Agriculture is South Dakota’s largest industry. And Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s political ascent has had some agriculture-related hiccups, which is confounding considering she grew up on the farm. First there was her propensity for skipping agriculture committee meetings. Then the embarrassing stalled farm bill in the House of Representatives. It also came to light that...
Satirical news site the Onion ran this amusing agriculture-related piece last week: Corporation Surprised To See Its Tax Money Circle Back Around To It So Soon MINNETONKA, MN—Saying he’d been expecting the multinational corporation to have to wait a little while longer, David MacLennan, the CEO of U.S.-based agribusiness Cargill, told reporters Friday he...
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...
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...
Lawmakers could stem the growth of our largest dead zone with their votes. But most refuse to. Agriculture field run-off is the main contributor to the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone, an oxygen-deprived swath of ocean the size of Connecticut. Fertilizer from farms throughout the Midwest washes into the Mississippi River and eventually makes its...
My interview with author and co-owner of South Dakota’s Wild Idea Buffalo Ranch, Dan O’Brien, ran in Civil Eats Friday. The occasion was the publication of his new book, Wild Idea: Buffalo and Family in a Difficult Land. The piece focused on modern agriculture and the sustainability aspects of his business. There’s another side...