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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...

TJ’s Garden

Spent a lovely morning touring Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. The garden was just starting to erupt. From the official Monticello site: Thomas Jefferson’s 1,000-foot-long, terraced vegetable garden is the true American garden: practical, expansive, casual, diverse, wrought from a world of edible immigrants.  Aside from its diverse population of mostly introduced crops, the Monticello garden...
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas over environmental concerns has driven some residents desperate for extraction income to consider secession. As told by the LA Times: Chief among those decisions has been the fracking ban, Price said. Local disappointment was sharpened by the knowledge that friends living...
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On January 3, 2013 in an Oxford farming conference lecture, Mark Lynas declared the science behind the safety of consuming genetically modified crops settled. Lynas is an author, journalist and long-time climate change campaigner. He also had been a vehement anti-GMO activist. The attention Lynas’s “conversion” brought made him an in-demand speaker for agriculture-related groups. The...
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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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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...