#ROA Archive

Last week I had the privilege of accompanying an American University class on the final White House Garden tour of the year. My three takeaways from the tour: Small garden, huge symbol The space really is quite small, which compared to its impact in the national conversation on food and farming underscores its symbolic nature....
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...
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...
This op-ed first appeared in Politico Pro. A contentious issue in the upcoming Colorado and Oregon GMO labeling referendums is the perceived safety of consuming genetically modified foods. Question a representative of the National Corn Growers Association or the American Farm Bureau Federation about the safety of eating GMOs and you’ll rightly be scolded...
The recent campaign against Environmental Protection Agency clean water rule proposals has descended into farce, courtesy of the American Petroleum Institute and the federal ethanol mandate. The issue of ethanol subsidies and mandates has generated opposition coalitions comprised of some pretty “strange bedfellows.” With ethanol’s threat to fossil fuel’s market share, its impact on livestock...
By trying to have it both ways on the issue of clean water and agriculture pollution, House Energy and Commerce chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) exemplifies the precise qualities the Republic of Awesome’s status quo thrives on. Here he is in May excoriating the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Waters of the U.S. rule at the...
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...
(Photo courtesy of SD GFP) My home state of South Dakota is famous for its ringneck pheasant hunting. It’s a statewide tradition every fall that also brings in hordes of out of state hunters. In high school it didn’t matter what your interests were, nearly everyone took to the fields after class. Pheasant hunting...