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Supreme Court to mull control of patented seeds

The case of an Indiana farmer who planted the genetically altered soybeans he got from a local grain elevator has reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Hugh Bowman’s dispute with agricultural giant Monsanto has evolved into a larger debate of the influence big agribusinesses have on farmers. Monsanto, the producer of the powerful herbicide Roundup and the […]

Behind the Barn

Posted with permission from Richard S. Gilbert, this lovely piece of writing sets the stage for what happened in 2008. The second Barn for Barack was a story we posted as a slide show in September, 2008. Thank you, Richard, for allowing us a glimpse into the family and the people behind the Second Barn […]

Dairy farmers struggled through drought, now battle armyworms; will suffer without Farm Bill

Dairy farmers will lose up to 10 percent of their monthly income from milk beginning in October because the Milk Income Loss Contract expired when the Farm Bill wasn’t renewed on Sept. 30. MILC is a program that provides dairy farmers with payments when the price of producing milk is more than the price for […]

Drought slows rural economy in 10 central states

The economy in rural areas of 10 Midwestern and Western states continued to look weak this month as the region begins a slow recovery from this summer’s oppressive drought, according to The Rural Mainstreet Index, an economic survey of rural bankers by Creighton University in Omaha. The economic index for this month is 48.3, up slightly […]

As large farms replace mid-sized and smaller ones, rural communities suffer loss of local spending

“It’s not difficult to see the dominant trendline in agriculture when nearly every view of the landscape provides evidence,” writes Heidi Marttila-Losure in the summer issue of Dakotafire, a regional reporting project of small news outlets in the eastern Dakotas. “The tractors and planting rigs that were out in the fields this spring were double the size […]

U.S. House of Representatives Abandons Rural America

WASHINGTON (Sept. 17, 2012) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement following U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s announcement of the remaining votes in the House, which does not include the 2012 Farm Bill: “The 2008 Farm Bill expires on Sept. 30. Congress is well aware of its […]

Farm Bill Now: Call to Action from New England Farmers Union

The House Agriculture Committee passed its version of a 2012 farm bill weeks ago on a bipartisan vote but the GOP leadership refuses to bring it to the House floor for debate.  In fact, the House GOP leadership intends to leave town next week without passing a five-year farm bill for our nation’s farmers. Not […]

Poll: Drought Conditions Add to Importance of Conservation to Farmers

This just in from National Farmers Union: WASHINGTON (Sept. 11, 2012) – American farmers value conservation programs, particularly in times of ­­drought, and reject cutting conservation funding, according to a poll released today by National Farmers Union (NFU). The bipartisan poll, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research – a Democratic polling firm – and Public […]

Rural matters a lot in election, liberal columnist says

It’s all politics at the Iowa State Fair in this presidential election year, as it has been for decades. Presumptive Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan visited the fair last week, but left John Nichols of The Capital Times in Madison, Wis., wondering what he was doing there after refusing to answer questions about the […]