Live from Des Moines

We had the great privilege to attend last weekend’s annual Iowa Farmers Union convention in Des Moines, IA. As you may have heard, we’re in the middle of an absurdly early presidential campaign, and the Iowa caucuses are considered important by those in the know. So there just happened to be substantial political presence at the IFU convention, and we certainly enjoyed aggravating campaign staff by pointing out their bosses’ regular votes against the interests of family farmers and rural America.

Turning the Page, Not Closing the Book

Initiative 300 has been a crucial part of retaining more Nebraska family farmers and ranchers, especially livestock producers, than other states without the same protection against corporate farming and vertical integration. But the courts have overridden Nebraska’s anti-corporate farming law, passed by a vote of the people in 1982.

How I Spent My Summer

Editors Note: The following was written by Center for Rural Affairs Policy Intern, Liz Lesher. At the end of August Liz will return to school at Smith College in Massachusetts.

I spent 10 weeks working at the Center for Rural Affairs. I’ve learned more than I could have imagined about the complex economics that affect rural communities and more than I’d like to know about how hogs are slaughtered. I’ve learned that politics isn’t about the best policy. I’ve heard politicians evade questions so well you would think they were paid to do it.

Asking Price: $50,000,000

Well, we’ve written several times about the money cotton and rice growers receive from the feds. And given those dollar figures, we’ve been thinking it would sure be nice to get our hands on good-sized cotton and rice farm, sit on the porch, drink some iced tea, and cash checks. Finally, we’ve discovered a suitable chunk of land, and if we could


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