Latest from Alan

Idaho’s “Ag Gag” Bagged

In a relatively short, toughly-worded decision issued Aug. 3, a federal judge in Idaho struck down that state’s year-old “ag gag” law that sought to “criminalize” undercover, or whistleblower, investigations of livestock facilities suspected of animal abuse. The action by B. Lynn Winmill, chief judge of Idaho’s U.S. District Court, is the first time any […]

Read More

Sustainable Is What Sustainable Does

Everywhere you look, there’s a poetic irony to today’s high-speed rush toward “slow” food and agricultural sustainability. For example, throughout the U.S. well-informed, well-intentioned shoppers see no inherent conflict in driving their tank-sized SUVs to the local organic cooperative to purchase sustainably-grown meat, fruit, dairy products, and vegetables. Corporate America is little different. It spends […]

Read More

A SAFE, Silly Trick

There’s little safety and virtually no accuracy in SAFE, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, that passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, July 23. It was written by Big Ag to protect Big Ag, not consumers, even though nine out of 10 American consumers want food labels to disclose the […]

Read More

Going Against the Flow

As summer heats up so too will agriculture’s ongoing water quality problems. On July 10, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that Lake Erie’s algal bloom will be “more severe in 2015” due to “historic rains in June.” On a scale of 1 to 10, forecasts NOAA, this year’s bloom will be 8.7, […]

Read More

Out to Pasture

No July passes without baseball’s All-Star game and no All-Star game passes without most middle-aged farmboys recalling childhood dreams of playing professional baseball. That’s what we did two generations ago: we played baseball in daylight, we listened to baseball in twilight, we dreamt baseball at night. My baseball dreams reflected my southern Illinois roots. I […]

Read More