Author

Jared Strong

Jared Strong

Jared Strong has written about Iowans and the important issues that affect them for more than 15 years, previously for the Carroll Times Herald and the Des Moines Register. His investigative work exposing police misconduct has notched several state and national awards. He is a longtime trustee of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, which fights for open records and open government. He is a lifelong Iowan and has lived mostly in rural western parts of the state.

USDA gives $73 million to create, expand smaller livestock processors

By: - November 2, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced its first grant awards on Wednesday — totaling about $73 million — to increase the processing capacity of smaller, independent meatpackers in 16 states. They range from a $292,000 grant to provide independent Montana farmers with a USDA-inspected meat processing facility — which is required to sell the products […]

USDA announces another $759 million of grants and loans for rural internet

By: - October 27, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding grants and loans that total about $759 million to 49 high-speed internet projects in 24 states and in other territories, the department announced Thursday. The total includes nearly $60 million for four Missouri projects. The federal funding is part of the department’s ReConnect Program and is partially funded […]

Federal government has given $800 million to keep indebted farmers afloat

By: - October 19, 2022

More than 13,000 farmers have benefited from nearly $800 million in federal debt relief, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Tuesday. The assistance came from a new federal initiative to erase farmers’ loan delinquencies to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and private lenders or to resolve their remaining debts after foreclosure. Going forward, the […]

USDA hopes to boost fertilizer production as soon as next year

By: - September 28, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will invest $500 million to increase domestic fertilizer production, doubling its previous commitment, the agency announced. The federal dollars would boost long-term projects and ready-to-go proposals that might have an effect as early as next year. Some of the first projects to get funding from the Fertilizer Production Expansion Program […]

USDA more than triples funding for ‘climate smart’ agriculture

By: - September 14, 2022

The Biden administration plans to distribute more than $3 billion to fund projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon in agriculture and forestry — a tripling of its initial commitment in February. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was set to publicly announce the expansion of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program on […]

Vilsack: America’s voluntary approach to agriculture is better than Europe’s mandates

By: - August 31, 2022

BOONE, Iowa — The more than $1 billion the federal government is devoting to voluntary efforts to reduce agriculture’s adverse effects on the environment is a better long-term strategy than mandating new rules for farmers, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Tuesday. While state and federal officials in the United States have tended to […]

USDA plans ‘historic’ funding to help struggling farmers, develop new ag leaders

By: - August 25, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will distribute up to $550 million to expand certain farmers’ access to land, money and markets and to create educational opportunities for the students of higher-education institutions that cater to racial and ethnic minorities. “The idea here obviously is to enlarge the number of people that are engaged in this […]

Biden administration plays long game for agriculture and trade

By: - August 19, 2022

WOODWARD, Iowa — The United States could take international trade actions that might have an immediate impact on the operating costs for farmers and the markets available for their crops, but the Biden administration has opted for a longer-term strategy, one of the nation’s top emissaries said Thursday during a trip to a central Iowa […]

State attorneys general support new poultry rule but question oversight

By: - August 10, 2022

The attorneys general of 10 states are backing a proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that is meant to get poultry growers fair agreements with meat processors, but they want stronger oversight. “One of the many reasons it’s tough for small poultry farmers — and small farmers of all kinds — to afford […]

Midwest states vary in how they handle risk of lead in venison donated to food banks

By: and - June 6, 2022

HIAWATHA, Iowa – A walk-in freezer about two stories high sits in one corner of a warehouse owned by a food bank called Hawkeye Area Community Action Program Inc.   Chris Ackman, the food bank’s communication manager, points to the shelving racks where any donated venison the organization receives is typically stored. Known as the Help […]

U.S. ag secretary lays out Biden administration vision for ‘transformed food system’

By: - June 2, 2022

The Biden administration has set aside billions of dollars to help the nation’s food supply chain recover from the coronavirus pandemic — and, more recently, the looming global effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — and on Wednesday, it announced new funding and a comprehensive overview of how those initiatives mesh. “A transformed food system […]

USDA relaxes conservation program rules to boost crop production

By: - May 27, 2022

Agricultural landowners who are not renewing their agreements this year with the federal government to keep their land out of production have the ability to put that land back to work earlier, a potential boost to wheat and other crop production amid global shortages, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday. Those who have land […]