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.

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 […]

Meatpackers deny price fixing for beef during U.S. House agriculture committee hearing

By: - April 28, 2022

The record profits for meatpackers in the past two years were the result of market conditions during the coronavirus pandemic, along with increased consumer demand, according to leaders of the country’s four large meatpacking companies. The meatpacking executives defended their business practices during a lengthy congressional committee hearing on Wednesday. U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Georgia, […]

Expanded rural broadband likely a focus of federal farm bill

By: - March 14, 2022

The coronavirus pandemic highlighted the need for federal assistance to develop high-speed internet connectivity in all parts of the country, members of a U.S. House subcommittee agreed this week as they reviewed provisions that are likely to be included in the next farm bill. “I represent a largely rural district in north-central, northeast Florida, and […]

Farmers seek more favorable trigger for crop payments

By: - March 2, 2022

The crop-price thresholds that trigger government payments to some U.S. farmers should be increased in the next farm bill to account for soaring fertilizer and fuel costs, according to farm groups that testified Tuesday to members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. The committee met to review commodity support programs of the Agriculture Improvement Act […]

Vilsack: Fertilizer prices are biggest worry for farmers after Russian invasion

By: - February 25, 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine this week might drive up the costs of farm fertilizers globally — which nearly quadrupled last year in price in the United States and remain high — and presents an opportunity for unscrupulous companies to artificially inflate those prices further, according to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “That’s my biggest and […]

USDA pledges $1B for ‘climate smart’ ag products

By: - February 7, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to spend up to $1 billion to foster the creation of climate-friendly agricultural and forestry products by offering grants to facilitate their production and the markets to sell them. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon in those industries. “Agriculture is such an exciting but […]

Congress clashes over climate in early farm bill talks

By: - February 2, 2022

Congressional Democrats on Wednesday touted conservation programs for farmers and ranchers as key tools for limiting agriculture’s impact on the global climate as they took initial steps to create the next farm bill. One Republican’s response: So what? “We’ve talked primarily about climate change, and I gotta to be honest with you,” U.S. Rep. Rick […]

Smithfield Foods settlement with feds can’t be used in COVID lawsuits

By: - November 17, 2021

Smithfield Foods agreed this week to pay the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration $13,494 to settle a citation for failing to protect its meatpacking employees in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, from exposure to the coronavirus last year, but the company didn’t admit it did anything wrong. As such, the settlement can’t be “used or […]

Ag secretary: Biden administration ‘protecting animal agriculture’ with methane reduction plans

By: - November 9, 2021

Reducing the number of livestock will not be a priority for the Biden administration as it seeks to drastically cut methane emissions to stem climate change, according to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Instead, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “climate smart” initiatives will focus on new types of animal feed and manure management. “There […]

Report: COVID cases, deaths at packing plants were triple previous counts

By: - October 28, 2021

The numbers of meatpacking workers infected and killed by the coronavirus are much higher than previously known, a congressional review has found. More than 59,000 workers of the country’s five largest meatpackers were infected, and about 270 died, according to a report by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis that was made public […]