Perry Beeman

Perry Beeman

Perry Beeman is senior reporter for the Iowa Capital Dispatch. He has nearly 40 years of experience in journalism and has won national awards for environmental and business writing. He has written for The Des Moines Register and the Business Record, where he also served as managing editor. He also is former editorial director of Grinnell College. He co-authored the recently published book, "The $80 Billion Gamble," which details the lottery-rigging case of Eddie Tipton.

Economist: Climate change, food scarcity demand ‘transformation’

By: - September 20, 2021

A challenging combination of food scarcity and climate change-related threats to agriculture are driving calls for a “transformation” in food systems, an economist told environmental journalists this week.  Those issues are expected to be discussed by world leaders at a special United Nations food systems conference Sept. 23 in New York. Channing Arndt, a development economist […]

Dairy farmer: Fix ‘broken’ milk pricing system

By: - September 16, 2021

An Iowa dairy farmer appealed to a U.S. Senate subcommittee Wednesday to help fix a “broken” milk-pricing system she said has worsened conditions in an era of financial uncertainty. Christina Zuiderveen, managing partner of Black Soil Dairy LLC and an industry leader, said the federal milk marketing orders system “promised dairy producers that if their […]

Goldman Sachs: 40% of U.S. small businesses don’t have three months of savings

By: - September 8, 2021

More than 40% of U.S. small businesses couldn’t cover three months of expenses with their current cash reserves, a Goldman Sachs survey showed. Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses Voices program said the results are a “critical warning sign” that might mean policymakers will have to consider additional aid. Small businesses have been a central part […]

Coalition of states join lawsuit accusing Google of anti-competitive practices

By: - July 8, 2021

Missouri is among 36 states suing Google over allegations the tech firm is operating a monopoly with its app store and Google Billing. The states claim Google paid off competitors and used contracts to create a monopoly for its app store on Android phones and Google Billing. “As we’ve repeatedly seen and as we allege in our […]

U.S. Senators call for legislation to address power of meatpackers

By: - June 24, 2021

Members of a key U.S. Senate committee called Wednesday for legislation to reduce the power of four large packing companies that control more than 80% of the cattle market.  In a call with reporters, Republican U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa said many farmers are losing money on each animal while the packers make $800 […]

Bipartisan group in U.S. Senate pushing for biofuels support, end of waivers

By: - June 23, 2021

GOP U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst joined Democratic colleague Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota on Tuesday to push for stronger support of biofuels.  They were joined at a Senate subcommittee hearing that Smith chaired by Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar, also of Minnesota. Klobuchar cited a recent chorus of rumor-fueled complaints alleging the Biden administration may be […]

Cyberattack on meat giant JBS has industry looking to fortify defenses

By: - June 3, 2021

A ransomware attack on the world’s largest meatpacking company this week drew attention to the need for more cybersecurity in agriculture. JBS plants across the U.S. had moved toward reopening at full capacity late Wednesday after a cyberattack on servers. The White House said a Russian crime organization is likely to blame.  President Joe Biden […]

U.S. Supreme Court hears high-stakes arguments in biofuels case

By: - April 28, 2021

Oil refiners and biofuels interests squared off in oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday. As is usually the case, the justices grilled lawyers from both sides before submitting the case for a decision later, most likely in a couple of months or more. Hollyfrontier Cheyenne Refining LLC v. Renewable Fuels Association addresses questions […]

Poll: Many farmers still doubt that humans drive climate change

By: - April 26, 2021

Farmers continue to question whether climate change is driven by humans, which is the consensus of scientists worldwide, an Iowa State University researcher has found.  ISU sociology professor J. Arbuckle, drawing largely from ISU’s Farm and Rural Life Poll, said farmers have become more open to conversations about carbon emissions and climate change. “Farmers are […]

EPA to environmental reporters: We are committed to openness

By: - March 19, 2021

Top public affairs staffers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday told journalists the agency is taking actions to be more open. The Society of Environmental Journalists invited EPA representatives to field questions from journalists. The session was planned as EPA Administrator Michael Regan, who was sworn in Wednesday, prepared to take office. SEJ is a 1,500-member nonprofit, nonpartisan […]

Farmers call for voluntary, financially appealing programs to fight climate change

By: - March 12, 2021

Congress should use voluntary, financially appealing programs to encourage farmers and foresters to help address climate change, experts told the U.S. Senate agriculture committee Thursday.  Speakers from the corn and soybean fields of Illinois to the rice fields of Arkansas told the panel that it would be best to work through existing farm programs to […]

Environment group: Trump’s final year in office saw spike in farm subsidies

By: - February 26, 2021

President Trump’s administration spent $20 billion on farm subsidies in its last year, four times the level at the beginning of his term, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group reported Wednesday. Much of that aid went to the largest farms, the group said. EWG analyzed U.S. Department of Agriculture data, which included a variety of temporary […]