Art Cullen

Art Cullen

Art Cullen is editor of the Storm Lake Times Pilot, where this column appears. Please consider a subscription to the Times Pilot or a tax-deductible donation to the Western Iowa Journalism Foundation. He is a member of the Iowa Writers' Collective. Subscribe to Art Cullen's Notebook here.


Fiddling while we burn: We know what to do about climate change but who will do it?

By: - August 25, 2023

Here we sit sweating it out under a heat dome. It’s supposed to get hot in an Iowa summer, but like this? One heat dome after another. Then a shower just in the nick of time. They say it’s a sign of climate change — that seasonal extremes like a hot August day become more […]


A little hope amid the haze

By: - July 5, 2023

Haze from wildfires in the Pacific Northwest focuses the mind on our cooking climate as skies grow dim over Chicago at midday. Alberta and Saskatchewan are wheat and canola country. Scorched. Chronic drought runs down from the Dakotas all the way to El Paso. In Illinois, they measure corn at the knee on the Fourth […]


Abortion won’t turn the tide in Iowa’s 2024 elections

By: - July 1, 2023

I’m “pro-life,” you could say. I was reared in a strictly Catholic household at 216 Geneseo St., and sent to St. Mary’s School in Storm Lake where that regimen was reinforced. I matriculated to an all-men’s college run by priests in the Twin Cities, where I was fully schooled in moral theology. I came of […]


Who cut your pork chop, Governor DeSantis?

By: - May 30, 2023

Ron DeSantis was railing on about illegal immigration while grilling pork chops at the annual picnic May 13 in deep-red Sioux Center hosted by Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Hull. The crowd cheered him on, knowing full well that immigrants cut the chops and work the dairy barns around Northwest Iowa. It’s an open secret that the […]


Our lawmakers are only buying time for biofuels

By: - May 6, 2023

Iowa’s congressional delegation mustered a goal-line defense for biofuel subsidies as the last holdouts to the House passing a debt ceiling bill that slashes government spending and sets up a showdown with President Joe Biden. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy got the four Iowa votes in the wee hours last week in return for a pledge […]


Our honorary congressman, Ro Khanna, has not given up on Iowa

By: - April 20, 2023

Iowa’s fifth congressman, Rep. Ro Khanna of Silicon Valley in California, noted that since the Iowa Caucuses have been abandoned by the Democratic National Committee, it should be obvious that he was not campaigning for president in Des Moines last week. The Democrat has been hanging around the Tall Corn State for several years promoting […]


It’s always been lean on the Great Plains, but this time feels different

By: - April 7, 2023

Gene Jackson hated to part with his 10-year-old mule Jackie. He had to put his best saddle on her for show at Valley Livestock Auction near Monte Verde, Colo. The 19-year-old cattleman can’t justify feeding her in this drought, where water-intensive alfalfa is a precious commodity held back for 150 pairs of cows and calves […]


Pipelines pressure GOP legislators fraught with internal contradictions

By: - March 3, 2023

Rural pressure against pipelines pumping liquefied CO2 by lever of eminent domain threatens to rupture Republicans controlling the Statehouse. Several bills promoted by Northwest Iowa legislators that would limit the use of land condemnation for pipeline easements are floating around the House and Senate. It appears that prospects are better in the House, where the […]


Why is rural America red? Coastal liberals should visit a rural diner to ask.

By: - February 4, 2023

The liberal elite Out East are waking up to the fact that their brand suffers from chronic disaffection among rural voters, and they are starting to wonder why. Just last week The New York Times carried two columns, one by Thomas Edsell asking academics what is wrong with us, and a follow-up by Paul Krugman, […]


We could make it easier to attract young people to rural Iowa

By: - January 6, 2023

All our friends say they’re having a hard time finding people to fill good jobs. Mike Franken said it was one of the first things he heard while campaigning for the U.S. Senate last fall. It is a common lament in Iowa community newspaper circles — small towns have an increasingly difficult time recruiting young […]


Singing a different tune on ag conservation

By: - December 8, 2022

Cutting in corporate America on climate policy appears to be clearing a path for a rational farm bill discussion as the new Congress organizes. House Republican leaders are making sympathetic comments about a strong conservation title in the five-year farm bill that is supposed to be written next year. Incoming House Ag Committee Chair Rep. […]


Trump has declared Iowa his turf for 2024

By: - November 12, 2022

Donald Trump blew into Sioux Gateway Airport last week not so much to praise Chuck Grassley and Kim Reynolds but to tell the cold, windblown diehards that he “very, very, very probably will do it again.” He set the stage for the 2024 presidential campaign before the midterm election was cast. Trump was loud enough […]