Ag + Environment

U.S. House agriculture leaders discuss anti-hunger measures in upcoming farm bill

BY: - January 18, 2023

WASHINGTON — The new Republican chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee and a top Democrat on the panel on Wednesday laid out anti-hunger initiatives Congress could tackle in the upcoming farm bill. During a panel discussion, Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania, the new head of the Agriculture Committee, said he believes members of […]

Town’s drinking water contamination returns after testing ends

BY: - January 17, 2023

NICHOLS, Iowa — Four years ago, John O’Connell was told the water at his house was finally safe to drink. For more than a decade, an agricultural company had supplied him and some of his neighbors with bottled water while it attempted to clean the nitrate, herbicides and pesticides from the soil of its former […]

U.S. House GOP would make it easier for feds to give public lands away to states

BY: - January 16, 2023

U.S. House Republicans included in the new rules for the chamber they passed this month a provision meant to make it easier for Congress to give away public lands. The provision is a fairly technical piece of the 55-page rules package. It affects internal House accounting and requires that anytime Congress were to give any federal […]

D.C. Dispatch: House members appointed to committees; lawmakers take aim at China

BY: - January 15, 2023

After the weeklong delay caused by the prolonged speakership election, Iowa’s House members have finally received their committee assignments, allowing them to begin their work in Congress. On the other side of the Capitol building, Sen. Joni Ernst joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers to call for increased interreligious dialogue and Sen. Chuck Grassley is […]

Metro growth promises opportunity, conflicts for rural water utility

BY: - January 13, 2023

The expansion of Des Moines’ suburbs and nearby communities has provided a rich opportunity for the Xenia Rural Water District to add new, densely clustered customers. The water utility serves about 10,700 customers in parts of 11 counties west and north of Des Moines. That includes those in sparsely populated areas and, more recently, suburban […]

COMMENTARY

Four steps the Iowa Legislature can take to end hunger

BY: and - January 13, 2023

As we begin 2023 and a new General Assembly of the Iowa Legislature, Iowans are experiencing record levels of hunger. This need is well-documented in recent reports of increased demand for emergency food aid due to an end to pandemic-era relief programs, inflation and rising food costs. Addressing immediate needs is important, but to truly […]

U.S. House passes legislation barring sales of strategic reserve oil to China

BY: - January 12, 2023

U.S. House Republicans wrapped up their first week in the majority Thursday by passing with bipartisan support a bill to prohibit the Energy Department from selling the nation’s stockpile of crude oil to China or affiliated entities. The bill, written by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican from Washington, would prevent releases […]

3M to provide new drinking water wells for Camanche

BY: - January 10, 2023

The Mississippi River town of Camanche is set to get two new deep wells for drinking water to replace shallower ones that are contaminated by “forever chemicals,” according to the Camanche city administrator. 3M Company has been a major manufacturer of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances — commonly known as PFAS — and its facility across […]

Iowa’s ethanol production sets new record, group says

BY: - January 9, 2023

Ethanol plants in Iowa produced an estimated 4.5 billion gallons in 2022 — a new record for the state, according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. The association’s estimate is based on survey data, public reports and other information. It surpasses the state’s 2021 estimated production record of 4.4 billion gallons. “Iowa continues to set […]

Farmers endured a rough year, but fertilizer companies cashed in

BY: - January 8, 2023

This story was originally published by Investigate Midwest. Lance Lillibridge, a farmer in east central Iowa, knows farming’s ups and downs. He has been in this business since he was “knee-high to a grasshopper” and is the first of a family of farmers to own his land. But he said the sharp increase in fertilizer […]

D.C. Dispatch: Iowa House members finally sworn in; Grassley becomes dean of the Senate

BY: - January 7, 2023

It was a long week in D.C. for members of the U.S. House as Rep. Kevin McCarthy took four days and 15 ballots before securing the votes early Saturday to be elected speaker. Iowa’s four Republican representatives voted for McCarthy throughout the drawn-out process, but could not be sworn in or start taking action on […]

USDA fines Iowa dog breeder with long history of violations

BY: - January 6, 2023

A rural Iowa breeder who euthanized unwanted dogs with unauthorized stomach injections and then left the animals alone to die has been fined $12,600 by the federal government. Henry R. Sommers, who runs the Happy Puppy dog-breeding operation on 141st Avenue in the Appanoose County town of Cincinnati, has been cited by the U.S. Department […]