Ag + Environment

The effects of the Deere strike? Dealers are mum

BY: - October 22, 2021

The ongoing strike of more than 10,000 Deere & Co. workers was expected to slow the flow of replacement parts to farmers who are busy harvesting their fields, but the true effects so far are unclear. “We are not to be talking to reporters about it,” said a woman who answered the telephone at a […]

Offshore wind industry leaders ask Congress to back long-term plans to ramp up production

BY: - October 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is making a significant push for new offshore wind development to meet ambitious climate goals, but industry leaders say they also need long-term commitments and support from Congress to reach their potential. Leaders of the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind industry called on Congress to invest in renewables at a hearing […]

Drinking water for 59+ cities to be tested for ‘forever chemicals’

BY: - October 21, 2021

The state’s drinking water tests for toxic, human-made chemicals that persist indefinitely in the environment began this week and will include at least 59 cities in Iowa, according to a list of test sites obtained by Iowa Capital Dispatch. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources seeks to identify the pervasiveness of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances […]

‘Substantive’ settlement talks underway in Iowa puppy mill case

BY: - October 21, 2021

A contempt-of-court hearing for Wayne County dog breeder Daniel Gingerich has been rescheduled for Nov. 1 due to settlement negotiations between Gingerich and federal officials. Gingerich had been scheduled to appear in federal court Thursday to argue why he shouldn’t be held in contempt and have his 453 dogs seized by the government. He is […]

Public discussion of Polk’s $65 million water and land referendum is Wednesday

BY: - October 19, 2021

A Wednesday afternoon town-hall-style meeting hosted by a government spending watchdog group will focus on Polk County’s upcoming $65 million bond referendum to fund water, parks and trails projects. The Polk County Water & Land Legacy Bond needs support from at least 60% of voters in the Nov. 2 referendum to pass. A similar measure […]

Farm co-op fined $6,000 for ammonia discharge

BY: - October 19, 2021

A farmers’ cooperative in northeast Iowa has agreed to pay a fine of $6,000 for an illegal discharge of ammonia last year into a drainage ditch that flows into a creek that feeds the Turkey River. A fisherman noticed dead fish where the creek meets the river near Elkader on July 18, 2020, and a […]

National parks nominee pledges to ramp up workforce, improve staff morale

BY: - October 19, 2021

President Joe Biden’s choice to lead the National Park Service told a U.S. Senate panel Tuesday he would work to rebuild the agency’s workforce, which has shrunk even as park attendance hits new records. Charles F. Sams III, of Oregon, would be the first enrolled tribal member to lead the National Park Service. He is […]


How ‘managed retreat’ from climate change could revitalize rural America: Revisiting the Homestead Act

BY: and - October 18, 2021

Southern Italy’s rural Calabria region announced an innovative project in 2021 to breathe new life into its small towns. It plans to offer young professionals thousands of dollars if they move in and commit to launch a business, preferably a business the community needs. Northwest Arkansas has a similar program to draw new residents to […]

Tests for ‘forever chemicals’ in Iowa drinking water to start soon

BY: - October 18, 2021

State officials are poised to begin limited testing of municipal drinking water sources for a group of toxic chemicals that can accumulate in residents’ bodies and cause cancers and other health problems. Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances — more commonly known as PFAS or “forever chemicals” — are used in a variety of products for their […]

Judge balks at puppy mill owner’s request to send 453 dogs to Indiana

BY: - October 18, 2021

A federal judge has denied, for now, a request by Wayne County dog breeder Daniel Gingerich to transfer all of his dogs to an Indiana organization, and warned him he appears to be in contempt of court. The warning from U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie Rose came during a hearing Monday morning on Gingerich’s request […]

Financial penalties for animal neglect are small, rare and may go unpaid

BY: - October 17, 2021

In October 2019, Chris Swigart, a special agent with the Iowa Division Criminal Investigation, drove down Timber Road in the rural Wayne County town of Russell and slowed his vehicle. Swigart was there to check out a reported unlicensed dog-breeding operation called Elite Basset Hounds, run by Michael Johnson and his husband, Juan Johnson. Although […]

Court will hear dog breeder’s request to transfer 189 dogs

BY: - October 16, 2021

A federal judge has agreed to hear a request by Wayne County dog breeder Daniel Gingerich to transfer all 189 dogs still in his possession to an Indiana organization. Earlier this week, U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie Rose ordered Gingerich, who is accused of more than 100 violations of Animal Welfare Act, to surrender all dogs […]