April 2010

Cattlemen & Politics

How many cattlemen can say they might have launched a politician’s career?  That’s the story offered by Kevin Carstensen, an Odebolt, Iowa cattle feeder who’s been promoting producer interests in the political arena since the early 80s. One of his first public actions was to testify in front of the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission on measures designed to protect the state’s waters; afterwards, he says, “I sat down in Steve King’s construction company office and related some of my experiences with the EPC and the DNR, and he to this day attributes that three-hour conversation we had one afternoon in his construction office of getting into politics.” King, of course, is now U.S. Rep Steve King (R-Iowa).

Ethanol Impact on Feed Prices

Fueled by its desire for conflict, and a well-funded and organized public relations blitz by food and livestock industries, the media has spent a great deal of time in the past two years trying to portray an epic battle between America’s need for renewable alternatives to gasoline and its role as breadbasket to world.