Author

Jared Strong

Jared Strong

Senior reporter Jared Strong has written about Iowans and the important issues that affect them for more than 15 years, previously for the Carroll Times Herald and the Des Moines Register. His investigative work exposing police misconduct has notched several state and national awards. He is a longtime trustee of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, which fights for open records and open government. He is a lifelong Iowan and has lived mostly in rural western parts of the state.

USDA more than triples funding for ‘climate smart’ agriculture

By: - September 14, 2022

The Biden administration plans to distribute more than $3 billion to fund projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon in agriculture and forestry — a tripling of its initial commitment in February. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was set to publicly announce the expansion of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program […]

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack promoted voluntary federal programs to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture. (Photo by Jared Strong/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Vilsack: America’s voluntary approach to agriculture is better than Europe’s mandates

By: - August 31, 2022

BOONE, Iowa — The more than $1 billion the federal government is devoting to voluntary efforts to reduce agriculture’s adverse effects on the environment is a better long-term strategy than mandating new rules for farmers, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Tuesday. While state and federal officials in the United States have tended to […]

Vilsack in Iowa

USDA plans ‘historic’ funding to help struggling farmers and develop new ag leaders

By: - August 25, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will distribute up to $550 million to expand certain farmers’ access to land, money and markets and to create educational opportunities for the students of higher-education institutions that cater to racial and ethnic minorities. “The idea here obviously is to enlarge the number of people that are engaged in this […]

chickens

State attorneys general support new poultry rule but question oversight

By: - August 16, 2022

The attorneys general of 10 states are backing a proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that is meant to get poultry growers fair agreements with meat processors, but they want stronger oversight. “One of the many reasons it’s tough for small poultry farmers — and small farmers of all kinds — to afford […]

Vilsack offers integrated plan for domestic food production

By: - June 6, 2022

The Biden administration has set aside billions of dollars to help the nation’s food supply chain recover from the coronavirus pandemic — and, more recently, the looming global effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Last week it announced new funding and a comprehensive overview of how those initiatives mesh. “A transformed food system is part […]

Mississippi River banks

Iowa drinking water from Mississippi River has ‘forever chemicals’

By: - February 28, 2022

Drinking water that is drawn from the Mississippi River by three Iowa cities has toxic chemicals that persist indefinitely in the environment, according to test results released last week by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Burlington, Davenport and Keokuk drinking water that goes to a combined total of more than 183,000 residents contains trace […]

A manure digester near Rock Valley lies mostly underground and can hold up to 1.5 million gallons of manure. (Photo by Jacob Simonsen/Iowa DNR)

Manure leaks into creek from new ‘green’ facility

By: - February 14, 2022

A new facility in northwest Iowa that was built to create environmentally friendly fuel from cow manure polluted a creek this week when it leaked an estimated 376,000 gallons of manure water, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The manure digester near Rock Valley is among three in Lyon and Sioux counties being […]

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced a $1 billion grant program to boost agricultural and forestry products that are made with reduced greenhouse gas emissions. (Screenshot from USDA video)

USDA pledges $1B for ‘climate smart’ ag products

By: - February 8, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to spend up to $1 billion to foster the creation of climate-friendly agricultural and forestry products by offering grants to facilitate their production and the markets to sell them. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon in those industries. “Agriculture is such an exciting but […]