Public, private sectors run together in agribusiness

  • Article by: BONNIE BLODGETT
  • Updated: December 21, 2013 - 4:52 PM

I’ll see Cargill’s rebuttal to my earlier commentary and raise it by several issues.

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dbhuskerDec. 22, 13 8:34 AM

God bless you, Bonnie, for speaking truth to power, for bringing light to darkness.

traderbillDec. 22, 13 9:04 AM

Well done! Thank you. Cargill is the largest privately-owned company in America (number two is Koch Industries whose Charles and David Koch claim to be libertarians but give that title a bad name on their environmental and safety violations, and who funded the Tea Party for their own benefit). Without regulation, companies will do what they are supposed to do: maximize profit, the public good is not part of that goal, except to the extent that it impedes the survival of the company. That has been changed with shorter and shorter tenures for CEO's who don't have to worry about the future...once they are gone. Cargill is probably better than most because it is privately owned. Archer Daniels Midland earns more from its government subsides than its bottom line! So much for free-market has been replaced by one word: Duopoly!

masterson1Dec. 22, 13 9:07 AM

Why is the government in Agribusiness? Or propping up grain prices?

gopher68Dec. 22, 13 9:15 AM

The Katherine Kersten of the left. Why can't the Strib run columns written from moderate positions, instead of all of this far-left and far-right claptrap we see every week?

goferfanzDec. 22, 13 9:15 AM

Truth? The truth is America is continuing to break life expectancy records, indeed, an increase of almost 30 years in the 20th century alone. That is truth, that is fact, and this stunning improvement has occurred despite record levels of obesity (aka abundance of food) and sedentary lifestyles. Oddly, the author now claims to know the cause of the asthma increase so she better call the CDC-- as they have been baffled by the increases. I eschew buying organic products because they are mostly a waste of money--food labeling allows anyone to make informed, healthy food choices....if one is willing to eat away from fast food joints that dominate the landscape.

pumiceDec. 22, 1310:13 AM

Undeniable evidence of industrial agriculture's dark side: (1) "Cargill cares about ... tenant farmers and [chemical-applicators/diesel-mechanics]." (2) "Cargill has an even greater relationship with environmental nonprofits [such as the Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund] than Ms. Blodgett originally wrote. (3) Cargill took issue with the assertion that its Colombian corn and soybeans could one day end up being exported. Really??? Cargill's not a multi-national corporate-person hellbent on maximizing its profits by encouraging consumption of relatively cheap "corn-based foods riddled with trans fats, growth hormones, corn syrup and pesticides"???

And, as noted in Ms. Blodgett's conclusion, her original column didn't even touch on (4) "industrial agriculture [being] a leading contributor to greenhouse gases, or [the fear that] heartland soils may have lost their ability to recover natural fertility[, or that] plowing under wetlands affects water quality and wildlife, or [that] herbicides are killing bees and butterflies, or [the ultimate threat to human health of administering antibiotics to cornfed animals]."

flatfoot55Dec. 22, 1312:54 PM

As noted in Ms. Blodgett's conclusion: "I also didn’t mention a recent trip I took to Iowa to see how those animals live. By most accounts, the people aren’t doing much better than the animals. Iowa has some of the filthiest air and water in the nation. Asthma and cancer rates are steadily climbing." Really, Bonnie? Are you sure you didn't take a wrong turn into Beijing? Your hyperbole discredits any facts that might have been in the preceding paragraphs.

lafamakuDec. 22, 13 2:39 PM

Once again Bonnie points out everything wrong without offering any solutions. Consider these facts: According to the UN population center the global population will growth at about 2%. Most of that growth coming from marginal agriculture areas. In the May 2012 issue of Nature, they compared traditional farming crop yields to that of organic, the differences ranged any where between 5% and 35% depending on the crop. So, we get it Bonnie, you don't like Big Ag. I don't like it either. But with these other factors of population growth and marginal yield results with organic farming you need to come up with a reasonable solution to feed the world. See that is so much harder then complaining about everything wrong with Big Ag. That actually takes thought, innovation and creativity. Finally, I guess as a contributing columnist you really don't have to have facts. According to, Iowa doesn't even crack the top 10 of the most "dirtiest States" measured by air and water quality. But then again, that doesn't make for sensationalism...does it?

bigdukesixDec. 22, 13 4:57 PM

I don't know why the Strib continues to waste newsprint on Blodgett's goofy columns. She drives through Iowa and claims they have dirty air and water. Nice research.

goferfanzDec. 22, 13 8:22 PM

"""I don't know why the Strib continues to waste newsprint """....Now, that is unfair to the Strib. Bonnie is the gift that keeps on giving, and I am always entertained by her columns. Lafa nails it in the prior comment, as this author writes as if facts don't matter in modern society. She just puts it out there, and to me, that is spunk. Lou Grant may not approve, but it is funny!


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