• Lon Tonneson

    Fighting Words About Farming

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 3, 2014

    Here are 61 words that might make you fighting mad: “Farming is immensely profitable. The agriculture sector is one of the richest, most productive money making machines in American life. After all, a lot of the business simply involves sitting around and letting plants grow and letting animals get fat. Mother Nature does the heavy lifting. Then the farmer harvests the plants, kills and animals and watches the money roll in.” That’s from agribusiness reporter Christopher…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Oil Trains Up Risks In Rural North Dakota

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on December 31, 2013

    In November, I was stopped at a railroad crossing in Leeds, N.D., as a mile-long oil train roared by. I wondered then when a North Dakota would have an oil train disaster like the one in Quebec. It didn’t take long. An oil train collided with a derailed grain train outside of Casselton, N.D. on Dec. 30 and several of the oil tankers exploded. The oil is still burning a day after the collision and the town of Casselton is evacuated. Fortunately, the accident occurred about ½ mile…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Five Movies You'll Probably Hate

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 4, 2013

    Here are five movies and short films about food and farmers that you’ll probably hate. They were among a list of recommended films suggested by food activists. The Hidden Cost of Hamburgers: The Center for Investigative Reporting tallies the waht they see as the cost of conventionally-raised beef. King Corn: Two guys from the East Coast move to Iowa, plant a one-acre crop of corn, and discover how much of the American diet corn infiltrates. Our Daily Bread…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    S.D. Farmers Ask HSUS To Drop Horse Processing Injunction

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on September 2, 2013

    Are Frank Kloucek and Bob Mack tilting at windmills? The two South Dakota farmers recently met with the Humane Society of the United States President and CEO Wayne Pacelle and Vice President Joe Maxell at the Organization of Competitive Markets annual conference in Kansas City, Mo., and asked them to drop their opposition to humane horse processing in the U.S. Following the meeting with HSUS, Kloucek -- a former state legislator from Scotland, S.D., who is running for the State…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Buying Farmland -- A New China Connection

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on May 7, 2013

    Greg Smeenk, a Bel Fourche, S.D. land broker, wrote in his blog at DakotaProperties.com in March that he “recently had an interesting experience showing two gentlemen from China farmland.” “We looked at thousands of acres of farmland from the west end of the state to the east end of the state and beyond. When asked what they envisioned for their purpose of buying farmland they responded that they intended to supply China with 20% of their soybean purchases,” he…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Talking Ag With The Enemy

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 12, 2013

    Do you get tongue-tied when confronted by somebody who doesn’t like the way you farm? I do. When one of my sisters-in-law, who lives in California, announced over lunch that pasteurized milk was bad; that she didn’t want her girls getting all the extra hormones that were in milk produced in big factory farms; and that genetically modified foods were an abomination against nature about all I could manage was a weak, “Well, I don’t think so.” I…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Climate Change: The Whole Story

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 15, 2013

    I can look out my home office window and see the 10-foot tall snow drifts back in the shelterbelt that surrounds our farmstead near Fargo, N.D. There’s two feet of snow out on the level in the yard between the house and barn. It’s clear and sunny, but cold and windy. Blow ice on the Interstate 29 is keeping me from going to a precision farming conference in Sioux Falls, S.D. It’s March, but winter won’t let go. We won’t be planting in April this…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Farmers Raise Money For Food Banks

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on February 21, 2013

    It is pretty cool that farmers in the Dakotas have raised a lot of money recently for food banks. The South Dakota Corn Growers Association raised $25,000 for Feeding South Dakota, an organization that supplies food banks in South Dakota North Dakota and South Dakota Farmers Union members raised more than $26,600 for food banks as part of a national challenge. At the SDCGA’s recent annual meeting, Mark Gross, SDCGA president, challenged each member to give $100. Each…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Changing On Climate Change

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on February 11, 2013

    I haven’t been a big believer in man-made global warming or climate change. But I recently gained a new appreciation of what some global warming beleivers are worried about. I was in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., recently, attending a BASF Innovations Symposium (tough duty, I know), and I stayed in the Westin Hotel right on the beach. The hotel was, literally, right on the beach. If it had been any closer to the Atlantic Ocean, we would have had needed boat to get the lobby. It…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Telling Animal Ag’s Shocking Truth

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on November 26, 2012

    I was blown away by what Wes Jamison said when he lectured at South Dakota State University recently. Jamison, a Palm Beach Atlantic University professor of political science and an expert in animal welfare messaging, showed example after example of simple, powerful and effective advertising from the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Humane Society of the United States and other groups. In one advertisement, a puppy and baby pig stand side by side. The caption reads…

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