Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Livestock and ethanol subsidies

In a post from the Des Moines Register blog covering environmental issues, livestock producers recommend an end to ethanol subsidies:
“Although we support the need to advance renewable and alternative sources of energy, we strongly believe that it is time that the mature corn-based ethanol industry operates on a level playing field with other commodities that rely on corn as their major input,” the letter says.

“Favoring one segment of agriculture at the expense of another does not benefit agriculture as a whole or the consumers that ultimately purchase our products.”
But the ethanol industry disagrees:
Matt Hartwig of the Renewable Fuels Association fires back in an email: “Once again, corporate livestock interests are seeking … a return to the days they bought corn under the price of production for the American farmer. Such practices resulted in farmers getting more income from the government than they could from the marketplace, while corporate livestock industries prospered.”
A classic intersection of supply, demand, principle, and politics.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Merrigan in the 2010 Time 100

From Time Magazine's brief on former Friedman School faculty member, and current Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Kathleen Merrigan:
If you've ever wondered who in government shoulders the complexities of moving an agenda forward in a fractured time and pushes on without getting soaked, here is your answer.