Tractorcade: How an Epic Convoy and Legendary Farmer Army Shook Washington, D.C.

Eating wind and snow in dead winter for 1,800 miles, Don Kimbrell barehanded the wheel of an open-cab tractor and crossed a continent in 21 days, driving a John Deere G into history. Launching from the hard-scratch plains of the Texas Panhandle, Kimbrell rode in Tractorcade—an epic 5,000-tractor farmer army that rumbled into Washington, D.C. in 1979, and occupied the National Mall, demanding political attention to address the realities of an agriculture industry in collapse. “I’d drive it all again right now, but my body wouldn’t stand the wear,” says Kimbrell, 78, speaking through the molasses of a sweet Texas drawl. “It ground me down every day to a kind of tired that is hard to describe. I was only 36 when I started that cross-country trip, but when I finished, I was an older man than I am right now.” Continue reading

Farm Free or Die: American Resilience Project

Extreme weather events are hitting America’s farmers hard, and with greater frequency than ever before. Combined with the mounting costs of conventional farming methods that require increasingly expensive fossil-based fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides for ever-decreasing yields, these events are driving many farmers to economic failure. The cycle of extractive agriculture creates dire economic, food security, health and environmental hazards – for farmers and everyone else. Farm Free or Die advocates for transformative agricultural policies that improve farming livelihoods and address the climate crisis. The stories of farmers on the front lines of severe environmental and economic adversity will catalyze support for policies that stabilize rural communities, strengthen food security, and incentivize soil health and carbon removal.   Continue reading

Graham Christensen and His Father Fred: Adapting Farming for Climate Change

Fifth generation family farmer Fred Christensen has seen the impacts of climate change on his Nebraska farm. Increasing floods and pests, both connected to climate change, have made it harder to make a living off the land. Continue reading

U.S. farmers “hungry” for partnership with Mexico to supply non-GMO corn

While U.S. agribusiness and biotechnology groups criticize and threaten Mexico over its bans on glyphosate herbicide and genetically modified corn, Midwest farmers like Graham Christensen say they would be happy to supply our southern neighbor with non-GMO corn. “I think that would be a good idea,” says Christensen, a fifth-generation farmer in Lyons, Nebraska, who grows non-GMO corn and soybeans. “If their farmers aren’t able to produce enough themselves and they need extra, that would be an ideal market to move that grain down south. There are a lot of farmers up here who could easily transition to non-GMO corn, and there are a lot of us that are looking for a solid marketplace.” Continue reading

'We can't just make things up as we go': Lincoln City Council approves mayor's climate action plan

A 120-strategy plan to reduce Lincoln's climate impact while bracing for future effects of climate change received City Council approval despite concerns from residents over the uncertain costs.  City Council members acknowledged the human impacts of climate change before a 5-1 vote to approve the 2021-2027 Climate Action Plan, which has the overall goal of reducing the city's carbon emissions 80% by 2050 and makes Lincoln the latest American city to enact such a pledge. Continue reading

Midwest Misfit Podcast Ep. 57: RegeNErate Nebraska with Graham Christensen

Hey Misfits, Today we are talking with Graham Christensen founder and president of GC Resolve, a communication and consulting company designed to increase education and mobilization of the general public in order to build regenerative and resilient communities. Currently GC Resolve is raising awareness about Nebraska’s rising water quality issues, and educating and advocating for a change in the food production system to “regenerative” farming and ranching principles. Continue reading

Local View: NU must act on divestment

Brittni McGuire UNL student As students, we come to the University of Nebraska to invest in our future. In exchange for tuition, the university invests countless resources to prepare us to positively impact the world after graduation. It’s unsettling that our investment is being counteracted by the university’s investment in fossil fuels -- an industry destroying the lives of people and the planet, making our future uncertain. The last six years have been the hottest ever recorded on Earth. Recent Australian bushfires intensified by climate change killed or displaced over three billion animals. The 2019 flood cost Nebraska more than $1.3 billion in losses and displaced too many families from their homes. This is a global crisis with local solutions. NU must take action, starting with divestment. Continue reading

Monsanto’s Big Lie About Roundup and the System That Enabled It

Carey Gillam exposes a corrupt regulatory regime in “The Monsanto Papers” Just after midnight on August 1, 2017, attorney Brent Wisner gave his legal team the go-ahead to start publishing a series of internal memos and documents from the Monsanto corporation. The internal communications made clear that Monsanto—the company that created saccharine and went on to develop DDT and Agent Orange—was not only aware that independent scientific studies had found that its blockbuster weed killer, Roundup, and the primary ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, were probably carcinogenic and harmful to human health, but the company had also tried to bury the findings. The documents also proved that Monsanto ghost-wrote scientific studies that suggested Roundup was safe (when the company knew it wasn’t), paid experts to support those claims, pressured scientists to reverse their previous conclusions that glyphosate could be linked to cancer, and successfully lobbied regulators at the EPA to keep the agency’s own findings—that glyphosate was probably harmful to humans—under wraps.  Continue reading

Youth Panel Discussion On Climate Change Solutions Goes Live Tuesday

The University of Nebraska- Lincoln’s 2020-2021 E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues will hold a virtual youth panel discussion on climate change solutions tomorrow at 7 p.m. Patrice McMahon is the chair of the forum’s board and said she’s excited because it’s the forum’s first student organized, led and driven panel. Continue reading

Making America's Rivers Blue Again: Connecting the Dots Between Regenerative Agriculture and Healthy Waterways

Building a regenerative food system where bees buzz, dragonflies hover, and fish and frogs thrive will begin when we change hearts and minds. Fake meats and GMO soy are not the answer. Two hundred years ago, before the Industrial Revolution, the rivers across North America ran clear and blue. Rivers from the mighty Mississippi to the Columbia flowed wild and clean into the sea. In the 1800s and 1900s, the growth of manufacturing and agriculture across the continent brought prosperity to America, but at the great cost of unmitigated pollution. In 1969, Ohio’s Cuyahoga River caught fire due to toxic runoff from nearby factories. This incident sparked the modern Earth Day movement and in 1972 helped pass the Clean Water Act, which established much-needed industrial regulations that considerably improved water quality in the United States. Unfortunately, lawmakers overlooked the negative impacts of agriculture on America’s waterways. Continue reading