15 posts to re-visit, re-read and remember from 2014

Minnesota cornThis is the final post of 2014 on Minnesota Cornerstone. Thank you to all of our readers, especially those of you who spread the word about the topics we cover in this space and share our work on social media.

To wrap up the year, here are 15 posts from 2014 that we were particularly proud of. They cover a variety of topics, ranging from ethanol to irrigation to ag policy to the Super Bowl.

Enjoy re-visiting, re-reading and remembering some of these posts. We’ll see you in 2015.

(Click the headline to read the full blog post)

Out of thin air: Using wind energy to make fertilizer
Through the state’s corn check-off, Minnesota corn farmers fund about $4 million worth of research projects annually. One of those projects is examining how to use wind energy to make fertilizer. It’s a really neat project and one of many that the Corn Growers are proud to support.

Discovery Farms Profile: Putting Nutrients where crops can use them
Late in the year, we profiled several Minnesota corn farmers who are part of the Discovery Farms Network. The Herbst family farm near Kasson, Minn., was a great story about stewardship, family and having fun on the farm.

What Jimmy Kimmel can teach us about GMOs
After Consumer Reports ignored the scientific consensus in a scathing report on GMOs, late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel asked a bunch of people on the street if they knew what GMOs were. The answers were hilarious…and scary.

Waters of the United States rule is bad news for farmers
Kirby Hettver, a fifth-generation family farmer in Western Minnesota, wrote this excellent piece to inform his fellow farmers why the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed “Waters of the United States” rule is more unnecessary and burdensome regulations.

Straight-to-the-field “harvest meals” a hit with busy farmers
Combines and tractors roll well into the night during fall harvest season in Minnesota. In October, we did a fun story featuring local businesses in small-town Minnesota who deliver “harvest meals” straight to busy farmers working long hours in the fields.

Dietitian responds to anti-GMO story in Rochester Post Bulletin
Jen Haugen, a registered dietitian and mom in Austin, Minn., penned a wonderful and science-based response to an anti-GMO piece in the Rochester Post Bulletin. We need to continue working to make sure the GMO discussion is based on science, not fear, in 2015.

Setting the record straight about ethanol and air quality
It’s always frustrating when misinformation and baseless claims generate publicity over sound science and real-world data. But that’s exactly what happened when a study that claimed gasoline was better for air quality than ethanol. We wasted no time in setting the record straight. Can you believe that in the year 2014, someone would actually claim with a straight face that gasoline is better for our air than ethanol?

The many uses for corn on a family cattle and dairy farm
Sometimes those of us in agriculture get so caught up in big picture policy items and consumer perception issues that we forget an important fact: Many non-farmers don’t know how corn is used on the farm. We had MN Corn Growers Agvocate Andrea Tomschin go in-depth about all the ways corn is used on her family’s cattle and dairy farm in Alden, Minn.

MCGA Launches “Minnesota Farm Team” campaign to highlight conservation practices
The Minnesota Corn Growers Association launched the Minnesota Farm Team to highlight how farmers take care of the land, water and soil they use to raise food, feed, fiber and fuel for the entire world. The campaign was also an opportunity to highlight the “quirks” of some Minnesota corn farmers.

A year later, the dumpster fire still burns
In November of 2013, the Associated Press attacked ethanol using many of the same baseless claims used by Big Oil and anti-agriculture activist groups. We pushed back hard when the story was originally published, and we pushed back again a year later to make sure people didn’t forget how ridiculous the original story was.

Farmers: Don’t let Netflix or activist groups tell your story
If farmers don’t tell their own story, somebody else will and we might not like what they have to say. That’s the theme of this May blog post that calls on farmers to stand up and speak out.

Don’t be fooled by fuel system cleaner’s bogus ethanol claims
It’s not just activists and the oil industry that attacks ethanol. Several fuel system cleaning products spread misinformation about the homegrown fuel to try and make a buck off of unsuspecting consumers as well. We exposed these decpetive tactics in a June post.

A quick update on farming, buffer strips and the Minnesota Shoreland rule
Admittedly, this post is a little wonky, but it was necessary after the Star Tribune got a couple of key points wrong in a story about farming near rivers and streams. We tried to clear up the confusion created by the Star Tribune story.

Klobuchar, Franken and other leaders rally support for the RFS
After the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed slashing the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and cutting the amount of ethanol used in gasoline, opposition rang out across the nation. That opposition included several key elected officials in Minnesota.

How a record corn crop makes for a better Super Bowl
Did you know that Americans eat 1.25 billion chicken wings during the Super Bowl? Most of those wings come from corn-fed birds. Before the Seahawks beat the Broncos in the last year’s Super Bowl, we showed how a record corn crop helped make the Super Bowl more enjoyable.

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