Tag: GMO

Kristie Swenson

CommonGround volunteers talk advanced plant breeding techniques

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

With great precision, advanced plant breeding techniques with acronyms like CRISPR, CRISPR-Cas, and TALEN, will more reliably produce the food consumers are looking for and, at the same time, help farmers conserve natural resources, reduce impacts on the environment, and plant crops with a greater assurance that what they plant will grow to maturity and be gathered at harvest time.

A small group of CommonGround volunteers from across the U.S.

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Food and farming questions answered at "Field to Fork" event

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

She came to the farm Tuesday night with a lot of appreciation for what farmers do, but also with some burning questions.

Barb Schank, the school nutrition director for Waconia Independent School District, feeds 4,000 kids every school day, and she wants to know what’s in the pork products her students eat.

Wanda Patsche, a corn and soybean farmer and a hog producer,

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What I learned from an organic farmer

Written by Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke, Minnesota Corn Growers Association intern

Organic farming gets a lot of attention, both good and bad. As someone who comes from a traditional farming background with genetically modified crops and pesticides, I am usually quick on the defensive when it comes to a discussion around organics.

My eyes were opened by Carolyn Olson and Emily Zweber at the CommonGround volunteer training on June 24, at the Minnesota Corn office in Shakopee.

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Some really smart people just refuted the anti-science, non-GMO crowd

Farmers have a new partner in the battle to end fear-mongering and misinformation about biotechnology and GMOs: 107 Nobel Laureates.

The Laureates recently signed a letter directed at Greenpeace, the United Nations and all governments to support crops and foods improved through biotechnology. The Laureates wrote: “The United Nations Food & Agriculture Program has noted that global production of food, feed and fiber will need approximately to double by 2050 to meet the demands of a growing global population.

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Legislative update: Buffers, budgets, BWSR and more

Written by Anna Boroff, MCGA Senior Public Policy Director

Before getting into this week’s legislative update, I’d like to personally thank all the legislators, farmer-leaders, agency staff and other leaders who attended the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) Legislative Reception on April 6. It was great to connect with so many legislators, hear from several commissioners and talk food and farming with other leaders from throughout Minnesota.

Pictures and details from the event can be seen here.

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Market drives planting intentions: Some stick with the tried and true while others try to reduce costs

Pestorious.2015-0693A quick (unscientific) survey of Minnesota corn growers reveals that the market is very much behind the decision-making process, but for some that means staying the course, while others seek means to lower their costs.

Myron ‘Mickey’ Peterson, who farms with four brothers in Sacred Heart, Minn., says they plan to stick with what has been working for them for a number of years: the same corn and soybean varieties, planted in a 50/50 rotation on about the same amount of land — roughly 3,000 acres among the five partners.

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EWG is really good at preying on people's fears, not so good at liking Tweets

Whether it’s sun tan lotion, farm policy or what you eat for dinner, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is always trying to scare you about something. But what’s truly scary about EWG is its disregard for sound science and objectivity.

Farmers caught on to EWG’s tactics a long time ago. After all, it’s farmers that EWG spends countless hours demonizing in their efforts to use pseudoscience to boost their own bottom line and build its brand.

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Corn Growers call for uniform national GMO labeling standard

Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) policy director Anna Boroff recently spent time in Washington D.C. urging lawmakers to pass a uniform, national labeling standard for foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

In a bi-partisan vote, the U.S. House passed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act by a wide margin in July. The legislation would ensure that consumers have access to the same science-based information regardless of which state they shop in instead of different state labeling mandates.

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Corn Links: In defense of corn, the world's most important food crop

There’s some really good reading on corn, GMOs and the Renewable Fuel Standard in major media outlets today. Here is a summary of each story, along with links so you can read the entire piece:

  • Tamar Haspel, a food and science writer who won the 2015 James Beard Foundation award for best food column, has a 1,300 word opus about corn in Thursday’s Washington Post. She writes:

There’s a strong case (which I’m going to make) that field corn,

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Fellow farmers: Tell your story and meet growing consumer demand for information

Written by Kristie Swenson

Recently, I had one of the most intimidating experiences of my entire life: I did multiple live media interviews about agriculture.

Along with three other CommonGround volunteer farm women, I traveled to New York City to give TV and radio interviews about agriculture. During one of the interviews, we rattled off the eight GMO crops, and the interviewer was clearly surprised. “Wow,” he said. 

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