Agriculture Reporter | Agriculture

Vondracek has reported on prairie dog lawsuits in the Black Hills to federal education policy in Washington D.C. A native of Faribault County, Minnesota, he's a graduate of the University of South Dakota, holds an MFA from Hamline University, and taught college English for many years in Winona and St. Paul. His debut collection of poetry, Rattlesnake Summer, was published in 2020, and his memoir, Dancing with Welk, in 2022. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Carrie, and daughter, Rosie.


New Cargill CEO on role in global food chain: 'Food can't be weaponized'

Brian Sikes took the helm at America's largest private company on Jan. 1, at a moment in time full of volatility and international upheaval.


Minnesota farmers meet over meatballs, talk legislation

An informal gathering billed as a "listening session" by organizers found legislative agriculture leaders seated in a Pierz machine shop, hearing directly from farmers from across the state.


Cargill, CHS adding Houston terminal to joint venture TEMCO for grain shipments

Minnesota agribusinesses say expansion to the Gulf of Mexico will bring more stability to grain shipping.


Government wants tractors back from Minnesota organic farmer accused of fraud

A judge returned a farmer's tractors in order to harvest crops last fall — even though the man stands accused of fraud. Now, his attorney says the tractors should stay on his farm.


New honeybee vaccine gets little buzz from Minnesota bee community

The USDA has approved the first-ever vaccine for honeybees. But Minnesota's beekeepers say their troubles are bigger.


Study: Topsoil 'being eroded 100 times faster than it's forming'

An eye-popping new report argues that soil erosion in the Midwest — including from samples in southwestern Minnesota — is happening at a far faster clip than previously estimated.


After daylong search, missing Stillwater man's body found

George Musser had last been seen at a downtown Stillwater bar early Saturday morning.


U's new grape can withstand cold winters — though maybe not Minnesota cold

Clarion, the latest grape bred by the University of Minnesota's nurseries, packs previous grape Itasca's flavor profile but with tidier growth.


State fund would help Minnesota grain elevators, which are closing at an alarming rate for farmers

After bankruptcies by grain buyers, the push is on for a state-backed indemnity fund.


E15 ethanol blend might soon be available year-round

Critics say the movement to frame ethanol as good for the planet is "greenwashing." But political momentum has grown, citing rural economies and domestic energy.