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.

Minnesota debates right-to-repair bills as tractor makers, farm groups seek amends

In January, the Farm Bureau struck a deal with John Deere to open their computer codes to independent mechanics to fix farm machinery. Some farmers say more is needed.

Woodbury police arrest four linked to multiple carjackings

Three adults and one juvenile were booked Saturday evening into Washington County jail.

State agency alleges eight minors illegally employed by Minnesota meatpacker, seeks court injunction

Minnesota's Department of Labor and Industry has requested a judge in Watonwan County issue a temporary restraining order against Tony Downs Food Co., alleging the food processor is employing minors.

A Minnesota nonprofit proposes facility to make chemicals from corn, sugar beets, even dandelions

A new bill in St. Paul would spend $100 million on an innovation facility for BioMADE, a Minnesota-based nonprofit looking to generate bioindustrial manufacturing.

Minnesota had set a price floor for dairy products. A new bill could remove it

Backers said repealing a decades-old law would aid farmers by allowing retailers to position products as so-called "loss leaders."

CHS fined $531,000 for safety failures in death of Nebraska grain worker

OSHA cited the Inver Grove Heights-based farmers cooperative for inadequate "safety gear."

Indemnity fund, meant to protect Minnesota farmers when grain elevators go bust, clears hurdle

The Minnesota Senate ag committee approved a safety net for farmers whose grain payments go unpaid by a bankrupt elevator.

Minnesota's western flank loses voice on key ag panel as farm bill heats up

Western Minnesota possesses the state's largest ag lands and for decades has been represented on the House ag committee — until this year.

Hormel off to disappointing financial start to 2023, with sluggish snack-brand Planters

The Minnesota-based company, which owns household brands Hormel and Planters, reported $3 billion in revenue with sales down 2% for the first quarter.

Federal government investigates more than 600 child labor cases across nation

U.S. officials announced new multi-agency efforts to root out child labor, building on last year's slaughterhouse investigation, which included several cases in Minnesota.