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Articles by Sheila Karpf

Sheila Karpf is a legislative and policy analyst. Sheila grew up working on her family's cattle, corn, and soybean farm in northeast Nebraska. She received a bachelor of science degree in economics and management information systems from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a masters degree in environmental policy from the London School of Economics. Sheila has written about farm subsidies' effects on rural communities and farmers' views about conservation programs and farm subsidies in the next farm bill. She is a 2007 Harry Truman Scholar and most recently worked for Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.). In her free time, you'll find Sheila enjoying life with her husband, skiing, running, cooking, and cheering on the Nebraska Huskers.

Featured Article

Marketing campaigns aside, the face of industrial-scale farming is male. Big Ag is big business — and big profits. And when anyone raises questions about the billions of tax dollars lavished on the largest industrial growers of corn, soybeans, and other commodity crops or points out the harm that these perverse incentives do to the environment, Big Ag’s lackeys lash out.

But bullying your critics and worried consumers is not always the best public relations strategy. Sometimes you need to cultivate the softer sell.

That must be why commodity growers’ lobbies have launched fresh campaigns aimed at polishing their tarnished reputation. How? By showcasing female farmers as the fresh, new faces in their public relations toolbox. The latest campaign by the National Corn Growers Association and the United Soybean Board is titled “Common Ground.”

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Common Ground “will attempt to put a more feminine, friendly and empathetic face on large-scale agriculture by using women farmers to appeal to suburban and urban grocery shoppers — most of whom are women themselves.” As the paper rep... Read more