Staff Directory 10645426

Tom Meersman

Reporter | Agriculture
phone: 612-673-7388
Tom Meersman covers farmers and farming.
Recent content from Tom Meersman
Land O'Lakes buying artisanal pioneer Vermont Creamery

Land O'Lakes buying artisanal pioneer Vermont Creamery

Specialty cheeses have bumped up in popularity because of stronger consumer interest in healthier, locally produced foods without artificial growth hormones.
More than 30 percent of Minnesota farmers lost money in 2016

More than 30 percent of Minnesota farmers lost money in 2016

Two years of losses place financial stress on farmers as prices continue to decline.
Losses, tighter credit prompt University of Minnesota Extension to help financially pressed farmers

Losses, tighter credit prompt University of Minnesota Extension to help financially pressed farmers

University of Minnesota Extension announces free and confidential counseling service to help struggling farmers.
Douglas Birk, pioneer of Minnesota archaeology, dies at 73

Douglas Birk, pioneer of Minnesota archaeology, dies at 73

Birk was a national expert on fur trade history, which included the early French explorers and the British and Americans who followed.
Chuck & Don's buys online company Fetch to expand its pet food sales

Chuck & Don's buys online company Fetch to expand its pet food sales

The Mahtomedi-based pet retailer sees e-commerce as key to growing market share.
Organic farmers worried about possible fraudulent grain imports

Organic farmers worried about possible fraudulent grain imports

The flood of organic corn and soybeans, driven by U.S. consumer demand, has caused a huge drop in prices for farmers during the past 18 months.
Land O'Lakes reports record earnings despite slow farm economy

Land O'Lakes reports record earnings despite slow farm economy

But the cooperative saw decreases in some areas.
As farms grow bigger, Minnesota continues to lose farms

As farms grow bigger, Minnesota continues to lose farms

The decline mirrors national and regional trends.
Swine research at U of M tackles animal welfare concerns

Swine research at U of M tackles animal welfare concerns

Scientists studying swine are trying to help pork producers respond to animal-welfare concerns
Mosaic profit drops sharply, but executives see end to low prices in fertilizer business

Mosaic profit drops sharply, but executives see end to low prices in fertilizer business

Mosaic sees a gradual upswing in its fertilizer business, but the company slashed its dividend.
Hormel suspends Okla. supplier after video alleging pig mistreatment

Hormel suspends Okla. supplier after video alleging pig mistreatment

Buying from Maschhoffs is now suspended as inquiries begin.
Push continues for fewer antibiotics in livestock industry

Push continues for fewer antibiotics in livestock industry

New federal regulations mark the first serious attempt in at least 20 years to tackle what many have called the systematic overuse of antibiotics in…
Mexican import tax would be dire for Minnesota industry, trade experts say

Mexican import tax would be dire for Minnesota industry, trade experts say

Mexican import tax could severely harm agriculture sector.
Minneapolis company Vibes will be on 'Shark Tank'

Minneapolis company Vibes will be on 'Shark Tank'

"Shark Tank" investors will judge a Minneapolis start-up that makes high-fidelity earplugs to protect against loud music.
Study: Median price of Minnesota farmland continues to slide

Study: Median price of Minnesota farmland continues to slide

U study finds median selling prices of Minnesota farmland have declined for the third consecutive year.
CHS quarterly earnings drop from a year earlier

CHS quarterly earnings drop from a year earlier

Low energy prices affected margins at cooperative's refineries.
Sunday conversation: Grant Herfindahl, Farm Service Agency state executive director

Sunday conversation: Grant Herfindahl, Farm Service Agency state executive director

Grant Herfindahl runs an agency that’s familiar to all Minnesota farmers but little known to the general public. The Farm Service Agency is the financial…
Smoother transit bolsters Minnesota grain exports

Smoother transit bolsters Minnesota grain exports

Bigger shipments and lower rail costs are helping to offset low commodity prices.
Denver arts-and-crafts bar eyes Minneapolis expansion

Denver arts-and-crafts bar eyes Minneapolis expansion

At Upstairs Circus, staff members provide supplies, photo tutorials and assistance for the projects, which are ranked by degree of difficulty and can take from one to three hours to complete.
Superweed creeps into Minnesota, threatening row crops

Superweed creeps into Minnesota, threatening row crops

Seed mixes that were planted to increase habitat for bees and wildlife were contaminated with one of the most prolific and damaging weeds in the country.
U.S. Bank to build $250 million data center in Chaska

U.S. Bank to build $250 million data center in Chaska

The new facility will join others in an industrial park and will get financial aid from state and city.

Mosaic to buy Brazilian fertilizer business for $2.5 billion

The $2.5 billion deal will make the company the leading fertilizer producer in Brazil.

Dougherty to expand by acquiring municipal bond dealer Cronin & Co.

The local investment banking firm will grow larger in 2017
CHS Sunflower gets down to the science of snacking

CHS Sunflower gets down to the science of snacking

CHS Sunflower is the only major processor working both ends of production to improve sunflower seed growth, taste.
Minn. veggie farmers had season ruined by state's extremely wet summer

Minn. veggie farmers had season ruined by state's extremely wet summer

Continued rains and constant moisture increased plant disease and spoilage.
Obituary: Former ADM executive Dwayne Andreas had deep ties to Minnesota and Hubert Humphrey

Obituary: Former ADM executive Dwayne Andreas had deep ties to Minnesota and Hubert Humphrey

He never sought the limelight, but Dwayne O. Andreas was one of the leading farm industrialists of the 20th century with deep business, political and…
Talking turkey: Minnesota is the land of 44 million

Talking turkey: Minnesota is the land of 44 million

Minnesota is the nation's leading turkey producer, accounting for 18 percent of all turkeys raised in the U.S.
Land O'Lakes adding wing in $80 million Arden Hills headquarters expansion

Land O'Lakes adding wing in $80 million Arden Hills headquarters expansion

The expansion is designed to put workers on one campus and increase collaboration.

Minnesota corn and soybean crops forecast to set records for second consecutive year

With prices stagnant, high yields in Minnesota are not likely to be a big income boost.
Minnesota farmers tighten belts, leave ripple effects on rural economy

Minnesota farmers tighten belts, leave ripple effects on rural economy

Impact of weak farm economy rippling through main streets.
Mosaic optimistic that fertilizer demand will continue to increase

Mosaic optimistic that fertilizer demand will continue to increase

Company's third quarter results see plunge in earnings, but still beat analysts' expectations.
Study: Better lighting, reflection on farm vehicles could reduce crashes

Study: Better lighting, reflection on farm vehicles could reduce crashes

Research shows Minnesota safety middle of the pack of Midwestern states.
Oil production continues to shrink in North Dakota

Oil production continues to shrink in North Dakota

North Dakota oil production has slid below 1 million barrels per day for the first time in more than 2 years.
Putting the buffer law to protect public waters in effect is no easy job

Putting the buffer law to protect public waters in effect is no easy job

Minnesota's buffer strip law is taking hold in farm country as farmers prepare the land.
Obituary: Former Gophers basketball coach became pioneer in adapted physical education

Obituary: Former Gophers basketball coach became pioneer in adapted physical education

"George was a good solid citizen, a Rock of Gibraltar type, and you could depend on him for anything," said Joe Selvaggio, a friend who knew Hanson in his later years.
Bird flu epidemic sparks $8.5M in upgrades to Willmar poultry lab

Bird flu epidemic sparks $8.5M in upgrades to Willmar poultry lab

The $8.5 million expansion of a poultry disease lab was approved after a bird flu epidemic in the state in 2015.
BiPro USA sees opportunity ahead in protein-enhanced food and beverages

BiPro USA sees opportunity ahead in protein-enhanced food and beverages

The Eden Prairie firm has increased marketing and sales dramatically since being acquired two years ago by a Canadian dairy cooperative.
Minnesota ranks No. 1 for producing sweet corn

Minnesota ranks No. 1 for producing sweet corn

Minnesota ranks No. 1 in sweet corn — the belle of the State Fair
Cargill, General Mills, Wal-Mart collaborating to improve farm soil, water

Cargill, General Mills, Wal-Mart collaborating to improve farm soil, water

Cargill, General Mills, Wal-Mart and several other giant food, agricultural and environmental groups will announce a partnership on Wednesday to accelerate programs and research to…
Syngenta purchase by ChemChina moves forward

Syngenta purchase by ChemChina moves forward

Some worry that Chinese deal will affect security, food supply
Growing corn like it's 2065 to study climate change effects

Growing corn like it's 2065 to study climate change effects

A state-of-the-art greenhouse allows researchers to study potential crop yield reductions.

Land O'Lakes announces new sustainability division

Responding to consumer and retail demand, plus farmers’ needs, Land O’Lakes Inc. has created a new sustainability business division. Company president and CEO Chris Policinski…
Handling of chicks blamed in multi-state salmonella outbreak

Handling of chicks blamed in multi-state salmonella outbreak

As more families raise poultry, Minnesota health officials issue warnings about safe hygiene.
Organic meat processor coming to Northfield

Organic meat processor coming to Northfield

Valley Natural Foods, based in Burnsville, will spend $2 million to process and sell organic beef and other meat closer to home.

Total Hockey retail chain files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in St. Louis

The company, with four stores in the Twin Cities, is seeking bankruptcy protection.

Cargill to sell 18 agriculture retail outlets in Midwest, including Minnesota

Cargill said it will focus on grain and oilseeds as it sells its crop input stores in Minnesota and five other states.
Obituary: Soft-spoken Tom Doar was a strong force in Twin Cities media

Obituary: Soft-spoken Tom Doar was a strong force in Twin Cities media

Tom Doar loved to pretend he was a country bumpkin lawyer from rural Wisconsin. But he was a savvy businessman who played a key role…
Mist Labs wins Proto Labs award for irrigation device that helps conserve water

Mist Labs wins Proto Labs award for irrigation device that helps conserve water

Mist Labs device provides real-time irrigation data to help farmers use water more efficiently and improve crop yields.
Most crops on Minnesota farms ahead of the game

Most crops on Minnesota farms ahead of the game

Federal officials report many Minnesota staples are in good-to-excellent condition, despite weather damage in places
Minnesota's craft beer boom spawns a fledgling hops industry

Minnesota's craft beer boom spawns a fledgling hops industry

Minnesota's booming craft beer industry has created a huge demand for hops, an ingredient that provides the suds with bitter, citric, and zesty flavors and aromas.
For nonfarming heirs who keep land in the family, managers can be a boon

For nonfarming heirs who keep land in the family, managers can be a boon

For nonfarming heirs who keep land in the family, managers are an answer
Changing climate will reduce corn production, new U study predicts

Changing climate will reduce corn production, new U study predicts

Yields could fall sharply by 2050 because of climate change, according to U models, but growers trust technology to adapt.
Caribou Coffee getting heat for trademark lawsuit against small Michigan cafe

Caribou Coffee getting heat for trademark lawsuit against small Michigan cafe

Caribou Coffee Co. has won a settlement in a trademark infringement case but is taking heat from supporters and owners of the Blue Caribou Cafe,…
Land O'Lakes gives boost to Minnesota water quality effort

Land O'Lakes gives boost to Minnesota water quality effort

The company said it will help the state fight against pollution from agriculture.
Minn. farmers warned not to plant Monsanto's latest Roundup soybeans

Minn. farmers warned not to plant Monsanto's latest Roundup soybeans

The E.U. has not approved the biotech seeds; the uncertainty could present export problems for U.S. farmers and grain producers.
National Research Council: GMO foods cause no more health problems than others

National Research Council: GMO foods cause no more health problems than others

Report finds no difference in human health problems as GMO labeling issue heats up.
Hybrid hazelnuts are growing a Midwest presence

Hybrid hazelnuts are growing a Midwest presence

Hazelnuts are native to the eastern U.S., but new, tasty hybrids are emerging in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Bird flu worries still haunt producers as they spend money to prevent it

Bird flu worries still haunt producers as they spend money to prevent it

State's producers take pricey steps to prevent another $650M disaster.

Mosaic Company's first-quarter net earnings, sales slide

Crop nutrients company expects profits to pick up in the second half of 2016.

Farmers head into the fields for early corn, small grains and sugar beet planting this spring

Corn and sugar beets are among the crops that benefited from warm days in the state.
New Supervalu CEO hires two for high-level positions

New Supervalu CEO hires two for high-level positions

Mark Gross fills two high-level posts – chief innovation officer and chief financial officer.
Minnesota crop farmers are tightening budgets as they face another rough year

Minnesota crop farmers are tightening budgets as they face another rough year

Many are paring back their expenses as prices decline.

Sluggish agriculture and energy markets hurt CHS profits

Largest farmer-owned cooperative in the nation had a $31M quarterly loss.
Bushel Boy among those extending growing season for tomatoes in Minn.

Bushel Boy among those extending growing season for tomatoes in Minn.

"We can put a tomato on your plate right here in Minnesota year-round that you know is safe, wholesome and will taste like a garden tomato in January," said Keith Kersten, CEO of Bushel Boy.
Interest in agriculture careers ranks low in new Land O'Lakes survey

Interest in agriculture careers ranks low in new Land O'Lakes survey

An alarming lack of young people are planning to work in the agriculture industry, according to a new survey funded by Arden Hills-based Land O'Lakes…
Land O'Lakes finding rhythm in highly competitive world food industry

Land O'Lakes finding rhythm in highly competitive world food industry

Land O'Lakes is a company whose bread-and-butter business really is butter — and a whole lot more. It has to be to survive long-term, its CEO says.
Bernard Brommer, former president of the Minnesota AFL-CIO, is dead at age 75

Bernard Brommer, former president of the Minnesota AFL-CIO, is dead at age 75

Longtime leader was an expert in workers' compensation.

Earnings up, sales down for Land O'Lakes

Land O'Lakes reported record earnings of $308 million in 2015, although net sales dipped because of an overall slowdown in the farm economy.
Farmland prices on the downturn in Minnesota

Farmland prices on the downturn in Minnesota

Farmland prices in Minnesota continue to soften as prices for corn and soybeans remain relatively low and the outlook for 2016 appears to offer marginal profits for many crop growers.
Mosaic earnings down but company sees daylight ahead

Mosaic earnings down but company sees daylight ahead

The company said it is well-positioned for 2016 and will repurchase more shares of its stock.

Taylor, partner to build new pork processing plant in Windom, Minn.

Glen Taylor and a partner plan to raise, slaughter and market premium pork in Minnesota.
Popular insecticide-coated soybean seeds are overused, scentists say

Popular insecticide-coated soybean seeds are overused, scentists say

Scientists say the coatings usually offer little benefit for extra cost. The industry disagrees.

Mosaic Co. shuffles top leadership roles amid industry troubles

The company said the moves are part of a succession plan.
Crop report shows new records in 2015 for Minnesota corn and soybean growers

Crop report shows new records in 2015 for Minnesota corn and soybean growers

Ideal weather in much of the state helped corn and soybean growers shatter marks.
Panama Canal expansion could widen markets for Minnesota farmers

Panama Canal expansion could widen markets for Minnesota farmers

A third lane in Panama could help expand the export business for Minnesota farmers
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