Wall Street Journal

Recent Articles

Organic agriculture: Is it sustainable?

By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

Contributing Writers

Dr. Henry I. Miller’s May 15, 2014 opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal has indeed made waves in the organic farming community. Miller, former director of the Office of Biotechnology at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, argues that conventional farming — which uses synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers and often genetically modified (GM) seed stock to maximize yields — is actually better for the environment, producing more food and using less water compared to organic farming. “Organic farming might work well for certain local environments on a small scale, but its farms produce far less food per unit of land and water than conventional ones,” says Miller. “The low yields of organic agriculture — typically 20 percent to 50 percent less than conventional agriculture — impose various stresses on farmland and especially on water consumption.”

Miller adds that organic methods can cause significant leaking of nitrates from composted manure — the fertilizer of choice for most organic farms — into groundwater, polluting drinking water. He also cites research showing that large-scale composting generates significant amounts of greenhouse gases and “may also deposit pathogenic bacteria on or in food crops, which has led to more frequent occurrences of food poisoning in the U.S. and elsewhere.”

“If the scale of organic production were significantly increased, says Miller, the lower yields would increase the pressure for the conversion of more land to farming and more water for irrigation, both of which are serious environmental issues.” He adds that conventional farming’s embrace of GM crops — a no-no to organic farmers — is yet another way we can boost yields and feed more people with less land. Continue Reading →

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Play to your strengths when looking for work

In his Wall Street Journal bestseller Strengths Finder 2.0, author Tom Rath reveals that, according to the Gallup organization, across all areas, the majority of people don’t have the opportunity to focus on what they do best. More than 10 million people have been surveyed on this specific topic, and approximately seven million are falling short. The author goes on to note that when you are not able to use your strengths at work, chances are that you:

• Dread going to work

• Have more negative than positive interactions with your coworkers

• Treat your customers poorly

• Tell your friends what a miserable company you work for

• Achieve less on a daily basis

• Have fewer creative and positive moments

So why aren’t more people seeking jobs that are in line with their strengths? The main reason for this disconnect is that most people are either unaware of, or unable to describe, their own strengths. The author outlines 34 themes that represent an attempt to categorize talents. Continue Reading →

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London Vikings game a ‘hook’ to plug state business, tourism

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Meet Minneapolis Executive Director Melvin Tennant was a member of the 24-person delegation that traveled to London for the September 29 Minnesota-Pittsburgh football game. But he was there for more than watching the local NFL club play a regular-season contest. “I had the opportunity to represent Meet Minneapolis [the city’s convention and visitors’ bureau],” Tennant told the MSR last week after his return from the week-long trip to England. He added that the traveling party included both Minneapolis and St. Paul mayors; representatives from the convention and visitors bureaus of St. Continue Reading →

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