Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
Barons, a new book about the corruption of the American Food Industry

Barons, a new book about the corruption of the American Food Industry

...meet author Austin Fredrick

Robert Leonard and I teamed up to bring you a conversation with Austin Frerick, an author whose book is being released this week.

This work could change how readers view what is happening all around us. As Bob said in his introduction to Austin, the author doesn’t just offer facts and data about the consolidation of the food industry; he tells stories about families and how they came to, for example, be able to invest $300,000 in an Iowa gubernatorial race.

Who does that, and why? Is there a connection between polluted rivers and streams, cancer rates in Iowa, and the political investments made by producers who have become behemoths in the agribusiness world?

In this podcast episode, the author says the impetus for writing this book came from a conversation at Carl’s Place in Sherman Hill with former gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell.

We often have reader participants on the call who ask excellent questions or raise well-made points, and this call was no exception.

Podcast listeners will hear other voices on the call, including Randy Evans, the executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council; Mary Swander, who leads the nonprofit Ag Arts and is a member of the Iowa Writers’ Collaborative; Herb Strentz, former dean of the Drake School of Journalism and founder of the Freedom of Information Council; and Jim Sayers, who farms near Humboldt.

Occasionally, a book crystallizes a point of view that can be the impetus for real change. This book has the potential to do just that.

Bob’s book review was posted this morning, too: When Pigs Fly.

Listen to the podcast, read the transcript, and then send it to others.


Switching gears, our guest this coming Monday is singer/songwriter Jara Johnson.

Jara’s career has taken her to Texas, Nashville, and Iowa, where she is now the Pella Opera House associate director. Music remains a large part of her story as she travels to Nashville to write and record music and work to bring other artists and songwriters to Pella.

Subscribers will receive a link to the Zoom call on Monday morning. It is free to subscribe.

Iowa Writers’ Collaborative

Did you catch the roundup of columns from members of the Iowa Writers’ Collaborative on Sunday?

Iowa Writers Collaborative
Sports, Myth-Busting, Ernst as Leader, and a lot more from around Iowa
Read more


Have you heard or seen an ad for the Okoboji Writers’ and Songwriters’ Retreat? I’d love to know if or when folks see them. Thanks! JulieOkobojiwriters@gmail.com


Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
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