Welcome! Big Picture Agriculture is produced by Kay McDonald, an independent agricultural researcher out of Boulder, Colorado. Because I am not funded by anyone, I have a rare, independent voice found nowhere else on the web in agriculture today. I count among my regular readers: Mark Bittman (NYT), Tom Philpott (Mother Jones), the WSJ, Bloomberg, CNN, NPR, National Geographic, CME Group, DTN, Boerderij and numerous other agricultural writers and main stream media publications.

Background: My formal education was in the humanities, science, and medicine. My career was in the areas of immunology and microbiology, including teaching and university research; plus, I’ve been a business entrepreneur. I’ve also had a lifelong interest in art, gardening, nutrition, and holistic health. Because I grew up on a farm in Northeastern Nebraska, where my family continues to farm, I understand the real-world issues of modern farming.

E-Mail: bigpictureagriculture (at) gmail (dot) com . Please note that I welcome e-mails and I read all of them, but do not have time to respond to each one.

“Big Picture Agriculture” aims to provide:

  • The voice which has the holistic view.
  • Early trend spotting. You will often see it here first.
  • Help in problem-solving the many challenges facing agriculture today.
  • A prioritized focus upon the energy issues facing agriculture, both in industrial production systems, rural living, and in the area of biofuels.
  • Information about agriculture which appeals to a wide audience (organic and small farmers, investors, ecologists, academics, industrial agriculture participants, and food security specialists).

Work has appeared on:


Proudest Achievement: Running the marathon in under four hours.

Contact: If you are interested in advertising on this site, if you wish to send a news tip, or if you wish to communicate, please contact me at bigpictureagriculture (at) gmail (dot) com.

14 thoughts on “About

    1. K.M. Post author

      Thank you Eric. It’s great to get positive feedback. I welcome your comments or insights any time under any thread.

  1. Jennifer

    Hi Kay,

    This is a great website, and I have learned so much about farming and farmland investments. Thank you for your great job.

    I am looking for some names and info of global agricultural consulting firms and global agricultural investment firms. Could you recommend some? Thanks.


    1. K.M. Post author

      That’s not really what I do here. I’d suggest setting up a twitter account and then start following agriculture/investment topics that you are interested in. Twitter is very useful for finding a specific niche of information. You might visit my twitter account @Bigpictureag and I have many investment people as followers. Seeking Alpha is another site you might check out and search the investment subjects that you are interested in. Good luck!

  2. Belal Mohammed

    This site is wonderful. Not only do we get a news recap, we also get your valualbe insight.
    Thanks and please continue posting.
    Belal Mohammed

  3. Cyril Ciesiolka

    My opinion is that agriculture’s problems are centred around “the free robbery system” which has replaced the corrupted “free enterprise” system” and protected by the even more corrupt legal system that shields it from honest real scrutiny.Producers of food being at the end of the production chain have become price takers and so the result is “unsustainability” and landuse/economic uncertainty. Landuser find themselves doing whatever it takes to stay afloat and so environmental costs are foregone for short term survival.
    I see only a giant mess (just look at state of urban areas)that calls for a new paradigm in which money must be foregone and replaced with greater truthfullness, personal integrity, and practical solutions in terms of generating more successful inter-personal relationships to assist people in feeling worthwhile and capable of doing things.

  4. Paola Rivera

    Wow, this blog is incredible! I am interning at an international development agency and this has served as a great resource (my favorite one of all, honestly).

    I appreciate your hard work so much I thought this comment was the least I could do.

    - P

  5. Richard Self

    Hi, I have followed your blog for some time and value it. What do you think about the TPP? It has very real potential to disenfranchise us here in NZ in terms of our sovereignty over our natural resources. Here are some references:




    Kind regards


    1. K. McDonald Post author

      This looks important and I don’t know enough to comment, yet. In Ag there are continual trade negotiations going on, it is enough to make your head swim. I hope this isn’t the nightmare that you fear in NZ. I listened to most of the Moyers video that you linked and I follow Yves regularly. Thanks for the links.

  6. Elli Sparks

    Hi Kay –

    Awesome blog! Thanks for thinking about the farmer in this light.

    I work for Citizens Climate Lobby. We are volunteer driven, non-profit, and non-partisan. We are building the political will for a livable world. We are currently focused on having Congress pass a revenue neutral carbon tax.

    I would like to wrap my mind around the implications of such a policy on agriculture.

    Would you have time for a phone call?

    Thank you,

    Elli Sparks

  7. dennis

    hi my little family and i are moving very close to S Boulder Creek on Prado just of Eldo Springs Rd….to settle down. I am going to start a large garden there and would love to hear any suggestions u have for a 4 season garden. Do u have any suggestiosn for a 4 season chicken coop to? Well be arriving in March from Tucson where I just started gardening. Thanks

  8. Erich J. Knight

    Yes,… Ms. McDonald great farming info, Thanks.

    If Biochar Systems ever tickles your interest you can find all aspects of applications, all sorts of fodder for blogs, even “Carbon Fodders” for livestock, in this review of the industry developments. I am most excited about how the German & Swiss farmers have integrated nutrient & Energy management to take the stink out of manure;

    The current science & industry applications of Biochar please see my 2013 Umass Biochar presentation. How thermal conversion technologies can integrate and optimize the recycling of valuable nutrients while providing energy and building soil carbon, I believe it brings together both sides of climate beliefs.
    A reconciling of both Gods’ and mans’ controlling hands.

    Agricultural Geo – Engineering; Past, Present & Future
    Across scientific disciplines carbons are finding new utility to solve our most vexing problems


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