Long-time Iowa farm cartoonist fired for factual cartoon criticizing Big Ag
Rick Friday has been giving farmers a voice and a laugh every Friday for two decades through his cartoons in the Iowa publication Farm News.
Friday announced Sunday that his job was over after 21 years in a Facebook post that has since gone viral.
The Facebook post read:
“Again, I fall hard in the best interest of large corporations. I am no longer the Editorial Cartoonist for Farm News due to the attached cartoon which was published yesterday. Apparently a large company affiliated with one of the corporations mentioned in the cartoon was insulted and cancelled their advertisement with the paper, thus, resulting in the reprimand of my editor and cancellation of its Friday cartoons after 21 years of service and over 1,090 published cartoons to over 24,000 households per week in 33 counties of Iowa.
“I did my research and only submitted the facts in my cartoon.
“That’s okay, hopefully my children and my grandchildren will see that this last cartoon published by Farm News out of Fort Dodge, Iowa, will shine light on how fragile our rights to free speech and free press really are in the county.”
The cartoon features two farmers talking about farming profits.
The first says, “I wish there was more profit in farming.”
The second farm answers, “There is. In year 2015 the CEOs of Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer and John Deere combined made more money than 2,129 Iowa farmers.”
Friday received an email from his editor at Farm News cutting off their relationship a day after the cartoon was published.
Friday’s editor said a seed dealer pulled their advertisements with Farm News as a result of the cartoon, and others working at the paper disagreed with the jokes made about the agriculture corporations.
“When it comes to altering someone’s opinion or someone’s voice for the purpose of wealth, I have a problem with that,” said Friday. “It’s our constitutional right to free speech and our constitutional right to free press.”
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