A political illustrator working for a major farm publication in Iowa was fired after his latest piece portrayed Monsanto and other Big Ag companies in a negative light. Farm News political cartoonist Rick Friday received word on Saturday April 30th 2016 that his latest cartoon, entitled “Profit,” would be his last. In the black & white illustration published the previous day, Rick depicted two farmers discussing their dwindling profits.
Again, I fall hard in the best interest of large corporations. I am no longer the Editorial Cartoonist for Farm News due…
“I wish there was more profit in farming,” one man says.
“There is,” replies the other farmer. “In year 2015 the CEOs of Monsanto, Dupont, Pioneer and John Deere combined made more money than 2,129 Iowa farmers.”
On Saturday, a Farm News editor contacted Friday to inform him the publication would no longer accept illustrations due to the controversial nature of the “Profit” cartoon.
“In the eyes of some, Big Ag cannot be criticized or poked fun at,” explained the email. “The cartoon resulted in one seed dealer canceling his advertising with Farm News.”
“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 country,” the artist wrote.
In subsequent cartoons shared on his Facebook page, Friday excoriated his former bosses, with one image showing a man wearing a press badge siding with the Big Ag corporations.
I usually snuggle in at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee really early on Monday mornings to draw and send my…
He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.- Lao Tzu
“When it comes to altering someone’s opinion or someone’s voice for the purpose of wealth, I have a problem with that,” Friday said in a comment to KCCI. “It’s our constitutional right to free speech and our constitutional right to free press.”