Rick Friday of Lorimor, Iowa has drawn a cartoon for the Farm News every week for the past 21 years. His characters are the very scruffy, overall-wearing, humdrum farmers who read and star in the newspaper.
He tries to make them laugh. He tries to capture their true feelings. Sometimes, it gets political.
His last cartoon ran on April 29. It's a dig at the execs of ag giants Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, and John Deere for the exorbitant salaries they amass while real farmers toil in the sun for much less.
Friday thought it was funny. The corporations didn't. According to a redacted email the Farm News' editor sent Friday the day after the cartoon ran, one of the seed companies was so upset that it canceled its advertising with Farm News.
"Today I was instructed by [OMITTED] that we will no longer take a cartoon from you," the email read. "The last one, Profit, has caused a [OMITTED] storm here that I do not understand. In the eyes of some Big Ag cannot be criticized or poked fun at."
Friday was miffed, as any self-respecting newsman would be. Thousands of people have re-shared his Facebook post detailing Farm News' deal with the devil.
While there's no indication that Friday will ever get hired back, he's still drawing and putting pressure on Big Ag — and the media: