Urban Lehner

Editor Emeritus

Urban C. Lehner joined DTN as editor-in-chief in July 2003. He became vice president of the editorial operations of DTN and the Progressive Farmer in July 2010. He is a past president of the North American Agricultural Journalists and in August 2009 was named "Writer of the Year" by the American Agricultural Editors' Association.


Previously he spent 33 years at The Wall Street Journal, including 20 in Europe and Asia. Most recently he was vice president, business development. Other positions included publisher and executive editor of The Asian Wall Street Journal, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe, Tokyo bureau chief, Detroit bureau chief and Washington economics reporter.


He co-authored a 1989 series on U.S.-Japan relations that won an Overseas Press Club citation for excellence. He authored and edited "Let's Talk Turkey About Japanese Turkeys and Other Tales from The Asian Wall Street Journal" (Charles Tuttle, Rutland, Vt., and Tokyo, 1996).


Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Mich., he has a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Georgetown University.

Recent Blogs by Author

More From This Author

  • Agriculture-productivity growth has stayed ahead of population growth by substituting fossil fuels for human labor. The next challenge for techno-optimists is decarbonization. (DTN file photo by Nick Scalise)

    Best Blog of the Week

    The techno-optimists have been right (and the Malthusians wrong) about agriculture's ability to keep up with population growth, but a new book challenges techno-optimism on the decarbonization front.

  • The Federal Reserve had to raise its target interest rate into the stratosphere in the early 1980s because it hadn't moved boldly enough to curb inflation over the previous several years.

    An Urban's Rural View

    To avoid having to raise interest rates into the stratosphere in the long run, as the Federal Reserve did in the early 1980s, today's Fed looks likely to continue to impose unusually large increases in the short run.

  • For many Americans, Labor Day is a much-welcomed day off, but its definition as a day to celebrate workers leaves murky what's being honored. (DTN graphic by Nick Scalise)

    An Urban's Rural View

    The U.S. has a Labor Day, not a May Day, even though the May Day in many other countries commemorates an 1886 incident in Chicago, the Haymarket Riot.

  • In 2020, during the pandemic, Kyle Quinn played his tuba from a high spot on the Quinn farm in Nebraska because the farmhouse didn't have enough internet bandwidth to send his performance to the school band teacher. (DTN file photo by Russ Quinn)

    An Urban's Rural View

    There's more government money available for rural broadband internet, thanks to last year's $1.2 trillion infrastructure law. Now the challenge is to make sure it's spent where it's needed.