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Tom Philpott Predicts the End of Farming as We Know It

Tom Philpott is dogged in his pursuit of the truth about America’s farms. In addition to spending several years working on a small organic farm in North Carolina, Philpott has been tracking the companies and other forces shaping the agriculture industry, and their impact on the environment for a decade and a half.

08/27/20
                                                               

Is the Vegan Movement Ready to Reckon with Racism?

Earlier this year, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) posted a Super Bowl advertisement it said had been rejected by Fox. The one-minute clip featured cartoon animals, from bees to bald eagles, taking a knee while the national anthem hummed in the background. It closed on the hashtag “#EndSpeciesism.”

08/26/20
                                                               

The Iowa Derecho Put Refugee Food Workers at Even Greater Risk

Over a week after a sudden, powerful storm brought hurricane-like winds across the plains of Iowa and wrought severe damage upon the city of Cedar Rapids, Patrick Safari stood with his wife and three children amid the ruins of his former home at the now-decimated Cedar Terrace Apartments.

08/25/20
                                                               

Wildfires Across Northern California Devastate Farmers and Farmland

On Tuesday night, Judith Redmond was alarmed by the thick brown smoke that clouded the air as she drove the 75 miles back from the Berkeley farmers’ market to Full Belly Farm in the Capay Valley. By Wednesday morning, she woke up to the ridge surrounding the valley engulfed by an inferno—part of what has become known as LNU Lightning Complex Fires—creeping dangerously close to the valley floor. Weathered by the 2018 County Fire, Redmond began to think logistics: how would she ensure the safety of her workers and neighbors with health conditions and animals that need to be moved?

08/24/20
                                                               

Wildfires Across Northern California Devastate Farmers and Farmland

By Hannah Ricker Photo: Jered Lawson

On Tuesday night, Judith Redmond was alarmed by the thick brown smoke that clouded the air as she drove the 75 miles back from the Berkeley farmers’ market to Full Belly Farm in the Capay Valley. By Wednesday morning, she woke up to the ridge surrounding the valley engulfed by an inferno—part of what has become known as LNU Lightning Complex Fires—creeping dangerously close to the valley floor. Weathered by the 2018 County Fire, Redmond began to think logistics: how would she ensure the safety of her workers and neighbors with health conditions and animals that need to be moved?

08/24/20
                                                               

USDA Moves Forward with Sweeping Plans to Prevent Fraud in Organics

By Lisa Held

In 2017, The Washington Post reported on a shipment of 36 million pounds of soybeans that were shipped from Ukraine to Turkey to California and sold as organic, even though they had been fumigated with pesticides not approved under the USDA Organic standard and originally sold into the conventional market. And in 2019, an Iowa grain broker was sentenced to 10 years in prison for selling more than $142 million in fraudulent organic animal feed to Midwest farmers between 2010 and 2017.

08/17/20
                                                               

Closure of Western Lamb Processor by JBS Could ‘Devastate the Ranch Economy’

By Claire Kelloway

In a few weeks, many Western sheep ranchers might not have a place to slaughter their lambs. Global meatpacking giant JBS last month won the bankruptcy auction for the Mountain State Rosen (MSR) lamb processing plant in Greeley, Colorado. The plant, formerly owned by a cooperative, processed as much as one-fifth of all U.S. lamb, and served ranchers from 15 states. The plant also directly competed with JBS, which imports lamb to sell in the United States.

08/14/20
                                                               

Farming is an Act of Social Justice at Woven Roots Farm

The first community supported agriculture (CSA) pickup of the 2020 summer season at Woven Roots Farm in Tyringham, Massachusetts, was a joyous event. Pickup procedures were different, to be sure: masks and physical distancing were required, and only one person was allowed from each household at a time.

08/12/20
                                                               

US Groups Invest Billions in Industrial Ag in Africa. Experts Say It’s not Ending Hunger or Helping Farmers

With more than half the population living below the poverty line, Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries—and the majority of its people operate small farms. So, for more than a decade, non-profits and governments have focused on reducing poverty and hunger in the country by helping farmers there increase productivity in their fields, using the same monocropping techniques embraced by commodity corn and soy growers in the U.S.

08/11/20

Changes to School Meals Have Made Low-Income Kids Healthier. Will They Last?

COVID-19 has increased awareness of the fact that a large number of low-income families depend on school meals to feed their children. As schools shut down this spring, many districts quickly pivoted to pick-up and delivery so their students wouldn’t go hungry, especially given rising rates of unemployment and increased demand at food banks.

08/10/20