Abbie Fentress Swanson http://wuis.org en Padlock The Milk! The FDA's Push To Safeguard The Food Supply http://wuis.org/post/padlock-milk-fdas-push-safeguard-food-supply <p></p><p>Many of the food terrorism scenarios outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration involve liquid.</p><p>And there’s good reason for that.</p><p>Liquids like orange juice and milk go through many processing steps -- farm, bottling plant, delivery – before reaching the consumers who drink them. And these liquids are moved, manufactured and stored in huge batches that get distributed and consumed quickly. Should a toxin be injected somewhere along the supply chain, experts believe it could have devastating human health and economic consequences.</p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 10:25:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 20623 at http://wuis.org Padlock The Milk! The FDA's Push To Safeguard The Food Supply Changing Dairy Industry Leaves Some Farmers In The Dust http://wuis.org/post/changing-dairy-industry-leaves-some-farmers-dust <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p></p><p>Donnie Davidson’s family has been producing bottled milk in Holden, Mo., since the 1930s. But the 63-year-old farmer decided to sell his herd of 50 milking cows in November after the roof on one of his barns collapsed from last winter’s snow.</p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 00:01:26 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 19633 at http://wuis.org Changing Dairy Industry Leaves Some Farmers In The Dust Meat Labeling Advocates Back New Farm Bill http://wuis.org/post/meat-labeling-advocates-back-new-farm-bill <p>Proponents of a <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/new-labeling-rules-could-give-consumers-more-information-about-their-meat-COOL">new labeling rule that gives consumers more information about where their meat comes from </a>say they are pleased with the new farm bill President Obama signed into law on Friday. That’s because the bill does not include any significant changes to current country-of-origin labeling rules, known as COOL.</p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 12:01:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 18737 at http://wuis.org Meat Labeling Advocates Back New Farm Bill Retailers Look To Sell Sustainability Of Food http://wuis.org/post/retailers-look-sell-sustainability-food <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p></p><p>Consumers are increasingly willing to pay more for foods they believe were sustainably produced, like free-range chicken, fair-trade coffee and pesticide-free wine. But what does “sustainable” actually mean?</p> Tue, 11 Feb 2014 15:16:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 18690 at http://wuis.org Retailers Look To Sell Sustainability Of Food Even As Dairy Industry Booms, There Are Fewer And Fewer Farms http://wuis.org/post/even-dairy-industry-booms-there-are-fewer-and-fewer-farms Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>On Friday, President Obama is scheduled to sign a new farm bill into law. It contains a provision that allows all dairy farms to be part of a safety net. The point is to offset risk when milk prices are too low or feed costs too high. Thu, 06 Feb 2014 21:59:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 18473 at http://wuis.org Midwest Takes A Look At Labeling GMOs http://wuis.org/post/midwest-takes-look-labeling-gmos <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>Last year, <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/gmo-labeling-laws-deck-midwest">we counted between 20 and 30 state legislatures</a> considering bills that mandate labeling on genetically engineered foods or foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Still a hot-topic, many labeling laws are working their way through statehouses all over the nation – even in farm country.</p> Fri, 17 Jan 2014 11:48:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 17129 at http://wuis.org Midwest Takes A Look At Labeling GMOs New Labeling Rules Could Help Consumers Learn More About Meat http://wuis.org/post/new-labeling-rules-could-help-consumers-learn-more-about-meat <p>A new labeling rule that went into full effect Saturday requires meatpackers and retailers to provide consumers with more information about where their meat comes from.</p><p>The country-of-origin labeling mandate (COOL) forces retailers and meatpackers to detail where the livestock from which meat came was born, raised and slaughtered. It applies to certain cuts of beef, veal, chicken, pork, lamb and goat sold in the supermarket. Processed, deli and ground meats are exempt from the new rules.</p> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 14:08:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 14422 at http://wuis.org New Labeling Rules Could Help Consumers Learn More About Meat In A Small Missouri Town, Immigrants Turn To Schools For Help http://wuis.org/post/small-missouri-town-immigrants-turn-schools-help <em>This story comes to us from Harvest Public Media, a public radio reporting project that focuses on agriculture and food production issues.</em> <em>You can see more photos and hear more audio from the series </em><a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/content/shadows-slaughterhouse-dreams-own-words-immigrant" target="_blank">here</a>.<em> Wednesday, we'll have a story from a meatpacking plant in Garden City, Kan., which takes a proactive stance toward its newest immigrants.</em><p>For centuries, immigrants in search of a better life have been drawn to America's largest cities. Tue, 10 Dec 2013 20:33:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 14701 at http://wuis.org In A Small Missouri Town, Immigrants Turn To Schools For Help DREAMing Beyond The Slaughterhouse http://wuis.org/post/dreaming-beyond-slaughterhouse <p>Not yet 9 a.m. on a warm fall day, freshmen Binh Hua and My Nguyen are in protective goggles, long hair pulled back, ready for their chemistry class in a Garden City Community College lab.</p><p>The teacher calls the class to order, calling the students “Busters,” short for “Broncbusters,” the college’s mascot and a reminder of this old West town’s history of raising cattle.</p> Thu, 07 Nov 2013 12:00:00 +0000 Peggy Lowe & Abbie Fentress Swanson 12502 at http://wuis.org DREAMing Beyond The Slaughterhouse Noel, Mo.: Schools Build Safety Net For Immigrant Children http://wuis.org/post/noel-mo-schools-build-safety-net-immigrant-children <p>Noel, MO - It’s almost 9 a.m., and Noel Primary School teacher Erin McPherson is helping a group of Spanish-speaking students complete English language exercises. But it’s tough going.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">One student in a bright blue T-shirt – 9-year-old </span>Isac<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Martinez – has not yet picked up his pencil. He’s clearly sick. When McPherson asks him what’s wrong, </span>Isac’s<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> small voice is barely audible in between coughs. He says he threw up four times last night but did not go to a doctor.</span></p> Tue, 05 Nov 2013 12:40:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 12349 at http://wuis.org Noel, Mo.: Schools Build Safety Net For Immigrant Children New Pest Damaging Midwest Fruit Crops http://wuis.org/post/new-pest-damaging-midwest-fruit-crops <p>Farmers across Illinois and other midwest states are worried about their berries, peaches and tomatoes thanks to a newly arrived pest. &nbsp;</p><p>The spotted wing drosophila looks like an ordinary fruit fly but is way more deadly. It kills healthy fruit by making a tiny slit in a fruit’s skin and laying eggs inside. In two weeks, a female fly can lay more than 300 eggs. So a couple of adults can become thousands in a few months. Lincoln University’s Jaime Piñero says no soft fruit is safe.</p> Mon, 09 Sep 2013 10:43:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 8479 at http://wuis.org New Pest Damaging Midwest Fruit Crops Soybean Breakthroughs Coming On Strong http://wuis.org/post/soybean-breakthroughs-coming-strong <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>The U.S. Department of Agriculture <a href="http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/current/wasde/wasde-07-11-2013.pdf">predicts the nation’s farmers </a>will deliver a record 3.42 billion bushels of soybeans this year. The <a href="http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/soybeans-oil-crops.aspx#.Ue7Vz42shcY">USDA is also forecasting</a> that this year for the first time Brazil will overtake the United States as the world’s leading producer of soybeans. Thu, 08 Aug 2013 23:22:15 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 7008 at http://wuis.org Soybean Breakthroughs Coming On Strong Retiring To The Farm Anything But Quiet http://wuis.org/post/retiring-farm-anything-quiet <p>Farmers are getting older.</p><p>They’re working longer, staying on the land later and continuing to do what they’ve done for decades: heading out day after day after day to work their land.</p><p>In 1978, the average age of the American farmer was just over 50. In 2007, it’s creeping toward 60, at just over 57-years-old. What does that mean for the agriculture industry? We went to answer that question by focusing on this massive demographic shift that affects not just rural America but the power and potential of an entire industry.</p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 11:37:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 5488 at http://wuis.org Retiring To The Farm Anything But Quiet What Is Farm Runoff Doing To The Water? Scientists Wade In http://wuis.org/post/what-farm-runoff-doing-water-scientists-wade America's hugely productive food system is one of its success stories. The nation will export a projected $139.5 billion in agricultural products this fiscal year alone. It's an industry that supports "more than 1 million jobs," according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.<p>But all that productivity has taken a toll on the environment, especially rivers and lakes: Agriculture is the nation's leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the <a href="http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/nps/outreach/point1.cfm">U.S. Fri, 05 Jul 2013 21:32:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 5291 at http://wuis.org What Is Farm Runoff Doing To The Water? Scientists Wade In Harvest Desk: Studying Effects Of Ag Runoff http://wuis.org/post/harvest-desk-studying-effects-ag-runoff <p>Midwest waterways are getting lots of attention this summer. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Environmental Protection Agency have immersed themselves in the ecology of 100 streams from Ohio to Nebraska. It’s a first-of-its kind effort to understand how ag runoff is not just changing the water but affecting the critters that live there. Harvest Public Media’s Abbie Fentress Swanson joined a crew on a rainy day while they gathered water samples and searched for fish eggs on three streams in central Missouri.</p><p></p><p> Wed, 19 Jun 2013 19:03:36 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 4543 at http://wuis.org Harvest Desk: Studying Effects Of Ag Runoff For Corn, Fickle Weather Makes For Uncertain Yields http://wuis.org/post/corn-fickle-weather-makes-uncertain-yields Last year's drought wreaked havoc on farmers' fields in much of the Midwest, cutting crop yields and forcing livestock producers to cull their herds. This spring, the rain that farmers needed so badly in 2012 has finally returned. But maybe too much, and at the wrong time.<p>It's almost the end of April, which is prime time to plant corn. Wed, 24 Apr 2013 07:25:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 1616 at http://wuis.org For Corn, Fickle Weather Makes For Uncertain Yields