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Food stamps cuts could hit rural America hardest

Much attention has been devoted to rural America since the presidential election. The press, the pundits, and the public have examined it from nearly every angle, deliberating the demographic, economic, and cultural factors that may have helped the Trump campaign capitalize on the dormant discontent of a great many. But we still don’t understand some basic facts about the people and the places that make up rural America. This is partially attributable to the destructive cultural and political narratives that tell us programs like SNAP are not a rural issue.

Cattle industry fighting to bar "meat" and "beef" from plant-based protein packaging

The nation's largest cattle industry lobby group is fighting to defend the traditional meaning of the word "meat." The U.S. Cattlemen's Association filed a petition last month with the Department of Agriculture arguing that "lab-grown and plant-based products should not use the terms 'meat' or 'beef'" on their labels. Kelly Fogarty, whose family has raised Black Angus cattle for five generations, represents hundreds of ranchers as the executive vice president of the U.S. Cattlemen's Association. For them, defining meat is easy. "We don't want them to think of a laboratory.

Farm-income losses hurting Midwestern states’ budgets; no turnaround for sector in sight

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that real gross domestic product increased 2.3 percent nationally between 2016 and 2017, but agriculture subtracted from overall economic growth in every state in the Midwest — most notably Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. “It’s a big deal in Nebraska when our farmers are hurting,” says Tony Fulton, the state’s tax commissioner and a former state legislator.

Annette Sweeney, SARL Treasurer files paperwork for DIx's Senate seat

Former Republican State Representative Annette Sweeney of rural Alden officially announced her intention to run for a state senate seat vacated by the sudden resignation of Majority Leader Bill Dix on Wednesday morning, setting up a District 25 special election clash with Democrat Tracy Freese of Dike. Sweeney, a cattle and grain farmer by trade, had been serving as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Director of Rural Development in Iowa for the last four months after President Donald Trump appointed her in November, and she resigned from that position Tuesday afternoon.

Oklahoma lawmakers propose cutting tax credits for wind farms

Oklahoma rolled out the red carpet to the growing wind industry two decades ago with the promise of generous state tax incentives and a steady stream of wind sweeping down the Central Plains. But with budget shortfalls that have persisted for several years, lawmakers have already scaled back almost all of the incentives and are now looking to impose a new production tax on the industry.

Alaska:Agriculture bills would prevent disclosure of some farm records

At a time when farming is making spectacular economic strides in Alaska, the industry is pushing a pair of bills in the Legislature that would reduce the information that can be disclosed to the public about animal and crop diseases and imports. Farmers say they need the bills to prevent unscrupulous competitors from using public records to unfairly learn about their business practices, or to keep animal rights activists from harassing them. The two bills under discussion now, House Bill 315 and Senate Bill 164, are identical and were submitted to the Legislature in January by Gov.

Judge: Corps Responsible for Flooding, Damage in 4 States

A federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for causing recurring flooding that damaged farms and property in four Midwest states along the Missouri River. The ruling Tuesday in Washington says the government must compensate farmers, landowners and business owners for the flood damage in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. The damage has been estimated to exceed $300 million.More than 300 farmers, landowners and business owners argued in the lawsuit filed in 2014 in the U.S.

Medicaid is rural America’s financial midwife

Brianna Foster, 23, lives minutes away from Genesis Hospital, the main source of health care and the only hospital with maternity services in southeastern Ohio’s rural Muskingum County. Proximity proved potentially lifesaving last fall when Foster, pregnant with her second child, Holden, felt contractions at 31 weeks — about seven weeks too soon. Genesis was equipped to handle the situation — giving Foster medication and an injection to stave off delivery.

Most of America’s fruit is now imported.

It’s obvious to anyone who visits an American supermarket in winter — past displays brimming with Chilean grapes, Mexican berries and Vietnamese dragon fruit — that foreign farms supply much of our produce.


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