We’ve already asked you what you thought the big stories of 2011 were. Now, we want to know what farm issues will dominate the 2012 headlines.
Will it be those sky-high farmland prices sticking around? Will subsidies be shelved in the 2012 farm bill? Or will all that opposition to the controversial child labor proposal make the government drop the idea?
While we’re at this big news stuff, I’m sharing what the top ten most-clicked stories were here at Harvest Public Media in this, our first calendar year of operation as one of public media’s Local Journalism Centers.
No. 9 – A pilot program aimed at engaging beginning and minority farmers with “hoop houses”– easy-to-make greenhouses – made hopefuls of new farmers and their advocates.
No. 8 – Farm country tooka controversial proposal on child labor as heresy when the government suggested keeping kids from what it deemed dangerous jobs – like driving a tractor, working around breeding cattle or handling pesticides.
No. 7 – Thedebate on the 2012 Farm Bill made a stop in Wichita, Kan., when the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee met with farmers there in September. They were warned: don’t touch crop insurance.
No. 6 – Our series “Her land, her farm” chronicled the continued contribution of women in agriculture, which is growing thanks to many widows outliving their farm spouses.
No. 5 -- Eric Durban, our man in Garden City, Kan., came in with No. 5 on the list, writing about the lack of fresh food in the middle of farm country.
No. 1 – If cutting onions without shedding tears is a fantasy, think again. Our top story of the year was about the multi-billion dollar quest by Monsanto – the biotech giant – to create genetically modified vegetables for the consumer market, like tearless onions and super-boosted nutrients in broccoli.