The USDA's recently announced changes to the inspection process are driven in part by food safety concerns and government spending constraints. But there’s also just the need to account for modern times.
A devastating drought has left pockets of the Midwest even drier than in the Dust Bowl years. Farmers battle dust storms that darken, but many have been able to hang on thanks to modern farming methods.
Growing Influence, part 3: The 2014 Farm Bill pumped billions in new money into the crop insurance program. During the bill's drafting process, many crop insurance industry groups spent a total of tens of millions of dollars to lobby the bill.
Growing Influence, part 2: Hundreds of outside groups and companies lobbied on issues related to the 2014 Farm Bill. But thanks to opaque lobbying disclosure laws, it’s nearly impossible to know how much power each group wields and what they were ultimately able to accomplish.
Growing Influence, part 1: A long list of at least 600 companies and outside groups spent millions of dollars lobbying on issues related to the Farm Bill, fighting for pieces of the nearly-trillion dollar legislation.