A new model for suburban development is springing up across the country that taps into the local food movement. Farms, complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees, are serving as a way to entice potential buyers to settle in a new subdivision.
As farmers across the Midwest have simplified the landscape and plowed up grassland to grow more corn and soybeans, habitat for pheasants, quail and other grassland birds has become increasingly scarce. And their numbers are falling.
Across the Midwest, farmers are taking a hard look at their water usage. In Nebraska, which leads the nation in the number of irrigated acres, they've had to become more efficient as water grows scarcer.
Microbiologists have long-studied plant soil. And now, some researchers are focused on how to harness the good things microbes can do, with the goal of diminishing farmers' dependence on chemical inputs.
In the Shadows of the Slaughterhouse, part 3: Since large meatpacking plants left big cities like Kansas City and Chicago, rural Midwestern towns have been dealing with a huge influx of immigrants and refugees and their children. Many of these kids are hoping to achieve the American Dream by moving out of the shadows and into a bright future.
In the Shadows of the Slaughterhouse, part 1: Attracted to stable jobs in the meatpacking industry, communities of immigrants are springing up across rural America. Many small, rural towns, however, struggle to provide the social services needed by such a diverse population. Schools in tiny Noel, Mo., are struggling to provide much more than instruction.