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  • Farmer Jeff Jones and his daughters feed grain to their foraging cattle once a day in Callaway County, Mo. They’re concerned about the health and environmental effects a potential hog farm next door might have. (Kris Husted/Harvest Public Media)

    A "right to farm" state Constitutional amendment is on the ballot in Missouri. But farmers are divided on its merits.

  • (BigStock image)

    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.

  • Dairy cows like these on Dorine Boelen’s farm in Brooklyn, Iowa, can be treated with antibiotics, but their bodies must be free of the medication before they are allowed to contribute milk to the food supply. (Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media)

    The same technology used at crime scenes to link a stray hair to a suspect can also find medications in milk and meat. And the use of sophisticated testing is becoming increasingly available for livestock producers, who stand to lose lots of money if their products are tainted. 

  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., (in green), watches as President Barack Obama signs the Farm Bill at Michigan State University on Feb. 7, 2014. (Courtesy David Kosling/USDA)

    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.

  • K Street in Washington D.C. has long been known as the home to powerful lobbyists. Hundreds of companies and groups lobbied to influence the 2014 Farm Bill. (Creative Commons)

    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.

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When a Nebraska grain elevator failed, farmers were left with about $9 million in unpaid claims and little safety net to turn to.

If artist's use their work to understand the human experience, it makes sense that many Midwest artists turn their lens, brushes, sculptures and words on agriculture and farming.

While sun and rain might be free, tomato farmers have to carefully weigh everything else they put in to growing their crop. Research and the development of new tools – from novel seed varieties resistant to diseases to additional fertilizers – has changed the input costs for growers.

An independent journalist says he’s found a way around the so-called “ag-gag” laws – flying drones over large livestock operations to document animal welfare problems and pollution.

Insects can be a great source of protein, and in many parts of the world, people gobble them up. But here in the U.S., a certain “ick factor” has kept consumers from eating crickets, locusts and mealworms. To combat the ickiness and convert skeptical consumers, bug-food advocates are trying a specific marketing tactic: be clever and cute.

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.

A "right to farm" state Constitutional amendment is on the ballot in Missouri. But farmers are divided on its merits.

The same technology used at crime scenes to link a stray hair to a suspect can also find medications in milk and meat. And the use of sophisticated testing is becoming increasingly available for livestock producers, who stand to lose lots of money if their products are tainted. 

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