About Stett Holbrook

Stett Holbrook is a senior editor at MAKE magazine. He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series in production for PBS.
Author Archive | Stett Holbrook

Study Finds Public Funds for Water Clean-Up Poorly Used in California

Chemicals from California’s agricultural industry have been polluting the state’s water resources for decades, yet the largest source of public funds to remedy the nitrate and pesticide tainted water are significantly underutilized. That’s the key finding in a report released today by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG). The report, entitled “Untapped: How Farm Bill […]

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California Board Proposes Fertilizer Tax to Combat Groundwater Contamination

On February 20, California’s Water Resources Control Board released a sweeping report to the state Legislature aimed at cleaning up drinking water contamination caused by nitrates used in agriculture. Chief among the water board’s 15 recommendations is a fee on fertilizers, considered the major source of nitrate contamination. The report also recommends a point-of-sale fee […]

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Farm Bill Passes Senate, with Significant Changes to Crop Insurance

The Senate has changed its tune on crop insurance. Legislators approved the Farm Bill today by a vote 64-35. Known as the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012, the bill lived up to the reform part of its name with several key amendments related to crop insurance. As previously reported by FERN, the […]

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Crop Insurance a Boon to Farmers – And Insurers, too

Here’s a deal few businesses would refuse: Buy an insurance policy to protect against losses – even falling prices — and the government will foot most of the bill. That’s how crop insurance works. The program doesn’t just help out farmers, however. The federal government also subsidizes the insurance companies that write the policies. If their losses grow too big, taxpayers […]

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CA Water Board Votes Unanimously for New Rules on Pollution from Agriculture

Just two days after the University of California at Davis released a highly anticipated report on nitrate contaminated groundwater and the agriculture industry’s culpability therein, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board Thursday unanimously approved a hotly contested set of rules aimed alleviating water pollution caused by farming. But the new regulations won’t cover […]

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Farming Communities Facing Crisis Over Nitrate Pollution, Study Says

Nitrate contamination in groundwater from fertilizer and animal manure is severe and getting worse for hundreds of thousands of residents in California’s farming communities, according to a study released today by researchers at UC Davis. Nearly 10 percent of the 2.6 million people living in the Tulare Lake Basin and Salinas Valley might be drinking […]

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