The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2019
In “The end of the ‘panda of the sea’,” Ben Goldfarb describes the effort to save the vaquita, a small porpoise found only in the Gulf of Mexico, from going extinct. The piece, published in partnership with Pacific Standard, was included in the anthology “The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2019.”

Society for Features Journalism
‘Every Day You Become More Desperate’,” a FERN story reported by Anna-Catherine Brigida and published in partnership with The Weather Channel, won the Society for Features Journalism’s third place award for feature series or project. Brigida’s story was part of The Weather Channel‘s climate change project, “Exodus: The Climate Migration Crisis,” which focused on how climate change’s impact to human migration is both global and hyper-local.

Association of Food Journalists
Scientists warned this weedkiller would destroy crops. EPA approved it anyway.” was a FERN story reported by Liza Gross and published in partnership with Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. The story focused on how the EPA based its decision on ‘shockingly insufficient’ company studies. As a result, millions of dollars in soybeans and other crops were destroyed. It won the Association of Food Journalists’ third place award for “Best Story on Food Policy or Food Issues.”


James Beard Foundation Award
Terror in the Heartland,” a FERN story reported by Ted Genoways and published in partnership with The New Republic,  won the James Beard Foundation award for investigative reporting. The story uncovered details of how an election-night plot to massacre Muslim refugees in a Kansas meatpacking town was thwarted.


SPJ 2017 Sigma Delta Chi Award
FERN, along with The Weather Channel and other media partners, won an award in the category of “Specialized Journalism Site” for “United States of Climate Change.” This multi-publisher and multi-platform journalism project gave a wide look into how climate change is affecting every state in the US. FERN collaborated with The Weather Channel on stories that explored water worries in arid New Mexicothe vanishing trees in Nebraska, and barley and beer in Montana.

SPJ NorCal Excellence in Journalism Award
FERN won the award in “Features and Longform storytelling (radio/audio) for Lisa Morehouse’s story “75 Years Later, Japanese Americans Recall Incarceration, Forced Farm Labor,” produced in partnership with KQED’s California Report.

International Association for Culinary Professionals Food Writing Award
FERN took home an IACP award this year for Dick Manning’s excellent long-form piece, “The Trouble with Iowa,” written in partnership with Harper’s Magazine. An investigation into the powerful links between politics, culture and corn farming in Iowa, the story won IACP’s award for “Food Writing That Makes A Difference.”

California News Publishers Association 
The story “Napa’s water war with big wine” won a CNPA’s Better Newspapers Contest award for environmental reporting. The piece — a look into the growing industrial wine industry in northern california and the fight for water rights — was written by Stett Holbrook and co-produced by FERN and The Bohemian.


Association of Food Journalism Awards
FERN won two AFJ awards this year. Ted Genoway’s piece “Heart of Agave” (published in partnership with Mother Jones) took home first place for Best Writing on Beer, Wine or Spirits, and Paul Greenberg’s “The Fishermen’s Dilemma” (published in partnership with California Sunday) earned second place for Best Story on Food Policy or Food Issues.

The New York Press Club Journalism Award
FERN’s story with writer Jocelyn Zuckerman, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Huffington Post about children displaced by palm oil plantations in Indonesia won a Gold Keyboard Award — the highest honor — from the New York Press Club, as part of a larger investigative series on the World Bank by ICIJ called “Evicted and Abandoned.” The series of stories also won the Whitman Bassow Award for Environmental Reporting from the Overseas Press Club. It was also a finalist for a Gerard Loeb Award and the Investigative Reporters and Editor’s Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism.

Edward R. Murrow Award

FERN won an Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for use of sound in the radio story “Grapes of Wrath: The forgotten Filipino-Americans who led the ’65 Delano grape strike.” Written by Lisa M. Morehouse, the story reveals how Filipino-Americans spearheaded the historic labor movement, made famous by the United Farm Workers and Cesar Chavez. The story originally appeared on KQED’s The California Report.

Association of Healthcare Journalists Award for Excellence
Liza Gross won third place from the Association of Health Care Journalists for “Fields of Toxic Pesticides,” produced by the FERN with The Nation. The piece reveals that latino children face a disproportionate risk to pesticides than white children in California.

IACP Award Nominees
Three FERN stories were nominated for writing awards from the International Association of Culinary Professional’s: Paul Greenberg’s “The Fishermen’s Dilemma,” produced with California Sunday Magazine; Lisa Hamilton’s “Uncharted,” produced with California Sunday Magazine; and Liza Gross’ “Fields of Toxic Pesticides,” produced with The Nation.

SEJ Environmental Reporting Award
FERN earned an Honorable Mention from the Society of Environmental Journalists for our participation along with writer Jocelyn Zuckerman, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Huffington Post  in “Evicted and Abandoned,” a series of stories on palm oil.

Columbia Journalism School’s John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism
FERN was a finalist for our production role, along with writer Jocelyn Zuckerman, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Huffington Post  in “Evicted and Abandoned,” a series of stories on palm oil.


James Beard Foundation Award Winner

FERN won a second James Beard Foundation Award for our story, “The Quinoa Quarrel: Who Owns The Greatest Superfood?” Written by Lisa Hamilton, the story appeared with original photography, also by Hamilton, in Harper’s Magazine. FERN, Harper’s and Hamilton took home the award for best reporting in the category of Food Politics, Policy and the Environment.


IACP Food Writing Award
FERN took home an IACP Award for “Writing that Makes a Difference” thanks to Barry Estabrook’s story, “Antibiotics in your food: What’s causing the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria in our food supply and why you should buy antibiotic-free food.” The story was produced with our media partner, Eating Well.

James Beard Award Nominee
Marilyn McKenna’s piece with FERN and Medium.com, “Imagining the Post-Antibiotic Future” was nominated for a James Beard Award in the category of “Food, Politics, Policy and the Environment.”


James Beard Foundation Award Winner
FERN won a James Beard Foundation Award for our story, “As Common as Dirt.” Written by Tracie McMillan, the story appeared in The American Prospect and explores how farm labor contracts often blatantly disregard farm labor laws regarding health, wages and safety.