Farmworkers face a life-and-death commute to Arizona’s lettuce fields

It’s one in the morning and the stars are out as hundreds of people shuffle slowly along the wall that marks the U.S. border in the small Mexican city of San Luis Río Colorado. In heavy boots and wide-brimmed straw hats, most everyone here is headed to work in the vegetable fields of Yuma County,… » Read More

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    The Nation

Vilsack’s checkoff problem

When Joe Biden nominated Tom Vilsack to run the Department of Agriculture late last year, the former Iowa governor had a somewhat paradoxical political liability. After eight years as Barack Obama’s agriculture secretary, Vilsack was easily the most qualified politician for the job — only one person in U.S. history has served longer as agriculture… » Read More

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The hog baron

Jeff Hansen, who owns Iowa’s largest hog operation, brought about 5 million pigs to market last year. Each one spent its entire life in a windowless metal shed called a confinement. Passing clusters of the massive sheds on the rural highways, you wouldn’t imagine that a standard confinement holds almost 2,500 pigs — unless the… » Read More

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    Vox.com

Mapping Covid-19 outbreaks in the food system

Since April 2020, FERN has been closely tracking the spread of Covid-19 at meatpacking plants, food processing facilities, and farms. This dashboard is home to our latest reporting on Covid-19 cases and food system workers, and is updated each weekday. According to data collected by FERN, as of June 11 at 12pm ET, at least… » Read More

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The battle to control America’s ‘most destructive’ species: feral pigs

A layer of frost clings to the grass on the morning Anthony DeNicola sets out to check his trap. It’s late January in South Carolina. The sun is rising, the fog is lifting, and the frogs are croaking from somewhere in the dark loblolly pines. In a whisper, DeNicola explains what will happen. “I wait… » Read More

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She stakes her claim

On a cold February morning in 2017, a half dozen or so women and several men gathered in the yard of a suburban home outside of Athens, Georgia, to learn how to kill and butcher a hog. The mood was both anxious and somber. Eventually, they would have hams and bacon, ribs and chops. But… » Read More

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  • VIRGINIA QUARTERLY REVIEW
    Publication was finalist for 2020 National Magazine Award for General Excellence