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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Mapping Covid-19 outbreaks in the food system

Since April, 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 January 15 at 12pm ET, at least 1,376… » Read More

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Food system workers may get early access to a Covid-19 vaccine, but how should states prepare?

With food system workers likely to get early access to any future Covid-19 vaccine, experts say state and local officials should start outreach now to overcome language, trust, and access barriers that could shrink workers’ uptake of the vaccine. Many states have prioritized agricultural and food processing workers for the Covid-19 vaccine, draft plans submitted… » Read More

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Are Democrats missing a fundamental issue for rural voters?

Wisconsin dairy farmer Sarah Lloyd believes she has the answer to a question that has convulsed the Democratic Party for the past four years. “People from the coasts are always like, ‘What’s going on with Wisconsin? How could they have possibly voted for Obama and then voted for Trump?’” she asks, putting on a falsetto… » Read More

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Could the food system face a new Covid-19 wave?

Public health experts are concerned about a possible resurgence of Covid-19 in food production plants this fall and say more comprehensive testing, physical distancing, and better data reporting are essential to keeping the virus in check, even as meatpackers insist that the worst of the pandemic has passed.  The outbreaks in the spring at meatpacking… » Read More

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After a farmworker in rural Texas died of complications from Covid-19, his family and federal investigators want answers

Editor’s note: Some names in this story have been changed to protect farmworkers from potential reprisal. On June 30, Marco Antonio Galvan Gomez left his home in Guanajuato, Mexico on a 1,200-mile journey to a sprawling potato farm in the Texas Panhandle. The breadwinner for his family, Galvan, always easygoing and athletic, was undaunted by… » Read More

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At the nation’s largest student farm organization, a reckoning on race

When Xavier Morgan first enrolled in the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences in 2010, he wasn’t necessarily interested in farming. In fact, his admission to the school, which his aunt recommended due to its strong reputation for career and technical education, was in part a product of chance. “I actually have no family ties… » Read More

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