Terror in the Heartland

On October 11, 2016, less than a month before Election Day, police in Liberal, Kansas, sat in their cruisers outside G&G Home Center, waiting for Curtis Allen to emerge. The mobile home dealership where Allen worked was nothing more than a prefab trailer hauled onto a patch of scrub grass along a remote stretch of… » Read More

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    The New Republic

How a wild berry is helping to protect China’s Giant Pandas and its countryside

In the cool mountains of the Upper Yangtze region, Chinese villagers clamber up dogwood and maple trees to gather what Dr. Oz has called a “miracle anti-aging pill.” The small, red schisandra berry has a peculiar taste — five tastes, in fact, because it’s considered to be at once sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent.… » Read More

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    NPR's The Salt

Farmers behind barbed-wire fences: 75 years later, Japanese-Americans remember incarceration during World War Two

When President Trump signed an executive order last month banning people from seven Muslim countries from entering the U.S., and advocated a Muslim registry, some of the loudest opponents were Japanese-Americans. They have long memories of another executive order, No. 9066, that forced all Japanese-Americans on the West Coast from their homes and businesses during… » Read More

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The violent costs of the global palm oil boom

Just after nine o’clock on a Tuesday morning in June, an environmental activist named Bill Kayong was shot and killed while sitting in his pickup truck, waiting for a traffic light to change in the Malaysian city of Miri, on the island of Borneo. Kayong had been working with a group of villagers who were… » Read More

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    The New Yorker

This Kansas farmer fought a government program to keep his farm sustainable.

In 2012, Gail Fuller’s 2,000-acre farm was at ground zero for the drought that decimated corn production throughout the Midwest. His corn and soybeans had barely squeaked through the previous dry summer, even as many of his neighbors in Lyon County, Kansas, saw their crops desiccate and fail in the unrelenting sun. But when the… » Read More

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    Ensia

Seeding doubt

At a time when public mistrust of science runs high, and non-experts are hard-pressed to separate fact from industry-sponsored spin, Sense About Science, a charity based in London with an affiliate in New York, presents itself as a trustworthy arbiter. The organization purports to help the misinformed public sift through alarmist claims about public health… » Read More

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The Trouble with Iowa

“I’m driving through these beautiful fields. I want to grab that corn like you’ve never seen. So rich, so beautiful,” Donald Trump told a standing-room crowd last July, at a Make America Great Again “family picnic” in Oskaloosa, Iowa. An obvious applause line, perhaps, but Trump delivered it with the aplomb of a man who… » Read More

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    Harper's Magazine

Napa’s water war with big wine

In the winter of 2015, a Hong Kong real estate conglomerate purchased the Calistoga Hills Resort, at the northern end of the Napa Valley, for nearly $80 million. Today, mature oaks and conifers cover the 88-acre property, which flanks the eastern slope of the Mayacamas Mountains. More on this story Hear Stett Holbrook on Heritage… » Read More

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Dirt First

Rick Haney, gangly and garrulous, paces in front of a congregation of government conservationists, working the room for laughs before he gets to the hard data. The U.S. Department of Agriculture soil scientist points to an aerial photograph of research plots outside his facility in Temple, Texas. “Our drones took this shot,” he says, then shakes… » Read More

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    Orion