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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Here are the rural residents who sued the world’s largest hog producer over waste and odors – and won.

In a federal courtroom in Raleigh, North Carolina, a 14-year-old honor student named Alexandria McKoy swore to tell the truth. Then she settled in to testify against the world’s largest pork producer. McKoy had traveled 90 miles from Bladen County, part of the flat and farm-heavy coastal plain that covers most of eastern North Carolina.… » Read More

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A breathtaking lack of oversight for air emissions from animal farms

Farm pollution typically makes the news only when catastrophe strikes: A hurricane hits North Carolina and washes hog manure into neighboring homes, or the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico grows due to fertilizer runoff into the Mississippi. But every day, the largest animal farms release air pollution, including noxious gases from livestock manure,… » Read More

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Food scholarships. Homeless shelters. Emergency loans.

One of the first lessons Jalyn Wharton learned her freshman year at Kennesaw State University was how to stretch a pizza so it would feed her for a week. It wasn’t the only time she’d had to ration food. When she was in high school, her family became homeless and Wharton would sometimes eat less… » Read More

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The strange, uncertain fate of Alaska’s biggest wild salmon habitat

Anna Hoover and I ease up and down in limestone-colored water on a warm, windless afternoon in early July, our backs to the mouth of the Egegik River. She’s distracted, perched in the captain’s seat of her 32-foot drift boat. She glances at her phone, checking the time. The state manages fishing on a tight… » Read More

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As the heat rises, farmworkers band together

Our climate is changing, and our approaches to activism and politics have to change with it. That’s why FERN, in partnership with The Nation,  launched Taking Heat, a series of dispatches from the front lines of the climate justice movement by journalist Audrea Lim. Lim explores the ways the communities that stand to lose the most… » Read More

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India is awash in palm oil, and health takes a hit

Dr. Anoop Misra drew back the flimsy curtain in his office, and the patient stepped down from the exam table, gently tugging the bottom of his shirt so as to obscure a considerable midsection. “I’m not here to give you sweet words,” said the soft-spoken endocrinologist, who, in addition to seeing patients six days a… » Read More

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Can farming save Puerto Rico’s future?

Our climate is changing, and our approaches to activism and politics have to change with it. That’s why FERN, in partnership with The Nation,  is launching Taking Heat, a series of dispatches from the front lines of the climate justice movement by journalist Audrea Lim. Lim will explore the ways the communities that stand to lose the… » Read More

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