Solar array

Farm uses can coexist with solar arrays

From Herald-Mail Media, September 22, 2020. One of the objectives of my column is to improve readers’ agricultural literacy. I recently found I need to keep working on this after reading an article about a proposed solar farm near Cearfoss. Can somebody please tell me what a solar farm is? I know what it isn’t, […]

raw meat display

More than 200 meat plant workers in the U.S. have died of covid-19. Federal regulators just issued two modest fines.

From the Washington Post, September 13, 2020. Federal regulators knew about serious safety problems in dozens of the nation’s meat plants that became deadly coronavirus hot spots this spring but took six months to take action, recently citing two plants and finally requiring changes to protect workers. The financial penalties for a Smithfield Foods plant in South […]

oral thermometer

A Battle over Mandatory Farmworker Testing Reveals a Broken System

From Civil Eats, September 3, 2020. Michigan just instituted the most far-reaching protections for farmworkers, but some farmers went to court to scrap them. The state of Michigan became a national leader last month when it issued a strict mandate ordering farmers, food processors, and farmworker housing operators to test all of their workers for […]

field with wildfire smoke in distance

An extraordinary summer of crises for California’s farmworkers

From National Geographic, September 1, 2020. GONZALES, CALIFORNIARosa Villegas woke up at two in the morning on a late August Monday to make her way to the lettuce fields in California’s south Salinas Valley, where she was scheduled to start bagging heads of romaine at 4 a.m. The sky overhead wasn’t its usual dark, star-dotted […]


Stop Eating Pesticides

From Consumer Reports, August 27, 2020. Sinking your teeth into a crisp apple or chomping on a stalk of celery is something you should be able to do without thinking. After all, the best nutritional science shows that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables—and plenty of them—is a crucial component of good health. But […]

pesticide application by tractor

The Six Most Concerning Pesticides on Produce

From Consumer Reports, August 27, 2020. Six pesticides play an oversized role in undermining the safety of the fruits and vegetables Americans regularly consume. These pesticides contribute the most risk in the lowest-rated fruits and vegetables in CR’s study. In some cases, a pesticide appeared in almost all of the samples of a particular fruit […]


Tainted Wells in the Dairy State

From Capital & Main, August 19, 2020. When Nancy and Lynn Utesch moved their family to Kewaunee County, Wisconsin, in 2004, they didn’t realize they would have to fight to have safe drinking water in their community. At the time, they were aware of the health risks that came with living too close to a […]

kids on lawn eating fruit

Organic diets quickly reduce the amount of glyphosate in people’s bodies

From Environmental Health News, August 11, 2020. A new study found levels of the widespread herbicide and its breakdown products reduced, on average, more than 70 percent in both adults and children after just six days of eating organic. Eating an organic diet rapidly and significantly reduces exposure to glyphosate—the world’s most widely-used weed killer, […]

man applying pesticide spray

Neguse, Udall introduce landmark pesticide reform to protect children, farmworkers and consumers from toxic pesticides

From the Trail Gazette, August 4, 2020. Today, U.S. Representative Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) and U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, introduced landmark pesticide reform legislation to prevent the use of toxic pesticides that harm children, farmworkers and consumers in the United States. Read […]

dairy cows

Wisconsin farmers grapple with lack of meat processing

From the Wisconsin Farmer’s Union, August 3, 2020. Rachel Henderson raises pastured hogs, sheep and poultry at Mary Dirty Face Farm in Dunn County. The animals complement her family’s organic orchard and are a growing enterprise on the farm, particularly as interest in locally grown food has risen amid COVID-19 concerns. Though the farm offers […]