Abbie Fentress Swanson http://kcur.org en Padlock The Milk! FDA’s Push To Safeguard The Food Supply http://kcur.org/post/padlock-milk-fda-s-push-safeguard-food-supply <p>Many of the food terrorism scenarios outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration involve liquid.</p><p>And there’s good reason for that.</p><p>Liquids like orange juice and milk go through many processing steps -- farm, bottling plant, delivery – before reaching the consumers who drink them. And these liquids are moved, manufactured and stored in huge batches that get distributed and consumed quickly. Should a toxin be injected somewhere along the supply chain, experts believe it could have devastating human health and economic consequences.</p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 12:45:02 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 52443 at http://kcur.org Padlock The Milk! FDA’s Push To Safeguard The Food Supply Even As Dairy Industry Booms, There Are Fewer And Fewer Farms http://kcur.org/post/even-dairy-industry-booms-there-are-fewer-and-fewer-farms Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>On Friday, President Obama is scheduled to sign a new farm bill into law. It contains a provision that allows all dairy farms to be part of a safety net. The point is to offset risk when milk prices are too low or feed costs too high. Thu, 06 Feb 2014 22:27:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 50912 at http://kcur.org More Than One In Seven Americans Receive Food Stamp Benefits http://kcur.org/post/more-one-seven-americans-receive-food-stamp-benefits <p>Fifteen percent of Americans received federal food stamp benefits in the 2013 fiscal year, according to a <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/annual.htm">new U.S. Department of Agriculture report</a>. That includes about 936,000 people in Missouri and 316,000 in Kansas. The program is the most controversial issue for negotiators working on a new farm bill.</p> Mon, 27 Jan 2014 13:52:06 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 50321 at http://kcur.org FDA Inspects Just 2 Percent Of Imported Food Shipments http://kcur.org/post/fda-inspects-just-2-percent-imported-food-shipments <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;">According to a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ucm376478.htm?source=govdelivery&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=govdelivery" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; color: rgb(0, 98, 160); text-decoration: underline;">recent Food and Drug Administration Mon, 16 Dec 2013 15:19:46 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 48409 at http://kcur.org In A Small Missouri Town, Immigrants Turn To Schools For Help http://kcur.org/post/small-missouri-town-immigrants-turn-schools-help <em>This story comes to us from Harvest Public Media, a public radio reporting project that focuses on agriculture and food production issues.</em> <em>You can see more photos and hear more audio from the series </em><a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/content/shadows-slaughterhouse-dreams-own-words-immigrant" target="_blank">here</a>.<em> Wednesday, we'll have a story from a meatpacking plant in Garden City, Kan., which takes a proactive stance toward its newest immigrants.</em><p>For centuries, immigrants in search of a better life have been drawn to America's largest cities. Tue, 10 Dec 2013 20:33:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 48122 at http://kcur.org In A Small Missouri Town, Immigrants Turn To Schools For Help Some Grocery Store Meat Will Now Be Labeled With Country Of Origin http://kcur.org/post/some-grocery-store-meat-will-now-be-labeled-country-origin <p style="margin-bottom: 12px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 15px;">A new labeling rule that went into full effect Saturday requires meatpackers and retailers to provide consumers with more information about where their meat comes from.</p> Mon, 25 Nov 2013 13:43:13 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 47351 at http://kcur.org Some Grocery Store Meat Will Now Be Labeled With Country Of Origin Children Of Meatpackers Dream Big, Cultivate Opportunity http://kcur.org/post/children-meatpackers-dream-big-cultivate-opportunity <p style="margin-bottom: 12px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 15px;">Not yet 9 a.m. on a warm fall day, freshmen Binh Hua and My Nguyen are in protective goggles, long hair pulled back, ready for their chemistry class in a Garden City Community College lab.</p> Wed, 30 Oct 2013 13:37:58 +0000 Peggy Lowe & Abbie Fentress Swanson 46020 at http://kcur.org Children Of Meatpackers Dream Big, Cultivate Opportunity Schools Become The Safety-Net For Immigrants In Rural Missouri http://kcur.org/post/schools-become-safety-net-immigrants-rural-missouri <p style="margin-bottom: 12px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 15px;">It’s almost 9 a.m., and Noel Primary School teacher Erin McPherson is helping a group of Spanish-speaking students complete English language exercises. But it’s tough going.</p> Mon, 28 Oct 2013 13:56:04 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 45893 at http://kcur.org Schools Become The Safety-Net For Immigrants In Rural Missouri Govt. Shutdown Halts Farm Chemical Inspections http://kcur.org/post/govt-shutdown-halts-farm-chemical-inspections <p>American farmers count on a steady supply of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides to keep pests from destroying their crops, &nbsp;but the government shutdown is creating a backlog of chemicals needed to produce the vital tools.</p> Wed, 16 Oct 2013 13:20:22 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 45286 at http://kcur.org Govt. Shutdown Halts Farm Chemical Inspections Government Shutdown Crimps Some Food Inspections http://kcur.org/post/government-shutdown-crimps-some-food-inspections <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;">Consumers can rest assured that even with the government shutdown that went into effect on Tuesday, all of the meat, poultry and eggs bought from the grocery store will be inspected as usual by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.</p> Wed, 02 Oct 2013 18:43:07 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 44569 at http://kcur.org Government Shutdown Crimps Some Food Inspections New Fruit Fly Damaging Midwest Crops http://kcur.org/post/new-fruit-fly-damaging-midwest-crops <p>Shoppers hoping to buy berries, peaches and grapes at farmers markets in Missouri may be looking a little bit harder this summer due to a newly arrived pest that is damaging crops across the state.</p> Thu, 05 Sep 2013 14:11:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 43140 at http://kcur.org New Fruit Fly Damaging Midwest Crops Scientists Detect High Levels Of Nitrogen In Midwest Waterways http://kcur.org/post/scientists-detect-high-levels-nitrogen-midwest-waterways <p>This spring and summer, U.S. Geological Survey scientists <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/scientists-check-corn-belt-waters-effects-ag-runoff">waded into 100 Midwest streams</a> to test for hundreds of chemicals used in farming, including nutrients, pesticides like atrazine and glyphosate, and livestock hormones. The results from the study are trickling in. But preliminary findings indicate that from May through early July, 21 percent of the region’s streams contained very high levels of nitrogen in the form of nitrates.</p> Tue, 03 Sep 2013 12:59:22 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 42997 at http://kcur.org Scientists Detect High Levels Of Nitrogen In Midwest Waterways International Demand, Competition Spurs Soybean Innovation http://kcur.org/post/international-demand-competition-spurs-soybean-innovation <p>The U.S. Department of Agriculture&nbsp;<a href="http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/current/wasde/wasde-07-11-2013.pdf">predicts the nation’s farmers&nbsp;</a>will deliver a record 3.42 billion bushels of soybeans this year. The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/soybeans-oil-crops.aspx#.Ue7Vz42shcY">USDA is also forecasting</a>&nbsp;that this year for the first time Brazil will overtake the United States as the world’s leading producer of soybeans. Mon, 05 Aug 2013 12:39:56 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 41407 at http://kcur.org International Demand, Competition Spurs Soybean Innovation After A City Life, Retiring To The Farm http://kcur.org/post/after-city-life-retiring-farm <p>It’s not just lifelong farmers who feel the pull of the land as they get older. For some Americans, retirement is an opportunity to begin the farming dream.</p><p>“I wanted to be able to be active and have a pastime that ensured physical activity,” said beginning farmer Tom Thomas, who at 65 still has the physical fitness to wrestle and brand steers at his son’s ranch in Oklahoma.</p><p>Thomas retired two years ago after teaching exercise physiology for 35 years and he knew what he wanted to do next.</p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 12:44:33 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 39896 at http://kcur.org After A City Life, Retiring To The Farm What Is Farm Runoff Doing To The Water? Scientists Wade In http://kcur.org/post/what-farm-runoff-doing-water-scientists-wade America's hugely productive food system is one of its success stories. The nation will export a projected $139.5 billion in agricultural products this fiscal year alone. It's an industry that supports "more than 1 million jobs," according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.<p>But all that productivity has taken a toll on the environment, especially rivers and lakes: Agriculture is the nation's leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the <a href="http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/nps/outreach/point1.cfm">U.S. Fri, 05 Jul 2013 21:53:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 39666 at http://kcur.org What Is Farm Runoff Doing To The Water? Scientists Wade In My Farm Roots: In Hip Brooklyn, Connecting With A Farm Past http://kcur.org/post/my-farm-roots-hip-brooklyn-connecting-farm-past <p>Monica Johnson, 36, watered edible yellow kale flowers on a recent sunny morning at a <a href="http://rooftopfarms.org/">rooftop garden</a> in Greenpoint in Brooklyn, N.Y. Standing in front of the Manhattan skyline in her sleeveless top, shades and blond ponytail pulled back in a trucker cap, she looked part-farm girl and part-hipster.<o:p></o:p></p> Wed, 12 Jun 2013 10:00:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 38322 at http://kcur.org My Farm Roots: In Hip Brooklyn, Connecting With A Farm Past Smithsonian To Feature Farms And Farmers In New Exhibit http://kcur.org/post/smithsonian-feature-farms-and-farmers-new-exhibit <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Crops and cattle, soil and sweat. American agriculture has a proud history to share, a story to tell. But getting the attention of a tech-savvy nation that has mostly moved away from its farm roots has been difficult. Today, though, there is a glimmer of hope for farm fans. The plow, truth be told, looks a little lonely.</span></p> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 12:35:09 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 37723 at http://kcur.org Smithsonian To Feature Farms And Farmers In New Exhibit Amended USDA Rule Will Require More Info On Meat Labels http://kcur.org/post/amended-usda-rule-will-require-more-info-meat-labels <p>The USDA’s amended COOL rule will require packers and retailers to include more information on labels on beef, pork, lamb, chicken and goat meat, specifically where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered.</p><p>Currently, labels only require companies to include where the animal was born.</p><p>Companies are also now barred from commingling cuts of meat from animals of different origins, which could make it easier to trace contaminated products. The USDA estimates these labeling changes could cost more than 7,000 companies up to $192 million.</p> Mon, 27 May 2013 15:28:54 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 37427 at http://kcur.org For Corn, Fickle Weather Makes For Uncertain Yields http://kcur.org/post/corn-fickle-weather-makes-uncertain-yields Last year's drought wreaked havoc on farmers' fields in much of the Midwest, cutting crop yields and forcing livestock producers to cull their herds. This spring, the rain that farmers needed so badly in 2012 has finally returned. But maybe too much, and at the wrong time.<p>It's almost the end of April, which is prime time to plant corn. Wed, 24 Apr 2013 07:25:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 35593 at http://kcur.org For Corn, Fickle Weather Makes For Uncertain Yields Gluten-Free: Fad Or Fix? http://kcur.org/post/gluten-free-fad-or-fix <p>Six months ago, Kara Welter drastically changed her diet by eliminating food that contains wheat, rye or barley.</p><p>“I don’t eat gluten,” said Welter, a 41-year-old marketing executive in Kansas City.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“I happened to just try it because I was having stomach issues for years. And it turns out within three days, I stopped having stomach issues.” </span></p> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 13:47:44 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 35475 at http://kcur.org Gluten-Free: Fad Or Fix? A New Frontier In Genetically Engineered Food http://kcur.org/post/new-frontier-genetically-engineered-food <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p></p><p>Kevin Wells has been genetically engineering animals for 24 years.</p><p>“It’s sort of like a jigsaw puzzle,” said Wells recently as he walked through his lab at the University of Missouri - Columbia. “You take DNA apart and put it back together in different orders, different orientations.”</p> Tue, 02 Apr 2013 14:24:46 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 34416 at http://kcur.org A New Frontier In Genetically Engineered Food GMO Labeling Laws On Deck In The Midwest http://kcur.org/post/gmo-labeling-laws-deck-midwest <p></p><p>Just south of Hermann, Mo., <a href="http://www.swissmeats.com/"><u><b>Swiss Meat and Sausage Co.</b></u></a> processes 2 million pounds of meat a year -- everything from cattle to hogs to buffalo to elk. Mon, 18 Mar 2013 15:12:59 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 33640 at http://kcur.org GMO Labeling Laws On Deck In The Midwest Small Farmers Aren't Cashing In With Wal-Mart http://kcur.org/post/small-farmers-arent-cashing-wal-mart When Wal-Mart calls, Herman Farris always finds whatever the retailer wants, even if it's yucca root in the dead of winter. Farris is a produce broker in Columbia, Mo., who has been buying for Wal-Mart from auctions and farms since the company began carrying fruits and vegetables in the early 1990s.<p>During the summer and fall, nearly everything Farris delivers is grown in Missouri. That's Wal-Mart's definition of "local" — produce grown and sold in the same state. Mon, 04 Feb 2013 16:27:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 31415 at http://kcur.org Small Farmers Aren't Cashing In With Wal-Mart Farm Bill Extension Doesn’t Sit Well With Many Organic Farmers http://kcur.org/post/farm-bill-extension-doesn-t-sit-well-many-organic-farmers <p></p><p>Shoppers looking for organic food may have to look a bit harder this year. Wed, 23 Jan 2013 15:16:27 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 30807 at http://kcur.org Farm Bill Extension Doesn’t Sit Well With Many Organic Farmers Can Small Farms Benefit From Wal-Mart’s Push Into Local Foods? http://kcur.org/post/can-small-farms-benefit-wal-mart-s-push-local-foods <p></p><p>Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, is muscling in on one of the fastest growing segments of American agriculture: local food. Mon, 14 Jan 2013 17:54:41 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 30362 at http://kcur.org Can Small Farms Benefit From Wal-Mart’s Push Into Local Foods? How Much Is Organic Certification Worth? http://kcur.org/post/how-much-organic-certification-worth <p>The organic farming industry is booming. Since the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched its federal organic certification program in 2002, the number of organic farms has more than doubled.</p><p> Mon, 24 Dec 2012 07:59:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 29397 at http://kcur.org How Much Is Organic Certification Worth? Drought Hurts U.S. Grain Exporters, Market Share http://kcur.org/post/drought-hurts-us-grain-exporters-market-share Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And now for today's business bottom line. Last summer's drought has brought bad news this fall - low crop yields, especially of corn; plus higher prices, and a prediction from the Department of Agriculture that corn exports will be at a 40-year low. The U.S. still is the world's biggest supplier of corn. But this year, American exporters won't be quite as dominant as usual, in the global corn market. Tue, 20 Nov 2012 11:52:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 27867 at http://kcur.org Corn Belt Farmland: The Newest Real Estate Bubble? http://kcur.org/post/corn-belt-farmland-newest-real-estate-bubble Howard Audsley has been driving through Missouri for the past 30 years to assess the value of farmland. Barreling down the flat roads of Saline County on a recent day, he stopped his truck at a 160-acre tract of newly tilled black land. The land sold in February for $10,700<strong> </strong>per acre, double what it would have gone for five years ago.<p>Heading out into the field, Audsley picked up a clod of the dirt that makes this pocket of land some of the priciest in the state.<p>"This is a very loamy, very productive, but loamy soil," Audsley said. Thu, 08 Nov 2012 21:54:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 27326 at http://kcur.org Corn Belt Farmland: The Newest Real Estate Bubble?