Peggy Lowe

Investigations Editor, Harvest Public Media

Peggy Lowe is Harvest Public Media's investigations editor. Her work has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now, and Latino USA.

Before her return to the Midwest in 2011, she was a multimedia producer and writer at The Orange County Register in Southern California.

Until 2005, she was in Denver, where she was a reporter for the late, great Rocky Mountain News, the Denver Post, KBCO and the Associated Press. Lowe was the Mike Wallace Fellow for Investigative Reporting at the University of Michigan in 2008-2009. 

Ways to Connect

Elana Gordon / KCUR

As several investigations continue into the explosion of JJ’s Restaurant, the role Missouri Gas Energy played in its response to the emergency is being questioned by experts and a witness who say the utility didn’t follow industry standards or its own advice.

Although its own safety instructions for gas leaks to its customers call for evacuating the premises immediately, MGE didn’t do that at the Feb. 19 incident. In fact, the MGE workers on the scene didn’t suggest that people leave the popular wine bar until 51 minutes after the initial 911 call.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

When a group of small farmers in the southeastern U.S. banded together to sue a powerful dairy cooperative a few years ago, many hoped that the case would bring big changes to the milk industry.

But the recent settlement of the case involving Kansas City-based Dairy Farmers of America Inc., resulted in little long-term reform, even as the farmers received some monetary damages.

Local Butchers in KC

Feb 21, 2013
Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media and KCUR

The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. Professions once so famous that they made it into nursery rhymes, but how does modern commerce accommodate traditional business? Butchers and meat shops are still present in town, but how has the independent butcher shop changed with meat preparation moved into grocery stores and other superstores?


Elana Gordon / KCUR

The best eye-witnesses to the explosion at JJ’s yesterday were also the people who were in the most danger – the restaurant’s workers. Bartenders, busboys, a hostess and others were the last ones out of that burning building.

Farmers who had hoped to get some answers on why prices for their raw milk went into free fall a decade ago were disappointed Tuesday by the settlement of a case accusing Dairy Farmers of America Inc. of creating a milk monopoly in the Southeast.

Dairy farmers and industry observers had hoped for their day in court after years of delays in the large class-action suit. But the day before the trial was to start in federal court in Tennessee, DFA announced a $158.6 million deal, saying it didn't want to risk going to trial.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

Dairy Farmers of America settled an anti-trust lawsuit Tuesday for $158.6 million, ending a long-running case that accused the country’s largest dairy cooperative of creating a monopoly in the Southeast, driving prices down for its own farmers and forcing many out of business.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s call in his State of the State speech for phasing out the state income tax had a high-profile advocate in the audience.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, a Washington, D.C.-based anti-tax group, met with Brownback and House and Senate leadership before the speech in Topeka Tuesday night.

Kansas could be a leader in the zero income tax policy fight, Norquist said, thanks to the governor, as well as the House and Senate, committed to “reforming some of the mistakes of the last several decades.”

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

When Allen Berry brought his 11 yearlings to the Green City Livestock Market in central Missouri last month, he paid into a fund that at first blush, seems a bargain.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

Agricultural colleges in the top five beef-producing states have become quasi-arms of the cattle industry, selling science to corporate bidders who set the research agenda with their dollars.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

When a guy is a mechanical engineer at a nuclear power plant, you figure he puts in a pretty good day of work.

Harvest Public Media

As one of the worst droughts in 50 years ravages the Midwest, livestock producers are left without a safety net, watching their herds suffer or be sold because there’s nothing else to do. 

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

It’s not every day that a trip to the drug store can change your destiny.

In the chicken and pork industries, nearly every aspect of the animals' raising has long been controlled by just a handful of agriculture conglomerates. But the cattle industry is still populated by mom-and-pop operations, at least at the calf-raising level.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

A surprising thing happens while touring Chris Boeckmann’s turkey farm, where 50,000 birds are grown each year for Cargill Inc.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

Recruiting doctors to small towns is a chronic problem. Most places try to lure a physician by rolling out the red carpet with a big salary, a home on a golf course or other cushy perks.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

The U.S. Labor Department on Wednesday backed off a controversial change to child labor laws after an outcry from farm country, softening its stance on barring kids from working certain jobs on family farms.

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