And when the hog market plunged to 8 cents a pound in 1998, Iowa producer Randy Hilleman decided it was time to make a change. Hilleman raises Berkshire pigs, a breed that’s fattier than traditional pigs and costs a little more to raise. Back then, that was hurting him.
“If we took them into Marshalltown, [Iowa] to the big packing plant, we would get docked because they’re too fat,” Hilleman said. “What they pay on is lean, and we like to have some fat on ours.”
While most Americans don’t farm, they do contribute to agriculture by buying food at stores and restaurants. And about half of us make an additional donation in the form of fertilizer. With spring at hand, farmers are getting ready for planting. That means enriching the soil and that may just involve you.
Think you're part of the food-literati? True or false: 13 million more acres of farmland would be required to produce enough fruit and vegetables for the daily diets of all Americans to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition guidelines.
People have always grown food in urban spaces – from windowsills to neighborhood parks – but today, urban farmers say they’re leading a new movement. On this Wednesday's Central Standard, a look at efforts to transform the nation’s food system.
What's plentiful in upstate New York? Cows and prison inmates, to name a few things.
Reformists in the two communities don't make natural allies, but organizer Lauren Melodia is trying to do just that.
"I was living in this prison town, and at the same time, the dairy industry was in a lot of turmoil," Melodia tells The Salt. "We thought this [dairy] might be the perfect ally in trying to build a different economy in upstate New York, and shift some of the economic dependency away from the prison system."
A pro-business, pro-immigration bill introduced in the Kansas legislature yesterday pits traditionally Republican business leaders against the hardline anti-immigration Secretary of State and maybe the Republican governor as well.