Telling stories about the land is at the core of what we do at Civil Eats. And over the last year, we’ve covered farming from many angles, from threats to farms and farmworkers—including from the herbicide paraquat, PFAS forever chemicals, and drought-induced air pollution—to ways farmers are improving their soil health and reducing their carbon footprints.
Because the 2018 Farm Bill was due for reauthorization in September—until lawmakers extended it for another year—we committed substantial resources to covering the trillion-dollar legislative package this year. We looked into how the next farm bill could best tackle some of the biggest problems related to food and ag, from climate change to food insecurity.
As part of that effort, we published an ongoing series entitled Faces of the Farm Bill, which is designed to humanize the impacts of ag policy by spotlighting people whose lives have been shaped by the farm bill—from those reliant on nutrition assistance to Indigenous farmers, BIPOC farmers, and other historically marginalized folks and their advocates. Here are some of our best farming and farm bill reporting this year.
Paraquat, the Deadliest Chemical in US Agriculture, Goes on Trial
Amid lawsuits filed by thousands of farmers linking the herbicide to Parkinson’s disease, the EPA is reconsidering its analysis of paraquat’s risks.
Farm Credit Can Make or Break Farms. Should It Be More Equitable?
The biggest lender in American farming is in the spotlight for resisting a requirement to report the demographic details of its loan recipients.
Bringing Oats Back to American Farms
Adding oats to a farm’s rotation can improve soil health and reduce fossil fuels, but the crop has all but disappeared in the U.S. Now, a nascent movement fueled by oat milk’s popularity may help reverse the trend.
Some Farmers Are Skipping Tomatoes and Eggplants. Their Reasons May Surprise You.
From climate risks to better work-life balance, a small but growing contingent of farmers is giving up summer crops to reap winter’s harvest.
As the Salton Sea Shrinks, Agriculture’s Legacy Turns to Dust
As drought dries up the shallow sea, near a half-million farmable acres in the Imperial Valley, farmworkers living nearby are exposed to toxic dust and airborne pollution from algae blooms. Asthma, allergies, and other health impacts are rising at alarming rates.
This Network of Regenerative Farmers Is Rethinking Chicken
The team at Tree-Range Farms is pioneering an approach to raising chickens and trees in tandem, storing more carbon and water in the soil while providing an entry point for new and BIPOC farmers often left out of the conventional system.
This Oregon Farmer Is Building a New Model for Indigenous Food and Agriculture
At Sakari Farms, Spring Alaska Schreiner maintains a seed bank, has launched a community kitchen, and teaches Native American youth traditional ecological knowledge.
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Author: The Civil Eats Editors