Illinois farmers leased land ahead of newly passed fracking rules

A fracking operation in 2011. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources approved state fracking rules on Nov. 6, 2014.

Southern Illinois farmers and landowners have started leasing their land to major fracking companies to draw additional income. In just one southern Illinois county, Wayne County,property owners have signed more than 3,000 leases with oil and gas companies in the last two years, though some leases may not be specifically for fracking. In 2011, just 400 leases were signed, according to county clerk records. Continue Reading →

U.S. Senators push for better poultry standards

U.S. consumption of poultry products is higher than either pork or beef. The U.S. poultry industry is also the world's largest producer of poultry, according to the Economic Research Service.

As Americans gear up to eat more than 40 million pounds of turkey this month, a handful of U.S. senators are calling for stronger Department of Agriculture oversight to reduce pathogens in poultry. Their push follows a recent government report that found poultry products – such as chicken and turkey – cause more foodborne-illness deaths than any other commodity. Continue Reading →