The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting is an independent, nonprofit newsroom devoted to educating the public about crucial issues in the Midwest with a special focus on agribusiness and related topics such as government programs, environment and energy.May 4, 2010 | https://investigatemidwest.org/about/
In recent years, Urbana billionaire Shahid Khan has added to investments by quietly purchasing farmland through a company he owns called Baloo Enterprises LLC. A spokesperson for Khan confirmed earlier this month that Khan has purchased roughly 24,000 acres of farmland in central Illinois.April 1, 2021 | https://investigatemidwest.org/2021/04/01/urbana-billionaire-shahid-khan-investing-in-thousands-of-acres-of-farmland-in-illinois/
The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated farmers’ feelings of isolation, according to a recent survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation. The percentage who said social isolation affects farmers’ mental health jumped more than 20% in 2020 compared to 2019.February 10, 2021 | https://investigatemidwest.org/2021/02/10/farmers-already-felt-isolated-the-covid-19-pandemic-made-it-worse/
Long distances and stigma: Telehealth seen as way for farmers to access needed mental health assistance
Mental health providers said online therapy offers more confidentiality to farmers and spares them from driving long distances to access care.December 8, 2020 | https://investigatemidwest.org/2020/12/08/long-distances-and-stigma-telehealth-seen-as-way-for-farmers-to-access-needed-mental-health-assistance/
When Pam Uhlenkamp separated from her husband earlier this year, she knew the person to call.
As a farm business management instructor, Uhlenkamp mentors farmers one-on-one. When she notices they’re stressed, she refers them to the man who’s been the go-to counselor for Minnesota farmers for decades. The morning after the separation, she called him, and, by the afternoon, she sat opposite Ted Matthews.
“Today sucks. Tomorrow is going to suck. The next three weeks are going to suck,” Uhlenkamp remembered Matthews telling her in their first session.
“He was very honest with me,” she said. “Sometimes in life you kind of need the two-by-four across the head that says, ‘Yep, this is awful and this is the reality.’”October 7, 2020 | https://investigatemidwest.org/2020/10/07/minnesota-has-figured-out-a-way-to-help-stressed-farmers-can-it-be-replicated/
SURVEY: We asked farmers how they’re dealing with stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what they said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened some farmers' stress. A few shared how they're managing it.September 10, 2020 | https://investigatemidwest.org/2020/09/10/survey-we-asked-farmers-how-theyre-dealing-with-stress-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-heres-what-they-said/
Not all farms are struggling equally during the pandemic. Retail market farms, who sell directly to the consumer, are actually doing pretty well.August 6, 2020 | https://investigatemidwest.org/2020/08/06/while-covid-19-upends-supply-chains-farms-that-sell-locally-thrive/
Farmers faced high levels of stress before the pandemic. But the virus’s impact on agriculture has only deepened some farmers’ stress, experts said.June 23, 2020 | https://investigatemidwest.org/2020/06/23/fall-off-a-cliff-moment-covid-19-adds-new-dimension-to-farmers-stress/
A consumer group is suing one the largest pork producers over allegations that the company falsely advertises its products as the “safest” in the U.S.
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) filed a civil suit May 20 against Smithfield Foods, Inc., claiming they use practices that contribute to the creation of widespread diseases. The group is seeking to stop its ‘false’ advertising and marketing. Smithfield denies the allegations, calling the lawsuit 'without merit.'June 11, 2020 | https://investigatemidwest.org/2020/06/11/smithfield-sued-for-falsely-advertising-themselves-as-safest-u-s-pork-products/