General Mills has outlined a new company approach to curbing pesticide residues in the grain used to produce its cereal and other products.August 16, 2019 | https://investigatemidwest.org/2019/08/16/general-mills-launches-pesticide-reduction-plan-after-traces-found-in-cereal/
Some agriculture experts fear old mistakes are being repeated as farmers rely more on the weed killer dicamba.May 26, 2019 | https://investigatemidwest.org/2019/05/26/experts-concerned-about-dicamba-overuse/
Farmers have been using the weed killer glyphosate – a key ingredient of the product Roundup – at soaring levels even as glyphosate has become increasingly less effective and as health concerns and lawsuits mount.May 26, 2019 | https://investigatemidwest.org/2019/05/26/controversial-pesticide-use-sees-dramatic-increase-across-the-midwest/
The USDA has announced plans for a pilot program to bring broadband internet to all of rural America.
The plan, which Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue calls a “proof of concept,” will provide $600 million dollars in grants and loans to internet service providers to bring connection to parts of the country that are too remote, underpopulated or expensive to serve.January 9, 2019 | https://investigatemidwest.org/2019/01/09/usda-rural-broadband-investment-tops-200-million-in-2018/
Thanks to NewsMatch, all new monthly donations will be multiplied 12x, and annual and one-time donations will be tripled. We’re counting on you to help us get there by December 31.December 28, 2018 | https://investigatemidwest.org/2018/12/28/just-days-left-to-help-us-reach-our-newsmatch-goal/
A dozen grassroots organizations have challenged a USDA rule change that would make medium-sized animal confinements exempt from environmental review before receiving government-backed loans from the Farm Services Agency.December 26, 2018 | https://investigatemidwest.org/2018/12/26/lawsuit-challenges-rule-easing-environmental-reviews-for-animal-confinements/
The USDA wants to tighten work requirements for 2.8 million Americans receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP or food stamps.
The proposed rule change was announced Thursday, the morning President Donald Trump signed a Farm Bill that notably left out changes to SNAP.
Poultry growers, caught between strict rules and financial risk, lean heavily on government-backed loans
Since 2010, poultry growers have taken out more than 3,000 loans backed by the SBA, totaling $2.9 billion, according to analysis of Small Business Administration loan data by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. In March, the Inspector General released a report looking into the relationship between poultry integrators and growers. It said the rules big poultry companies placed on chicken farmers means they are not independent small businesses, calling into question their eligibility for Small Business Loans. Now, the SBA is considering revisingDecember 11, 2018 | https://investigatemidwest.org/2018/12/11/poultry-growers-caught-between-strict-rules-and-financial-risk-lean-heavily-on-government-backed-loans/
Slow speeds, bad coverage and expensive service.
These are just some of the concerns contained in nearly 300 public comments on Rural Broadband Pilot Program proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a review by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found.November 21, 2018 | https://investigatemidwest.org/2018/11/21/usdas-rural-broadband-plan-met-with-citizen-criticism-and-concerns/
When nearly 300 Americans submitted comments this summer on the USDA's pilot plan to bring high speed broadband internet to rural America, they mentioned the great opportunities reliable internet connectivity could bring.
But they also voiced skepticism over the agency's proposed plans for the project, which has been in the works for nearly a year.November 21, 2018 | https://investigatemidwest.org/2018/11/21/business-education-healthcare-top-of-mind-as-rural-broadband-expansion-inches-forward/