Abbie Fentress Swanson

Abbie Fentress Swanson left KBIA at the end of 2013. 

Abbie Fentress Swanson joined Harvest Public Media in 2012 and is based at KBIA Radio in Columbia, Missouri. Before that, she covered arts and culture for WNYC Radio in New York. There she was part of a team that won an Online News Association award in 2012 and an Associated Press award in 2010 for outstanding digital news coverage. In 2011, she won the Garden State Journalists Association "Best Radio Feature" award for "Music Therapy Helps Vets Control Symptoms of PTSD." Reporting fellowships prior to WNYC took her to Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, India, Germany, the Czech Republic and Belgium. Abbie's travels led to multimedia stories on a wide range of subjects -- from the World Cup in South Africa, to the gay rights movement in India, to San Francisco's immigration court. She's filed stories for The New York Times, The Patriot Ledger, KALW Public Radio, The World, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Abbie holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley and a bachelor's degree in Italian studies from the College of William & Mary. Check her out on twitter @dearabbie.

Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

Many of the food terrorism scenarios outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration involve liquid.

And there’s good reason for that.

Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

Donnie Davidson’s family has been producing bottled milk in Holden, Mo., since the 1930s. But the 63-year-old farmer decided to sell his herd of 50 milking cows in November after the roof on one of his barns collapsed from last winter’s snow.

Colorado Among States Looking To Label GMOs

Jan 14, 2014
Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

Last year, we counted between 20 and 30 state legislatures considering bills that mandate labeling on genetically engineered foods or foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Still a hot-topic, many labeling laws are working their way through statehouses all over the nation – even in farm country.

Retailers Look To Sell Sustainability Of Food

Jan 13, 2014
Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

Consumers are increasingly willing to pay more for foods they believe were sustainably produced, like free-range chicken, fair-trade coffee and pesticide-free wine. But what does “sustainable” actually mean?

Regulators Beef Up Labels For Meat

Nov 29, 2013
Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

A new labeling rule that went into full effect Saturday requires meatpackers and retailers to provide consumers with more information about where their meat comes from.

Dreaming Beyond The Slaughterhouse

Oct 31, 2013
Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

Not yet 9 a.m. on a warm fall day, freshmen Binh Hua and My Nguyen are in protective goggles, long hair pulled back, ready for their chemistry class in a Garden City Community College lab.

Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

It’s almost 9 a.m., and Noel Primary School teacher Erin McPherson is helping a group of Spanish-speaking students complete English language exercises. But it’s tough going.

Retiring To The Farm Anything But Quiet

Jul 17, 2013
Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

It’s not just lifelong farmers who feel the pull of the land as they get older. For some Americans, retirement is an opportunity to begin the farming dream.

America's hugely productive food system is one of its success stories. The nation will export a projected $139.5 billion in agricultural products this fiscal year alone. It's an industry that supports "more than 1 million jobs," according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

But all that productivity has taken a toll on the environment, especially rivers and lakes: Agriculture is the nation's leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

Johnson’s farm roots are in Moundville, Mo., a 124-person town near the Missouri-Kansas border.

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