We'd probably like to think that clean, safe food goes hand in hand with pristine nature, with lots of wildlife and clean water. But in the part of California that grows a lot of the country's lettuce and spinach, these two goals have come into conflict.
Environmental advocates say a single-minded focus on food safety has forced growers of salad greens to strip vegetation from around their fields, harming wildlife and polluting streams and rivers.
Staying in the middle of the country, you might have heard that America's farmers are getting older. Something else you probably know: women tend to outlive men. So do the math and what do you get? More women in charge of land and some who aren't really sure how to take care of it. So as Iowa Public Radio's Sarah McCammon reports, female conservationists are reaching out to this growing group.
Despite a polarized Congress, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet says he’s optimistic that the 2012 Farm Bill can be re-authorized before the November election. The bill allocates billions of dollars for everything from disaster assistance to school nutrition efforts and Bennet has been holding listening sessions with farmers across the state as the Senate committee he sits on is preparing to draft legislation.
What's plentiful in upstate New York? Cows and prison inmates, to name a few things.
Reformists in the two communities don't make natural allies, but organizer Lauren Melodia is trying to do just that.
"I was living in this prison town, and at the same time, the dairy industry was in a lot of turmoil," Melodia tells The Salt. "We thought this [dairy] might be the perfect ally in trying to build a different economy in upstate New York, and shift some of the economic dependency away from the prison system."