Corn harvest in Illinois.
Bill Wheelhouse/NPR Illinois
January 24, 2018

State Of Trump: NAFTA Talks Worry Agriculture Community

Rural America was an important demographic in the last election cycle, helping Donald Trump advance to the White House over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Even though Illinois was an electoral victory for Clinton, only twelve of Illinois’ 102 counties went blue, and more than half of those were located in Chicagoland. 


Andrew Harnik/AP
January 09, 2018

Farmers On Trump’s Speech; Caterpillar’s Overseas Tax Profits; St. Louis-Chicago Amtrak; Snowy Owls

On the 21st: We check in with two Illinois farmers on their reactions to President Trump's speech yesterday at the American Farm Bureau Federation. Plus, the project to speed up Amtrak's Chicago-St. Louis route is wrapping up, and sightings of the majestic snowy owl are on the rise in Illinois. But first, Wall Street Journal reporter Andrew Tangel talks about why Caterpillar might be on the hook for $2 billion in taxes.


Soybean harvest continues just north of Mansfield, ILL on Wednesday, October 9, 2013.
Darrell Hoemann/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
December 22, 2017

How Did The Soybean Become Such A Common Crop In The U.S.?

This story was inspired by a question submitted at a Listening Post the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting held in August. Stuart Levy in Urbana, Illinois, asked us what would be needed for row crop farmers to switch from corn and soybeans to “something more sustainable.” We dug into that question, which starts with the unlikely circumstances that turned the soybean into a multi-billion dollar industry, and what this history might reveal about the future of U.S. agriculture. 


Silos
Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media
December 21, 2017

Sweeping Changes To U.S. Tax Code A Mixed Bag For Farmers, Rural Hospitals

Many rural businesses and farms will benefit from the tax overhaul passed Wednesday by Congress. But there’s a catch: If the changes fail to spur economic growth as intended, programs that rural areas rely on could be on the chopping block.


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