ByJackie Wang, Nicole Tyau and Chelsea Rae Ybanez/News21 |
Lynda Cochart did not realize her water in Wisconsin was contaminated with coliform bacteria until she contracted MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant skin infection. Another News21 report that puts farm run-off, including some in Iowa, into perspective.
ByLaird Townsend/For The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
With morning temperatures approaching 90 degrees one day in July 2015, a migrant laborer walking down rows of corn began to experience symptoms of heat exhaustion, including difficulty breathing and extreme nausea. The laborer was working near Boone, Iowa, for an independent contractor with the St. Louis-based Monsanto Co.
Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays. Cheryl Mullenbach is a former history teacher, newspaper editor, and public television project manager. She is the author of four non-fiction books for young people. Double Victory was featured on C-SPAN’s “Book TV” and The Industrial Revolution for Kids was selected for “Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People.” Her most recent book, Women in Blue traces the evolution of women in policing. Visit her website at: www.cherylmullenbachink.com
The Iowa State Fair of 1868, the 15th annual, was a disappointment in some ways.
Gov. Terry Branstad said in a summer IowaWatch interview that Iowa needs to maintain trade relationships with China and get good business deals with partners in that country. Iowa has built significant economic and diplomatic relationships with China since the 1980s. Find out in this news quiz how much you know about Iowa-Chinese relations.
“Every eye is turned upon her, every voice is hushed, and everyone leans forward so they may catch her every word.” It was a beekeepers’ national convention held in the mid-1870s, and the person who was about to speak was an Iowan. Her name was Ellen S. Tupper. She was known as the Bee Queen of Iowa.
Iowa’s wide expanses of row-cropped fields produced roughly 2.5 billion bushels of corn and 554 million bushels of soybeans in 2015. And for many, those high yields are thanks in part to pesticides. But what impact, if any, do those chemicals have on our health? It’s a controversial topic and the answer is hard to pin down. In many cases, those we spoke with said the jury is still out.
In April 1910 the US Census Bureau reported 2,400 Iowa farmers raised over 20,664 goats and kids on their farms. But only 266 of those reported producing goat hair or mohair. If they weren’t raising the goats for the fleece, why did so many Iowa farmers have the animals?
Another record harvest is almost complete. Agriculture is Iowa’s top business, but it’s also the state’s most deadly. “There’s a cultures out there that persists, and the culture is ‘we gotta work and get this job done.’ And that often times takes precedence over doing it in a way that may be safe because you are working against time and weather,” said Kelley Donham, former director of Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, or I-CASH. Existing regulations under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration don’t cover smaller farms, allowing dangerous practices to continue.