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Farmer Stories
22 – Sep – 2022

Reclaiming a Strip-Mined Farm in Western Illinois

The Sun Spot coal mine in Astoria, Illinois, was once an economic engine for the town. From 1962 to 1983, it produced 17.6 million tons of coal and was a major employer in the area. It also left behind a big mess when it shuttered. Farmland was destroyed or depleted. Wildlife habitat was disrupted. And […]
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Farmer Stories
23 – Aug – 2022

Randy Phelps: ‘Farming’s the Fun Part’

There was a lot on Randy Phelps’ mind as he was planting corn and soybeans on the farmland he farms across four counties in central Illinois. Input costs and interest rates are climbing, which threatens to cut into margins. Labor has become more expensive and harder to find, and truck drivers needed to haul grain […]
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Farmer Stories
09 – Aug – 2022

Smith Family Farms’ Sweet Story

According to Georgia’s Department of Agriculture, the farmer who first planted onions in Toombs County in the ‘30s was surprised when they tasted sweet, not hot. Locals and visitors bought the sweet onions at the Vidalia Farmers’ Market and were hooked on “Vidalia Onions,” a name that’s now protected by trademark and Georgia law. Today, […]
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Farmer Stories
19 – Jul – 2022

Nice Lawn, Charlie Baucom

The straight lines left from a recent mowing of Charlie Baucom’s lawn in Marion County, South Carolina seemed to stretch as far as the eye can see. It is lush green and there isn’t a bare patch or a brown spot anywhere in sight. Charlie has the kind of grass people would pay for – […]
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Farmer Stories
07 – Jul – 2022

Martinsville, Ill: A Little Town with a Big Farming Heritage

Derek Pine’s story is probably like a lot of the people who live around Martinsville, Illinois. “I knew from a very young age what I was gonna do,” said Pine, a fourth-generation farmer. “I knew I was gonna farm when I was big enough to follow dad around…when I was big enough to walk.” Martinsville […]
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Farmer Stories
28 – Jun – 2022

Preserving the Great Dismal Swamp with Ducks Unlimited

The Atlantic Flyway is one of four ancient pathways that migratory birds use to travel from breeding grounds to wintering areas. It’s also the most densely populated, which means vital natural habitats are threatened by development and urban sprawl. Ducks Unlimited (DU) has made the area a priority for conservation, and recently collaborated with Farmland […]
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Farmer Stories
16 – Jun – 2022

Variable Rate Technology on Full Display This Planting Season

There was a sense of urgency in the way Aaron Bartlow spoke as he stood in the large field of black dirt. Normally this field would be dotted by straight green rows of baby corn stalks or soybean shoots. But planting season was running way behind because of cold, wet conditions. In fact, Bartlow had […]
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Farmer Stories
01 – Jun – 2022

On the Carolina Bay with Cag Brunson

Cag Brunson of Oak III Farms walked alongside straight rows of a recently planted field in Turbeville, South Carolina inspecting the young corn plants that were emerging from the black ground. The dark dirt, which makes the sprouts impossible to miss, is unlike the sandy soils more common to the area. Brunson, who farms with […]
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Farmer Stories
25 – May – 2022

Continual Progress Drives NC Farmer Owen Peele

The warm winds of early May whipped across Elizabeth City, North Carolina, reaching gusts of more than 20 miles per hour. The 492-foot-tall wind turbines that dot the landscape don’t seem to mind. Neither do the fields of quick-growing ryegrass that local farmer Owen Peele planted as a cover crop to control erosion and reduce […]
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