Madelyn Beck is a regional Illinois reporter, based in Galesburg. On top of her work for Harvest Public Media, she also contributes to WVIK, Tri-States Public Radio and the Illinois Newsroom collaborative.
Beck grew up on a small cattle ranch in Manhattan, Montana. Her previous work was mostly based in the western U.S., but she has covered agriculture, environment and health issues from Alaska to Washington, D.C.
Before joining Harvest and the Illinois Newsroom, she was as an energy reporter based in Wyoming for the public radio collaborative Inside Energy. Other publications include the Idaho Mountain Express, E&E News/EnergyWire, KRBD Rainbird Radio, the Montana Broadcasters Association, Montana Public Radio and the Tioga Tribune.
Michael Bloomberg's presidential campaign is opening offices across the Mountain West in places where Democrats have rarely competed. The hiring has sucked up talent away from rival campaigns.
Long-term flooding along major waterways stranded barges up and down the Mississippi River this summer and caused havoc with river transportation and the economy that depends on it.
Major seed companies have a transparency problem. Farmers can't look up and compare prices for some seeds. Some have turned to co-ops and others to Silicon Valley to try to disrupt the practice.
Neighbors often complain about the smell of massive animal farms, but state laws can prevent them from suing. A North Carolina case may be the model to move forward after a suit was successful not against the farmers involved, but against the multinational meat companies that the livestock is for.
If rainfall doesn't come soon, it could cost billions in devastation — a difficult fallout considering the USDA expects farmers' incomes to hit a 12-year low even if crop yields stay high.