Covering agriculture: Resources and sourcing

by February 28, 2012
farmers market

Photo by iStock

Here are a list of resources to aid in your coverage of agriculture-related topic.

People to talk to
To cover the agriculture beat with precision, you have to develop rich sources. Here are a few groups you should be chatting with frequently.

  • Farmers, especially as spring planting approaches in May and June, and at harvest in October and November. Catch them over winter in the north, for long-term projects. They’ll have more time.
  • Farm groups
  • Environmental groups
  • University researchers , especially when they release new, peer-reviewed studies.
  • Economists

Scanning the Web
It’s important to check agriculture-related websites frequently. Below are sites to make sure you bookmark.

The Meat You Eat: How Corporate Farming Has Endangered America’s Food Supply, by Ken Midkiff.Developing a library of resources 
Find your favorite reading chair and cozy up with one of these agriculture books. This reading list will ensure you have a solid grasp of key topics.

  • Farm, by Richard Rhodes
  • Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
  • Three Farms, by Mark Kramer
  • Fateful Harves, by Duff Wilson
  • CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations): The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories, edited by Daniel Imhoff Watershed Media
  • The Agrarian Vision: Sustainability and Environmental Ethics, by Paul Thompson.
  • Foodfight: The citizen’s guide to a food and farm bill, by Daniel Imhoff
  • Raising a Stink: The Struggle over Factory Hog Farms in Nebraska, by Carolyn Johnson
  • The Economics of Food: How Feeding and Fueling the Planet Affects Food Prices, by Patrick Westoff
  • Against the Grain, by Richard Manning
  • Grassland, by Richard Manning
  • Food Fray, by Lisa Weasel
  • Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser
  • Long Deep Furrow: 3 Centuries of Farming in New England, by Howard S. Russell, Mark Lapping
  • Cadillac Desert, by Marc Reisner
  • Hole in the Sky, by Bill Kittredge
  • Parsnips in the Snow ,by Mary Swander
  • Where Our Food Comes From – Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine, by Gary Paul Nabhan
  • Chasing Chiles – Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail,  by Kurt Michael Friese, Kraig Kraft, Gary Nabhan