In late May, thieves stole thirteen cows from a Walnut Grove, Missouri farm. Rural Greene County in southwest Missouri has reported at least four cattle rustling cases with more than 100 missing cows this year. Kelly Smith is marketing and commodities director of the Missouri Farm Bureau. She says cattle rustling is a problem that has recently resurfaced: "It kind of peaked itself out probably in 2008 and 9, went away and has come back again. Where we see cattle rustling take place, typically is Southwest Missouri, where we see it happen a lot.”
For cattle breeders, buying a new bull or cow can be a risk—its offspring will bring home the profit. Jared Decker, a phD student in genetics at the University of Missouri, thinks he’s found a way to manage some of that risk through the manipulation of cow genetics.
Corn has been good to farmers. Helping fuel a boom in the ag sector. And as this year’s record corn forecast indicates, Midwestern farmers can’t seem to plant enough of the grain. Even with concerns growing about the effectiveness of today’s high-tech genetically engineered seeds, farmers aren’t backing down.
Sioux County, in northwest Iowa, is known for its Dutch pastries. The landscape is dotted with Lutheran and reform churches. But today, Catholic churches and tortillerias are creeping into the landscape — signs of the new residents joining this vibrant community.
In Sioux County, as in a scattering of communities across the Midwest, Hispanic immigrants are working in meat processing plants, dairies, egg-laying facilities and hog barns. In fact, the majority of U.S. farm laborers today were born outside the U.S.