This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which we talk about important issues related to food production.
For our special series “In the Shadows of the Slaughterhouse,” Reporter Peggy Lowe and I interviewed immigrant children in Noel, Mo., and Garden City, Kan., whose parents work for Tyson Foods poultry and beef plants.
Listen to my interview with KBIA's Harvest Public Media reporter Abbie Fentress Swanson.
While doing research for the Harvest Public Media series “In the Shadows of the Slaughterhouse,” reporters Abbie Fentress Swanson and Peggy Lowe called roughly two dozen institutions to get statistics about the children of immigrant and refugee workers at American meatpacking plants. Swanson said she called federal agencies, researchers, unions, and immigration advocacy groups. But she couldn't find anyone who kept data on how many of these children live in the U.S., not to mention their health, education or economic status.
“They’re not on anyone’s radar,” Swanson said. “They’re not being tracked or followed, they’re kind of an invisible population in this country.”
In the Shadows of the Slaughterhouse, part 2: Immigrant communities have sprung up around the meatpacking plant in Garden City, Kan., and while change hasn't been easy, city leaders have built a strong grassroots network supporting and embracing the town’s cultural evolution and its youngest citizens.
GARDEN CITY, Kan. — Sister Janice Thome’s office is a 2003 brown Ford Focus with a backseat piled high with paperwork and a prayer book.
In the Shadows of the Slaughterhouse, part 1: Attracted to stable jobs in the meatpacking industry, communities of immigrants are springing up across rural America. Many small, rural towns, however, struggle to provide much more than instruction.
It’s almost 9 a.m., and Noel Primary School teacher Erin McPherson is helping a group of Spanish-speaking students complete English language exercises. But it’s tough going.
Paul Jordan Baxter and Callie Brinkman try to answer questions in the opening gameshow at Forum Christian Church's Vacation Bible School program. Teenage volunteer Kaitlyn Marsh passes the microphone between contestants.
Summertime is coming to a close, and with it, Vacation Bible School season.
For Vacation Bible School, a tradition among Christian churches, children come to church for a few hours a day for about a week. But it's not just formal Bible lessons – they play games, sing songs, do crafts and eat snacks.
The producer behind KBIA's new Columbia Faith and Values desk visited some of the Vacation Bible Schools that happened in Columbia this summer and spoke with volunteers, leaders and of course, the children.