Our neighbors in St. Louis and Kansas City are two of 25 cities in the U.S. to get a perfect score on the 2013 Municipal Equality Index, or MEI. Columbia and Jefferson City fell further down the list. The MEI is conducted by a national organization working for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. The study looks at equality issues including nondiscrimination policies in cities and states.
This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which we talk about important issues related to food production.
Thanks to tight competition, hog farmers all over the country are feeling a push to expand or get out of the business. That means indoor confined animal feeding operations – or CAFOs – are growing even in the most environmentally sensitive areas.
This spring and summer, U.S. Geological Survey scientists waded into 100 Midwest streams to test for hundreds of chemicals used in farming, including nutrients, pesticides like atrazine and glyphosate, and livestock hormones. The results from the study are trickling in. But preliminary findings indicate that from May through early July, 21 percent of the region’s streams contained very high levels of nitrogen in the form of nitrates.
Eleven miles northeast of Centralia, Mo., five U.S. Geological Survey scientists don waders and bright reflective life jackets to wade into Goodwater Creek. Plenty of fish live in the stream’s murky slow-moving waters, along with snakes, crayfish, mussels and snapping turtles. On this overcast morning, the team collects water samples and checks submerged cages of fathead minnows for eggs.
As cattle were auctioned off at the Joplin Regional Stockyards, Governor Nixon met over coffee Monday at the stockyard’s café with local ranchers and farmers. He listened to their stories about how the emergency water cost-share program has helped them and gave them an update on the program.
Boone County and the City of Columbia are using a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to study storm-water runoff into Bear Creek, north of I-70. A task force will focus on reducing pollutants, which flow directly into the creek, untreated.