Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "farmers" ...

  • The Journal by KLC: Ogallala Aquifer

    This 7,000-word story by investigative reporter Karen Dillon outlines why it's so difficult for farmers, state officials and local governments to slow the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer, a vital economic resource for western Kansas. It is based on water-use data acquired through a state open records request. The information helps illustrate the scale of aquifer's depletion and who is most responsible. The Journal is the first publication to our knowledge that has used public records to detail the 150 largest users of the aquifer's groundwater over the past 13 years. This list serves an important public interest since groundwater belongs to the people of Kansas under state law.
  • Unlivable: How Texas Fails Farmworkers

    A four-month investigation into the state of Texas’ inspection program for migrant farmworker housing revealed a broken system where regulators have never taken action against growers who house workers in substandard conditions and don't seek out illegally operating facilities.
  • Draining Oregon

    Oregon is helping farmers drain the state's underground reservoirs to grow cash crops in the desert, throwing sensitive ecosystems out of balance and fueling an agricultural boom that cannot be sustained, The Oregonian/OregonLive has found.
  • Sonora River: Massive mine spill continues impact to Sonora River Basin

    One year after the Buenavista del Cobre copper mine spilled 11 million gallons of toxic chemicals into the Sonora River in Mexico, polluting nearly 200 miles of river and threatening the health and livelihood of its residents, the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting highlighted the consequences of an inadequate government response and illegal operations at the mine that led to the spill. Deep reporting illuminates farmers and families still sick from contact with the contaminated water, a government slow to take meaningful action to protect its residents and outdated water quality standards that allow 2.5 times more arsenic than acceptable international norms. https://soundcloud.com/bquester/azcir-sonora-river-radio-preview-with-kpbs
  • The Global Crisis of Vanishing Groundwater

    The historic agreement reached in Paris in December that will curb carbon emissions is heartening, but oil isn’t the only resource being pumped out of the ground at an alarming rate—with catastrophic consequences for the planet. In an eye-opening series for USA Today, The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, CA, and other Gannett newspapers, Pulitzer Center grantees Ian James and Steve Elfers investigate the consequences of groundwater depletion, an overlooked global crisis. “Groundwater is disappearing beneath cornfields in Kansas, rice paddies in India, asparagus farms in Peru and orange groves in Morocco,” writes Ian. “As these critical water reserves are pumped beyond their limits, the threats are mounting for people who depend on aquifers to supply agriculture, sustain economies and provide drinking water. In some areas, fields have already turned to dust and farmers are struggling.” Climate change will only exacerbate the crisis, yet few seem to be taking this existential threat seriously. “Even as satellite measurements have revealed the problem’s severity on a global scale, many regions have failed to adequately address the problem,” says Ian. “Aquifers largely remain unmanaged and unregulated, and water that seeped underground over tens of thousands of years is being gradually used up.”
  • The Meat Racket

    "The Meat Racket" talks about the food industry in America and how it might be affecting our lives and farmers.
  • Growing Influence

    The passage of the 2014 Farm Bill was a two-year process that pitted farm subsidies against food stamps. The 2008 Farm Bill expired in 2012 and was set to be updated but easy passage was thwarted as Congress focused on the $17 billion in federal crop insurance payments issued to farmers that year due to a massive drought; meanwhile, lawmakers also focused on food stamp fraud. Growing Influence highlighted the bill’s impact on taxpayers by uncovering at least 600 companies that helped influence the trillion-dollar 2014 Farm Bill and the murky spending behind it between 2012 and the first quarter of 2014.
  • Insurance Influence

    As Texas was nearing the end of a decade-long legal fight over homeowners' insurance rates with the Famers Insurance Group, the company's employees PAC gave $50,000 to the gubernatorial campaign of Attorney General Greg Abbott — the top lawyer in the state's case against the company. That raised questions about the settlement reached in the case, which seemed, according to one judge involved, as though the state was being "deferential to Famers."
  • farm Injuries

    We all need to eat. Our lives depend upon it. Yet, each day hundreds of thousands of farmers put their own lives at risk for our sustenance. One slip and their lives can be changed forever - or worse. The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism and The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting took a collaborative look at farm injuries in the top two corn-producing states in the country.
  • Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos

    Between 1964 and 1973, in an offshoot of the Vietnam War, the U.S. military dropped 4 billion pounds of explosives on Laos. Up to 30 percent of those bombs did not detonate, and they remain in the Laotian soil today as UXO—unexploded ordnance—contaminating more than one-third of surface area of the country. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and injured in UXO accidents since the war officially ended. 2014 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the start of that bombing campaign. Yet every week, more Laotians are hurt and killed. In a rural country largely composed of subsistence farmers, it is dangerous to dig. Coates and Redfern spent more than seven years traveling in Laos, talking to farmers, scrap-metal hunters, people who make and use tools from UXO, and the bomb-disposal teams working to render the land harmless. With their words and photographs, they reveal the beauty of Laos, the strength of Laotians, and the daunting scope of the problem - a problem largely unknown outside the country. Much of the American bombing campaign was carried out in secret, known only to pilots, policy makers and the people on the ground under the flight paths. Coates and Redfern aim to educate readers—especially Americans—about this little-known war and its lesser-known legacy, at a time when Americans are learning about their government's recent efforts to operate in secrecy. Eternal Harvest offers a critical look at the effects on civilians of secret military actions.