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Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Harvest covers these agriculture-related topics through an expanding network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.Most Harvest Public Media stories begin with radio- regular reports are aired on member stations in the Midwest. But Harvest also explores issues through online analyses, television documentaries and features, podcasts, photography, video, blogs and social networking. They are committed to the highest journalistic standards. Click here to read their ethics standards.Harvest Public Media was launched in 2010 with the support of a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Today, the collaboration is supported by CPB, the partner stations, and contributions from underwriters and individuals.Tri States Public Radio is an associate partner of Harvest Public Media. You can play an important role in helping Harvest Public Media and Tri States Public Radio improve our coverage of food, field and fuel issues by joining the Harvest Network.

In the Shadows of the Slaughterhouse

Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media

Immigrants have always been the backbone of America’s meat packing plants, offering upward mobility for its newcomers.

But the frontier for these large food factories has moved as the meat industry left urban centers such as Chicago and Kansas City and settled its plants in small towns. Now these rural communities are struggling to provide the social services needed by a diverse population that is largely invisible to most Americans.

With support from the Institute for Justice & Journalism’s “Immigration in the Heartland” fellowship, Harvest Public Media explores this challenge through the lens of two rural communities whose children are living in the shadows of two Tyson slaughterhouses: Noel, Missouri, and Garden City, Kansas.

The children of these immigrant and refugee workers in the food supply chain are often hungry, lacking sufficient housing and seeking an education. Yet they see a bright future, out of the shadows and living the American Dream. 

Click here for the series, In the Shadows of the Slaughterhouse, plus other features, including a map of large slaughterhouse locations.

Peggy Lowe joined Harvest Public Media in 2011, returning to the Midwest after 22 years as a journalist in Denver and Southern California. Most recently she was at The Orange County Register, where she was a multimedia producer and writer. In Denver she worked for The Associated Press, The Denver Post and the late, great Rocky Mountain News. She was on the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of Columbine. Peggy was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan in 2008-09. She is from O'Neill, the Irish Capital of Nebraska, and now lives in Kansas City. Based at KCUR, Peggy is the analyst for The Harvest Network and often reports for Harvest Public Media.
Abbie Fentress Swanson left KBIA at the end of 2013.