Sometimes you have to take risks in order to accomplish something. We asked four Eastern Iowans who have taken risks to speak at a live storytelling event about turns they took in search of something better and share their stories in this podcast.
Acrimony and animosity have not provided a very fitting backdrop for the tranquility that is supposed to accompany the Christmas season. Thoughts on a special friendship between a cat litter scientist from Iowa and an NBA legend.
ByChristopher Walljasper/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
After 20 years, Mississippi chicken farmer Kevin Kemp is getting out of the chicken business. He raised millions of pounds of chicken since 1996, alongside his father and brother. But Kemp said even though he’s done well as a poultry grower, raising chickens is “not all it’s cracked up to be.”
“The chicken industry has been good to a lot of people around here,” Kemp said. “It just got to the point where I didn’t enjoy raising chickens, because you had to put up with too much crap from the integrator.”
By “integrator,” Kemp means the big poultry companies, which deliver chickens to farmers as chicks, and pick them up six to eight weeks later as full-grown birds, ready to be slaughtered and sent to restaurants and grocery stores. Kemp has experienced the immense control poultry companies put on growers – how they care for the birds, the way payments are determined, even dictating when growers replace equipment.
We Americans are an impatient bunch. We typically don’t like to wait in line — unless there’s something we truly want, like much-sought-after concert tickets or whatever this year’s Tickle Me Elmo gift was on Black Friday.
Republicans have no plans to change the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System, including reductions in benefits from the system that handles the pension plan for 350,000 state employees, the incoming chair of the House State Government Committee said. Plus, a podcast on what to expect in the 2019 Iowa legislative session.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn’t investigate farm deaths, like Brandon Mullen’s in Iowa in 2013, because of a fateful decision by Congress more than 40 years ago that has given small farms unique immunity from safety oversight. A Fairwarning.org report.