department of agriculture

Meatpacking plants across the Mountain West and the country are under intense scrutiny as they continue to face COVID-19 outbreaks.


A little boy in an orange shirt walks up to a grab-and-go meal site at an elementary school in Salt Lake City, Utah. A school worker wearing a mask uses a bullhorn to let kitchen staff know the boy's there. Then a staffer sets a bag lunch and some extra strawberries on a table and backs away.

 


The pandemic has beef markets on a roller coaster, and Shohone, Idaho's Amie Taber is among the ranchers along for the ride.

 


Beef prices are on the rise while live cattle prices are falling. One reason for that is COVID-19 disrupting meat processing plants. There are more cattle and less product because some cows can’t get processed. But many suspect there's more to the story.


Wild mushroom foragers in the Mountain West may soon have a new and easy way to tell if their pickings are poisonous. 

It looks like President Trump’s partial trade deal with China won’t bring in the promised $40 billion or so worth of agricultural trade for the U.S. this year. 

You might not know it but there’s a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture whose job includes killing wild animals – to the tune of millions each year.  It used to be called Animal Damage Control. Now it’s simply called Wildlife Services. Depending on who you talk to, the agency is controversial and secretive or, well-managed and essential.