(Chris_LeBoutillier / Pixabay)

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday that chapters of FFA – the group once known as Future Farmers of America – will be eligible for $1,000 grants to fund mental health awareness programs in schools and rural communities.

James Isaacks walks where the normally wide Mississippi River would flow, Oct. 20, 2022, near Portageville, Mo. (AP Photo / Jeff Roberson)

About 60% of the Midwest and northern Great Plain states are in a drought. Nearly the entire stretch of the Mississippi River — from Minnesota to the river’s mouth in Louisiana — has experienced below average rainfall over the past two months.

Soybeans and wheats are seen in Jeff O'Connor's farm, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in Kankakee, Ill. A US Department of Agriculture move to change crop insurance rules to encourage farmers to grow two crops in a single year instead of one. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture instituted new policies to encourage American farmers to begin growing two crops on one piece of land, one after the other, a practice known as double-cropping.

A cow grazes in a pasture as wind turbines rise in the distance, April 27, 2020, near Reading, Kan. (AP Photo / Charlie Riedel, File)

The climate deal reached last week by Senate Democrats could reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that American farmers produce by expanding programs that help accumulate carbon in soil, fund climate-focused research and lower the abundant methane emissions that come from cows.

A Canadian Pacific Railway worker walks the picket line while on strike at the Cote Saint-Luc railyard in Montreal on Feb. 16, 2015.  (Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press via AP)

Canadian Pacific covers much of the U.S. Midwest and is a large shipper of potash and fertilizer for agriculture. It also carries grain from the U.S. to its northern neighbor for domestic use and exports. The railroad serves the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and other states.

he nature of farm work and the structure of our nation’s migrant labor program make the people who perform long hours of labor in Illinois’ over 72 million farms vulnerable to abuse. (WTTW News)
In Illinois, farming is big business. The Illinois Farm Bureau estimates that Illinois’ agriculture industry and related activity contribute more than $50 billion to the state’s economy. But the nature of farm work and the structure of our nation’s migrant labor program make the people who perform long hours of labor in Illinois’ over 72 million farms vulnerable to abuse.
Chris Vigilante makes a dripped coffee for a customer at one of his coffee shops, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, in College Park, Md. (AP Photo / Julio Cortez)

As if a cup of coffee wasn’t expensive enough, a confluence of factors is driving up farmers’ costs to grow the beans and it could begin filtering down to your local cafe before the end of the year.

A photograph of rice plants in a study performed by a team from the University of Chicago. Researchers found that by adding a gene that encodes for a protein called FTO both rice and potato plants increased yields by 50%. (Courtesy of University of Chicago / Yu et. al.)

In a potentially world-changing discovery, scientists led by a team from the University of Chicago have discovered a way to manipulate RNA to dramatically boost crop production. 

(Chris_LeBoutillier / Pixabay)

After record floods in 2019, northern Illinois farmers are now contending with severe drought. According to state data, this spring was the third driest on record — and those records go all the way back to 1871. Two area farmers join us to share their insights.

In this Dec. 4, 2017, file photo, a farmer harvests crops near Sinsinawa Mound in Wisconsin. (Eileen Meslar / Telegraph Herald via AP, File)

A group of Midwestern farmers sued the federal government Thursday alleging they can't participate in a COVID-19 loan forgiveness program because they're white.

(WTTW News via CNN)

Crop prices are expected to surge and spill over onto grocery shelves. Crain’s Chicago Business editor Ann Dwyer takes us behind the headline of that story and more.

Star Farm has purchased the building at 5256 S. Ashland Ave., with plans to transform it into a local foods co-op. (Background image: Star Farm; inset: Google Streetview)

Like a lot of urban growers, Stephanie Dunn of Star Farm sells her produce at farmers markets around Chicago. Now she’s about to start up a different kind of farmer’s market: her own food co-op housed in a building she is preparing to renovate thanks to a grant from the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund.

Thompson Strawberry Farm has been around for 70 years, but this is the first year it is decorated with sunflowers. (Courtesy Scott Thompson)

Everyone could use a little sunshine in their life right now, so a Wisconsin farmer decided that’s what he was going to do, and planted more than 2 million sunflowers in his fields.

The city of Kankakee, Illinois. (WTTW News)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is facing political pressure from some areas of the state that want to reopen sooner than Chicago. We visit Kankakee to see how residents, farmers and others are coping with the pandemic.

(Spike Stitch / Flickr)

Agriculture is one of Illinois’ main industries. But like many other sectors, it’s taking a beating because of the coronavirus.

The Chicago Park District and the Illinois Soybean Association are partnering on hand sanitizer. (Courtesy of the Chicago Park District)

The Illinois Soybean Association is contributing raw materials and packaging to the Chicago Park District, which is producing 600 gallons of hand sanitizer for its staff and other essential workers.