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Joe Adkins of Wheaton, Illinois prepares to weigh a giant pumpkin he grew. At 1,258 pounds, the gourd took first place in a contest on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

Inside a barn about 60 miles southwest of Chicago, six giant pumpkins are hoisted by forklift onto an industrial scale and weighed, one by one, so their growers can claim cash prizes for the heaviest – and bragging rights.

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Illinois National Guard soldiers move sandbags through flood waters at East Cape Girardeau, Illinois, on June 12, 2019, as they construct a sandbag levee to control flooding in the community. (Barbara Wilson / Illinois National Guard)

Steady rain throughout much of the spring led to the state’s worst flooding in more than 25 years, according to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. More than two dozen counties can now apply for federal funding to help with recovery efforts.

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(Marco Verch / Flickr)

The new law is expected to help Illinois-based food producers and manufacturers compete for contracts that prioritize locally sourced foods.

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(Jonathan Babb / Wikimedia Commons)

The move comes in the wake of near-record levels of flooding this spring that forced farmers to delay planting crops. 

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(Courtesy Illinois Farm Bureau)

Much of Illinois’ farmland is too wet to seed. Assessing the fallout from excessive rain – and what Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans to do about it.

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Fairlife's headquarters at 1001 W. Adams St. in Chicago (Alex Ruppenthal / WTTW News)

Chicago-based Fairlife has been under fire since an animal welfare group released videos showing workers at the company's top dairy supplier abusing cows. 

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Beekeeper Thad Smith holds a frame of Italian honeybees in Cook County Jail’s parking log. Smith is a former jail detainee who founded the company West Side Bee Boyz after taking part in a job-training program. (Evan Garcia / WTTW)

Behind barbed wire fences, Cook County Jail inmates grow vegetables, flowers, herbs, and – as of May – they’re harvesting honey from two beehives provided by a former inmate.

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This undated photo provided by the Newton County Sheriff’s Office in Kentland, Indiana, shows Edgar Gardozo-Vasquez. (Newton County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Animal Recovery Mission said its new video shows workers abusing adult cows behind the scenes at Fair Oaks Farms at a milking carousel at the popular agritourism destination about 70 miles south of Chicago.

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(Fair Oaks Farms / Facebook)

Three former employees of a large northwestern Indiana dairy have been charged with animal cruelty following the release of undercover video showing workers kicking and throwing young calves, officials said Monday.

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(Fair Oaks Farms / Facebook)

Animal Recovery Mission says an investigator for the animal rights group secretly recorded footage that shows the “daily mistreatment of the resident farm animals” at Indiana’s Fair Oaks Farms.

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(chrisbeez / Pixabay)

A flood of Illinois farmers are hoping hemp will be a cash crop for them this summer after Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Agriculture opened up licensing last week.

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(kat_geb / Flickr)

Farmers and others across the state are preparing to grow and process a new crop as Illinois finalizes regulations for industrial hemp. 

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(Courtesy of McDonald’s)

After years of pressure from public health advocates, the Chicago-based burger chain announces a plan to reduce the use of antibiotics in its beef products.

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(Anthony Albright / Flickr)

Medical professionals and public health advocates in Illinois are calling on lawmakers to pass legislation to curb limiting what they say is a “reckless overuse” of antibiotics in meat-producing animals.

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(Karamo / Pixabay)

Lawmakers are set to consider legislation this week that would limit the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals, a practice that has been shown to fuel drug-resistant bacteria that can be dangerous to humans.

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Al Westerman with three of the 124 apple varieties growing in his orchard. (Jay Shefsky / Chicago Tonight)

Meet an Illinois farmer who collects heirloom apple trees and grows more than 100 varieties. 

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