Madison McVan

Madison McVan

Madison McVan is a Report for America corps member who covers economic mobility for Minnesota Reformer. She previously covered agriculture for Investigate Midwest after graduating from the University of Missouri in 2020 with degrees in Journalism and Latin American studies.

DFL lawmakers to introduce cap on families’ child care costs

By: - November 30, 2023

A contingent of DFL lawmakers plan to introduce legislation next year capping child care costs at 7% of household income for all families making less than 150% the state median income.  For example, a family of four making less than $176,000 per year would spend no more than $12,320 on child care in a year.  […]

Twin Cities has higher employment in living-wage jobs compared to other metros

By: - November 27, 2023

Twenty percent of workers in the Twin Cities metro are seeking, but unable to find, a living wage, according to an economic research group. That’s slightly better than the national average of 22.7%.  The rate highlights a segment of the population that is technically employed but doesn’t earn enough to survive. The “true unemployment rate” […]

Phillips will not seek reelection to the House

By: - November 24, 2023

U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, who represents the western suburbs of the Twin Cities, announced Friday he will not seek reelection to the House in 2024. Phillips is running a longshot presidential campaign against President Joe Biden in the 2024 Democratic primaries. Since 2019 he has represented the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Maple Grove, Wayzata* […]

Court rules against Winona county dairy expansion; owner will appeal

By: - November 22, 2023

A Minnesota district court ruled against the proposed expansion of a Lewiston dairy Tuesday in the latest chapter of a years-long legal battle between the dairy’s owners, Winona County officials and local environmental groups. The owners of Daley Farm, a dairy with about 1,700 cows in southeast Minnesota, first applied for an expansion in 2017. […]

Sugarland: Inside Minnesota’s massive, powerful sugar industry

By: - November 17, 2023

This story was made possible by a grant from Center for Rural Strategies and Grist. EAST GRAND FORKS — The sugar beets are scattered like gray, misshapen rocks on the shoulders of the roads leading to East Grand Forks. That’s the first sign that the October harvest is underway.  Then there’s the smell — earthy, […]

Decoding farm groups’ Thanksgiving messaging

By: - November 15, 2023

Like mashed potatoes are a vehicle for gravy, Thanksgiving is a channel for farm groups’ political messaging. The week before Thanksgiving each year, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union — two of the biggest lobbying groups in agriculture — release numbers that are quickly regurgitated by reporters looking for easy holiday-related […]

EPA says Minnesota needs to take more action on nitrates in drinking water

By: - November 9, 2023

Minnesota state agencies aren’t doing enough to prevent nitrates — a toxic byproduct of fertilizers and livestock manure — from entering drinking water in the southeast part of the state, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The EPA notified the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of […]

Minnesota attorney general joins meat industry antitrust lawsuit

By: - November 6, 2023

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is joining a federal lawsuit against data services company Agri Stats, accusing the company of facilitating widespread price- and wage-fixing in the meat industry. Ellison announced the move Monday, two weeks after a visit from Jonathan Kanter, assistant attorney general for the antitrust division in the U.S. Department of Justice, […]

President Joe Biden wearing a dark winter coat stands in front of a podium while making a speech inside a metal barn.

Biden kicks off rural investment tour in Northfield with Israel remarks

By: and - November 1, 2023

NORTHFIELD — President Joe Biden began his speech about rural investments in a barn outside Northfield by addressing the war raging half a world away that has consumed American politics. He called for humanitarian aid to Gaza and reiterated his support for Israel’s right to defend itself, but stopped short of calling for a ceasefire as […]

Nearly two-thirds of Minnesota undergrads take out student loans

By: - October 31, 2023

Nearly two-thirds of Minnesota students who graduated with bachelor’s degrees last year have student debt, and those who took out loans owe an average of $24,000. Students earning master’s and doctoral degrees take out loans less frequently, but when they do, they borrow more money than undergraduates, according to a Minnesota Department of Higher Education […]

Minnesota joins Biden administration push against concentration in agriculture

By: - October 25, 2023

Mary Lundell has experienced firsthand the changes in the agriculture industry from her 140-acre family farm on the outskirts of Cannon Falls.   Back when her grandfather ran the farm, it was filled with turkey, hogs, cattle and chickens. Now, she and her husband grow only corn and soybeans — the two biggest cash crops in the […]

Minnesota moms bear the brunt of the child care shortage

By: - October 24, 2023

In Clinton, the small city in western Minnesota where Autumn Morrissette lives, child care is hard to find. When Morrissette got pregnant with her first child in 2020, not even the daycare where she worked could make room for the baby. “Nobody had infant spots — it’s the hardest thing to come by,” Morrissette said. […]