Madison McVan, Investigate Midwest

Madison McVan, Investigate Midwest

Madi McVan covers the meat industry for Investigate Midwest. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2020 with degrees in Journalism and Latin American studies.

Agriculture pollutes underground drinking water in Minnesota. Well owners pay the price.

By: - January 17, 2023

WEAVER, Wabasha County  — The water that pours out of the taps at Jeff Broberg’s house is crystal clear, refreshing and odorless. But Broberg, 68, doesn’t drink it. The issue is only visible on the molecular scale. Like Broberg, many rural Minnesotans rely on private wells, which tap into groundwater systems spread underneath rolling crop […]

Secret Subsidies: Program meant to help farmers in trade war overspent, lacked transparency

By: , and - November 3, 2022

A U.S. Department of Agriculture program touted as relief for lost trade during the Trump-era trade war with China spent unprecedented amounts of money, bypassed Congressional approval and lacked checks to ensure the payments went to eligible farmers. The Market Facilitation Program doled out more than $23 billion, more than all other USDA direct payment […]

JBS, Tyson Foods invest in smartwatch app that monitors workers

By: - October 14, 2022

Two of America’s largest meat companies — JBS and Tyson Foods — have invested in a smartwatch application that allows managers to monitor workers’ movements. The startup behind the application, Mentore, claims to improve worker productivity while reducing injuries. The repetitive, fast and taxing work of cutting and packing protein makes meat processing plants some of the […]

In Washington, agricultural policymakers circulate among Farm Bureau, USDA and industry

By: - September 2, 2022

This story originally appeared in Investigate Midwest.  In the weeks prior to leaving his role as U.S. Department of Agriculture chief of staff in January 2021, Joby Young received emails from lobbyists with links to private-industry jobs with titles like “director of government relations,” “project manager, environmental stewardship” and “director of crop insurance.” Private-sector job […]