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.

Farm profits reached new heights last year, but are expected to drop in 2023

By: - September 12, 2023

As food prices rose around the country, so did farmers’ take-home pay.  Net farm profits rose by 30% from 2021 to 2022, according to recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At the same time, food prices inflated by more than 10%. The USDA predicts farm incomes will drop by about 20% in 2023 […]

Wage gap, pricey child care keeping some women out of the labor market

By: - September 7, 2023

Women continue to carry the load of full-time parenting and caring for sick and elderly family members, according to a pair of recent reports from the Minneapolis Fed.  The gender wage gap and rising child care costs are key factors in keeping women at home — all while employers are struggling to fill open positions. […]

construction workers

Workers’ comp claims, especially COVID-19 cases, denied at record-high rates in recent years

By: - September 6, 2023

Employers and their insurance companies denied a record-breaking percentage of workers’ compensation claims in 2021 — even when you take COVID-19 cases out of the equation.  COVID-19-related claims were denied more often — 39% in 2021 — than other claims, which were denied about 24% of the time, according to preliminary data from the Minnesota Department of […]

City of Windom waiting on state aide in wake of plant closure

By: - August 31, 2023

Four months after the HyLife Foods pork processing plant in Windom declared bankruptcy, the city is waiting for promised state relief funds to arrive.  When HyLife filed for bankruptcy in April, it could not fulfill its financial obligations to the city for an upgraded wastewater treatment plant, nor to the developer building an apartment complex […]

At the State Fair, agriculture gets its chance to appeal to the masses

By: - August 30, 2023

Fairgoers line up to refill their $2 all-you-can-drink milk cups sourced from local dairy farmers. Nearby, in the Miracle of Birth barn — sponsored by agribusiness cooperative CHS — people who’ve never been on a farm learn about various types of chicken cages and why dairy calves are separated from their mothers soon after birth.  […]

Home health care workers among most in-demand Minnesota jobs — and lowest paid

By: - August 9, 2023

Damon Leivestad, a 50-year-old mechanical engineer with spinal muscular atrophy, has struggled to find personal care assistants for years.  Leivestad uses a wheelchair and needs help moving between his bed and wheelchair, getting dressed, and doing everyday tasks like shopping and food preparation.  His condition is deteriorating while his parents age, and hiring people to […]

Insulina a bajo costo, alivio fiscal y otros beneficios disponibles para inmigrantes en Minnesota

By: - August 4, 2023

Read in English. Durante la reciente sesión legislativa en Minnesota se aprobaron varias leyes que amplían el acceso a beneficios para los inmigrantes indocumentados en el estado, incluyendo licencias de conducir y el programa de seguro médico público MinnesotaCare. La Legislatura controlada por el Partido Demócrata-Agrario-Laborista de Minnesota (DFL, por sus siglas en inglés) también […]

Cheap insulin, expanded tax credits and other benefits now available for undocumented Minnesotans

By: - August 4, 2023

Leer en español.  The legislative session featured a number of wins for undocumented immigrants in Minnesota, headlined by laws that opened up access to drivers’ licenses and the public insurance program known as MinnesotaCare. The DFL-controlled Legislature also passed a number of other programs — including several tax credits — that received less attention but […]

Blunts, beverages and a Bong-O-Matic: Minnesotans enjoy cannabis freedom

By: - August 1, 2023

Minnesota stoners breathed a sigh of relief on Tuesday as they smoked in public for the first time without fear of legal repercussions. Many thought they’d never see Minnesota legalize recreational marijuana. “I’ve been waiting 55 years for this,” said Gary Cardinal Sr., who sat on the patio of Midway Saloon in St. Paul, listening […]

Minnesota gas companies are upping their investments, leading to higher fees

By: - July 27, 2023

Natural gas delivery fees have increased significantly since 2010, and researchers expect the fees to increase even more over the next several years while private utility companies reap the profits. The three investor-owned Minnesota utility companies — Xcel, CenterPoint and Minnesota Energy Resources (MERC) — have upped their capital investments in recent years, and the […]

Minnesota creates new office to support ‘emerging farmers’

By: - July 25, 2023

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is hiring a director for the Emerging Farmers Office as part of a larger push to diversify the agriculture industry. In May, lawmakers approved $1.5 million in funding over the next two years to expand the Emerging Farmers Office. The director will do outreach and facilitate grant programs for new […]

After pork plant bankruptcy and closure, Windom awaits answers from new ownership

By: - July 21, 2023

WINDOM — HyLife Foods never installed a permanent sign in front of its pork packing plant in Windom, Minnesota. Instead, the Canada-based company strapped a banner across a concrete sign built by previous ownership. Now, the banner is gone, and the concrete sign out front displays the logo of PM Beef — the name of […]