Saturday, January 28, 2023


A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.


Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.


"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

In NC, Black Family Farms Grapple with Climate Change


Thursday, October 20, 2022   

Two sisters running a small vegetable farm in Bladen County said they are struggling to keep their business profitable in a changing climate.

According to a report from the Environmental Working Group, insurance payments to farmers for crop losses from extreme droughts and flooding have nearly tripled since the mid-1990s.

Michelle Wright, co-owner of the 11-acre Farmers B.A.G. farm, said weather patterns in eastern North Carolina are increasingly unpredictable.

"We're looking at changes in the soil; when you don't have enough rain, it has an impact just as much as having too much rain," Wright explained. "If there's too much cold weather, it can kill your crops."

More Black farmers now say climate change is posing financial challenges to their businesses, alongside historical barriers like debt relief and access to credit.

Hundreds of extreme weather events have cost the U.S. more than two-trillion dollars between 1980 and 2022, according to a NOAA report.

Brielle Wright, co-owner of the farm and Michelle's sister, said small farmers need more financial assistance for high tunnels to protect crops from severe weather, and resources for year-round or extended-season farmers markets.

She pointed out Black farmers in particular may not be aware of opportunities which could help them navigate a "new normal."

"Making sure farmers are educated and have the knowledge about Farm Service Agency, different USDA agencies, so they can have a farm number and be prepared with insurance," Wright outlined. "And have more information on risk management for their farms."

Vicki Lee Parker-High, executive director of the North Carolina Business Council, said she is hopeful the influx of environmental-justice funding from the Inflation Reduction Act will help chip away at the challenges for business owners of color.

"Black-owned businesses have created over 1 million jobs and generated over $165 billion in revenue," Parker-High reported. "Therefore, environmental issues that hurt Black businesses hurt the entire Black community, as well as the economy as a whole."

The legislation signed into law this year by President Joe Biden also provides funding for so-called "smart" agriculture practices, which the White House said will help North Carolina's more than 45,000 farms develop new farming techniques for a changing climate.

Disclosure: North Carolina Business Council contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Civic Engagement, Environment, Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…

Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …

From February 2020 to November 2021, the number of workers in nursing homes and other care facilities dropped by 410,000 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…

In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)

Social Issues

In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

Social Issues

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021