Dana Cronin

Reporter

Dana Cronin is a reporter based in Urbana, Illinois. She covers food and agriculture issues in Illinois for Harvest.

Dana started reporting in southern Colorado at member station 91.5 KRCC, where she spent three years writing about everything from agriculture to Colorado’s highest mountain peaks.

She then went to work at her hometown station, KQED, in San Francisco. While there, she covered the 2017 North Bay Fires.

She spent the last two years at NPR’s headquarters in Washington D.C., producing for shows including Weekend Edition and All Things Considered.

Ways to Connect

Dana Cronin / Harvest Public Media

Millions of rural residents across the Midwest are at risk of nitrate contamination in their drinking water, but they might not know it.

 

Many rural residents get their drinking water from private wells, which are not regulated by state or federal governments. And if residents aren’t regularly testing their well water, they could be at risk of contamination.

 

Dana Cronin / Harvest Public Media

Amid a push from the Biden administration for U.S. agriculture to help slow climate change, a new study shows farmers in the Corn Belt are dropping the ball on adopting a climate-friendly practice.

 

A mountain of research shows the benefits of planting cover crops -- from sequestering carbon from the environment to keeping waterways cleaner. 

 

Erica Hunzinger / Harvest Public Media file photo

As states like Kansas and Oklahoma let their emergency declarations run out, they effectively take a pass on extra federal help with food stamps.

 

Nearly one in five families struggled to afford food at the height of the pandemic. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) allotments were maxed out to reduce food insecurity. 

 

Dana Cronin / Harvest Public Media

Illinois is the latest Midwestern state to earmark funding for a program to reduce nutrient runoff from farmland into waterways.

 

It’s the first time the state has dedicated money to its Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS). Twelve states within the Mississippi River basin have similar strategies in place, and some, like Iowa, have already funded their programs. 

 

Dana Cronin / Harvest Public Media

Lin Warfel puts farmland owners in central Illinois into two categories: Those with a deep connection and desire to preserve their land, and those obsessed with short-term money.

 

The 80-year-old still owns the land that’s been in his family since his great-grandfather arrived in Champaign County in the 1800’s. After farming it for decades, he now rents the corn and soybean operation to his neighbors down the road.

The National Guard on Flickr CC BY 2.0

COVID-19 vaccination rates are lower in rural counties than in urban counties, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

 

Nationwide, the vaccination rate among adults in urban counties is 45.7%, but only 38.9% of adults are vaccinated in rural counties. The disparity persists among different age groups and genders.

 

Dana Cronin / Harvest Public Media

When it rains on Joe Rothermel’s central Illinois farm, most of the water drains into the nearby East Branch Embarras River. There, it begins a journey south through the Wabash, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. As it flows through more and more farmland, fertilizer runoff -- which once nourished crops -- compounds the water’s nutrient load, resulting in a dead zone off the coast of Texas and Louisiana. 

 

Christine Herman/Illinois Newsroom

Read this article in English here.

 

Un sábado reciente, unas camionetas blancas trasladaron a grupos pequeños de campesinos migrantes del huerto donde trabajaban al sur de Illinois hasta la Iglesia Católica de St. Joseph. Los trabajadores habían llegado días antes de México para el comienzo de la temporada de cultivo. 

 

Christine Herman / Illinois Newsroom

On a recent Saturday, white vans shuttled small groups of migrant farmworkers from the southern Illinois orchard where they work to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. The workers had arrived days earlier from Mexico for the start of the tilling season. 


Christine Herman/Illinois Newsroom

Some states are saying they won’t use Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine to immunize vulnerable, harder-to-reach populations, including agriculture workers, over concerns about equity and perceptions of how well it protects against COVID-19. 

 

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