Dana Cronin

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. From there she 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.

PROVIDED BY AMERICAN HEMP RESEARCH

The most recent Farm Bill legalized hemp production nationwide, but left individual states in charge of the oversight. As the crop continues to roll out across the Midwest, some states are seeing more success than others. But farmers generally remain optimistic about hemp’s future.

ABBY WENDLE / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA

In October, Purdue University’s Ag Economy Barometer recorded its highest-ever index, meaning farmers were at an all-time high level of optimism.

However, that number dropped off significantly in November, due in large part to the presidential election.

DANA CRONIN / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA

Men have long dominated the farming world. So, not surprisingly, farm equipment – things like tractors, tillers, or hand tools – are designed to be used by male farmers. Female-friendly tools are hard to come by. And with more women farming every year, that presents a safety issue.