April Simpson

April Simpson

April Simpson reports on rural issues at Stateline. Before joining Pew, April was associate editor of Current, where she covered public broadcasting and nonprofit media. April was a Fulbright fellow in Botswana and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo fellow with the International Women’s Media Foundation.

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Why many organic farmers ‘didn’t notice the trade war’

By: - February 19, 2020

Michigan farmer Joel Layman hesitates before he just comes out with it. “I feel a little bad saying this: My farm didn’t notice the trade war.” Layman grows certified organic vegetables, dry edible beans and grain crops on the organic portion of his 2,100-acre farm in Berrien Center, a township in Southwest Michigan. “We have […]

Farm subsidies favor South, irking other regions

By: - February 7, 2020

Lenci Sickler, a fifth-generation farmer who oversees more than 10,000 acres in western North Dakota, stops short of saying whether farmers in southern states are better off than his peers in the Midwest. The payment rates vary by county, but a 2019 federal payment program intended to help farmers facing low prices caused by President […]

Cannabis banking challenges go beyond pot

By: and - October 9, 2019

Kat Merryfield was ready to share her farm-to-home oils, chocolates and creams with the rest of the country. But banks and credit card processors weren’t ready to work with her small business. “We started out our website with PayPal, and it took about six months before they shut us down,” Merryfield said. “And then they […]