Elections & Politics: No Longer Privy to the Secret Ballot

Here's one more thing Republicans and Democrats can't agree on: Whether to continue to use the facilities at the Willow Springs, Texas, precinct, which lacks indoor plumbing. This and more election news is below.... READ MORE

Campbell's Soup supports labeling of food containing GMO ingredients. Photo by andywarhol1962/Flickr

Policy Pennings: How the GMO Labeling Debate Got Its Place at the Table

The Campbell Soup Company recently came out in favor of GMO labeling. Our authors track how labeling went from a niche issue to capturing widespread consumer support.... READ MORE

Senator Bernie Sanders, who won the New Hampshire Democratic primary with nearly 60 percent of the vote, was even more popular among rural voters. (Results are incomplete and were compiled Wednesday morning.)

Sanders Wins Bigger in Rural; GOP Votes Evenly across Rural and Urban N.H.

Senator Bernie Sanders’ support swells in New Hampshire’s seven nonmetropolitan counties. For Republican candidates, rural and urban voters' preferences were nearly identical.... READ MORE

The author's husband, center, helps set up a stream crossing exercise during a fire department river rescue training.

Here’s What 65 Looks Like around Here

Rethink your stereotypes of rural seniors. With bodies fit and healthcare more affordable, some are ready to move into a new period of productivity and community service.... READ MORE

Keith Gabbard, CEO and general manager of the PRTC, describes the cooperative's fiber network. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler watches. (Photo by Shawn Poynter/Daily Yonder)

One of the Nation’s Fastest Networks Serves Two of Its Poorest Counties

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler visits a Jackson County, Kentucky, phone cooperative that built a state-of-the-art network capable of delivering 1 gigabyte-per-second download speeds.  “I hope you realize what a big deal this is,” Wheeler says during his technology tour of southeast Kentucky with U.S. Representative Hal Rogers, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee.... READ MORE

Photo by Lance Booth.

In the Black: ’It’ll Get Easier’

Three-hundred feet below the surface in the hammering din of a jack-leg drill, air horns, and screaming men, Gary once more fantasizes about calling it quits. One thing stops him. “Unless I could levitate, … I wasn’t going anywhere.”... READ MORE

The map shows counties that have abandoned mine lands on the federal inventory. Dark red counties have the most reclamation costs; the lightest shade of red has the least. (Source: Daily Yonder from the federal Abandoned Mine Land Inventory System).

Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation: Who Needs It Most?

The federal government has about $2.5 billion set aside to reclaim lands damaged by mining. With the coal economy shrinking, a new proposal would attempt to get more of that funding to coal-dependent communities and tie restoration to economic development.... READ MORE

The grandmother of the Huang family, Zhu Huaxiang, climbs a mountain with her daughter-in-law, Li Xiaowei, to cut wood for cooking and heating. It is hard work and sometimes the women climb the mountain twice a day. In rural China, women  frequently provide for the family and raise  children. It is still considered preferable to have a son than a daughter.
All photos by Clay Estes

The Left Behind: The Skipped-Generations of China’s Rural Poor

Industrialization and urbanization are changing rural Chinese families, causing parents to leave their children behind in the countryside to pursue work in the city. Photographer Clary Estes visited one such rural family over the course of a year to document the phenomenon of parentless children and childless parents.... READ MORE

"Pig Races" by Overduebook via Flickr. Nebraska small farmers and corporations are in a contest to settle the hog-ownership issue.  (See last item below.)

Politics & Elections: Rubio’s Ties to Sugar Could Affect His Free-Market Stance

Bill Bishop takes a look at political issues affecting rural America: Now that the Iowa caucuses are over, will ag issues be part of the presidential race? More news on the threat to rural hospitals. A House bill would release funding for mine reclamation and economic development. Nebraska hog bill pits small farmers against mega-farms and corporations, statehouse correspondent says.... READ MORE

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