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Cookson Beecher

Cookson Beecher

A journalist by trade, Cookson Beecher spent 12 years working as an agriculture and environment reporter for Capital Press, a four-state newspaper that covers agricultural and forestry issues in the Pacific Northwest. Before working at Capital Press, she was the editor of a small-town newspaper, the Courier Times, in Skagit County, WA. She received her bachelors in political science from Hunter College in New York City, and before moving West, she worked for publishing companies in mid-town Manhattan. In the 1970s and ’80s, she and her family lived in North Idaho, where they built a log home and lived a “pioneer life” without running water and electricity for almost 10 years. She currently lives in rural Skagit County, Washington.

Articles Written by Cookson Beecher

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No quick or easy answers for using raw manure on food crops

Watch children’s first reactions at a dairy farm and you’ll see their hands quickly going up to their faces and their fingers pinching their nostrils shut. “What’s that awful smell,” they’ll ask the farmer. For a farmer who hasn’t hosted groups of students before, the first expression crossing his or her face might be one… Continue Reading

Angling in the lab: Fish fry without the hook, line or sinker

There’s an art to catching a fish, as many an avid angler will tell you. But for biochemist Mike Selden, CEO of Finless Foods, it takes some serious science to grow one. Serious science such as extracting a sample about the size of a quarter from a living fish, putting it into a bioreactor filled… Continue Reading

There’s snow place like home, unless you’re an RV snowbird

Food safety hazards

Just as feathered birds head south for warmer weather, so, too, do human snowbirds, who pack up their RVs and travel trailers they call home once they get to their sunny destinations. But food-safety gurus warn that there’s no vacation from food safety. “I don’t subscribe to the ‘knock-on-wood’ approach to food safety,” said Bill… Continue Reading

Food safety training, treatments addressed in federal grants

If you think you’re got problems, try being a farmer. They’re faced with an impressive array of enemies that are waging war on their crops and their livelihoods. These adversaries don’t need sophisticated weapons. They’ve got something more deadly — an arsenal of biological ammunition. And for the most part, they’re small, very small, oftentimes… Continue Reading

Lab-made meat, poultry get big funding boost from big food

It’s the future of meat and poultry — or at least part of the future. That’s what some investors, among them global agricultural heavyweight Cargill Inc., are saying about meat grown in labs from cells taken from animals without slaughtering them. On Aug. 22, Memphis Meats Inc. in the Bay Area of California, which so far has produced beef, chicken… Continue Reading

Former USDA officials say feds critically short of veterinarians

Veterinarians' groups predict shortage of highly educated staff will decrease U.S. food safety

Sometimes when a door swings open, opportunity for change has the chance to enter. That’s what some members of the National Association of Federal Veterinarians are hoping will happen now that two top food safety positions at the U.S, Department of Agriculture are in line for new leadership. On July 31, Al Almanza retired from… Continue Reading