Photo of 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.

Farmers Market season is in full swing, and shoppers are out in full force.  Smiles are abundant, and for good reason. From watermelons in Texas to fresh greens in the northern climes, this is the season that puts local agriculture in the spotlight.

Food safety is also in the spotlight. At

Continue Reading Food safety in season at farmers markets

Sometimes referred to as “the next big thing in agriculture,” the gene editing of meat animals extends from research labs, livestock farms, and even the federal government’s right to our dinner plates. 

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration announced it would lead the regulatory process to bring gene-edited meat

Continue Reading FDA to steer regulations for genetically edited meat animals

Encouraging news about progress in the ongoing battle against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is highlighted in a landmark report recently released by the World Organisation for Animal Health. 

This comes at an especially good time with Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week running from Nov. 18-24. It has been held every November since

Continue Reading Preventing foodborne illnesses can help keep super bugs at bay