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.

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Behold the camel — giver of  milk long known for its abundant supply of vitamins, proteins and minerals — and in some cases for sustaining life itself.

Yes, camel milk. People in Africa, the Middle East and Asia have depended on camels for milk for centuries. And now,…

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…

They call her “The Weed Whacker.” 

As the first marijuana specialist for the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment — and therefore the first marijuana specialist for a public health authority in the entire nation — she disposed of $28 million dollars of cannabis products in 2016 alone. Why? Because she found them out…

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…

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…

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…

Food recall.

For consumers, those two words send a red-flag alert: Don’t buy the recalled food or get rid of any of it you might have in your home.

To retailers and food companies, the two words can strike fear in their hearts. “The food industry’s biggest threat to profitability,” read a recent headline in…

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…

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…