Rural Reporting Project
Texas has the largest rural population of any state—3.8 million people—yet many journalists treat much of the state as flyover country. The Observer has made reporting on rural Texas a priority with this long-term project. Staff writer Christopher Collins, who has investigated how crop dusting is putting Texans’ health at risk and the connection between destructive Panhandle wildfires and a mismanaged federal land program, is spearheading the effort from West Texas. View an interactive story map here.
The state and federal government have inked a new deal for supplemental Medicaid funds, but what does it mean for rural hospitals?
Since 2013, at least 18 rural hospitals have closed across Texas, leaving behind health-care deserts in places already struggling with diabetes, stroke and ment...Read More
In 2017, rural schools lost crucial funding, two hospitals closed and natural disasters wreaked havoc in what some regard as “flyover country.”
It’s been a tough year for rural Texas. In 2017, the 3.8 million Texans who live outside the state’s metro areas bore a bevy of hardships, including hospita...Read More
Loraine ISD helps homeless students cope, but few other public resources are available for youth in Texas’ remote Big Country.
Rural Poverty, Youth Homelessness Abound in Loraine, Pop. 587 Loraine ISD helps homeless students cope, but few other public resources are available for youth i...Read More
Subsidy program reforms were supposed to save taxpayers billions, but corn and sorghum farmers in Texas are getting more money than they have in a decade.
Jen Reel Last year in Nueces County, sorghum farmers raked in $10.9 million in taxpayer-funded subsidies. Corn farmers in Castro County took $12.6 million. In D...Read More
Texas is the sixth biggest producer of broiler chickens in the nation, accounting for $2.6 billion in sales.
Texas is the sixth biggest producer of broiler chickens in the nation, accounting for $2.6 billion in sales....Read More
The figure is only one-fifth of Hurricane Ike’s $1 billion agriculture losses and one-tenth of Irma’s.
Hurricane Harvey caused an estimated $200 million in agricultural losses as it flooded farm fields and washed cattle from ranches, according to a Texas A&M ...Read More
Immigration checkpoints are keeping undocumented immigrants in South Texas while farmers in other parts of the state are desperate for labor.
For the last two years, Bernie Thiel has watched yellow squash rot in his farm fields outside of Lubbock. The crops weren’t diseased, and they weren’t ravag...Read More
The estate tax is levied on few farmers and ranchers, but Republicans still are pushing for its repeal.
When President Donald Trump and GOP leaders unveiled the framework for their tax reform package last week, they promised to vanquish what they say is a longtime...Read More