Customers order food from a McDonald's restaurant in Des Plaines, Ill. The company has promised to start buying "verified sustainable beef" in 2016. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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Free-range chickens lay eggs for Sauder's Quality Eggs in Pennsylvania. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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States Fight California's Chicken Cage Law. But It's Really About Bacon
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The world is increasingly relying on a few dozen megacrops, like wheat and potatoes, for survival. Above, a wheat field in Arkansas. Danny Johnston/AP hide caption

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In The New Globalized Diet, Wheat, Soy And Palm Oil Rule
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The 2011 Asparagus Queen, Megan Roskan, and runner-up Christine Merten wave to spectators during an Independence Day parade in Whitehall, Mich. With interests waning in agricultural pageants, organizers are relaxing the requirements to encourage more people to apply. Courtesy of Phil Squattrito hide caption

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All Hail The Asparagus Queen! How Ag Pageants Lure New Contestants
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Should Farmers Give John Deere And Monsanto Their Data?
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Chris and Sara Guerre are among a growing number of farmers who have made the choice to rent land to farm instead of buy because of increasing property values. Zac Visco for NPR hide caption

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Here's How Young Farmers Looking For Land Are Getting Creative
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Somali refugees lead their herds of goats home for the night outside Dadaab, Kenya. A new study shows that animals in many parts of the developing world require more food — and generate more greenhouse emissions — than animals in wealthy countries. Rebecca Blackwell/AP hide caption

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Rowbot is designed to fit in between the rows of crops. Moving up and down each row, a fleet of 20 bots could fertilize and monitor the corn crops during the growing season. Courtesy of Kent Cavender-Bares hide caption

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Cropland Capture's developers hope players will find where crops are grown amid Earth's natural vegetation in satellite images to shine a light on where humanity grows its food. Courtesy of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis hide caption

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In recent years, pork producers have found ways to keep the animals healthy through improved hygiene. M. Spencer Green/AP hide caption

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Why Are Pig Farmers Still Using Growth-Promoting Drugs?
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Cattle crowd inside a feedlot operated by JBS Five Rivers Colorado Beef in Wiley, Colo. John Moore/Getty Images hide caption

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Are Farm Veterinarians Pushing Too Many Antibiotics?
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A test field of sorghum outside Manhattan, Kan., planted by Kansas State University. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Heat, Drought Draw Farmers Back To Sorghum, The 'Camel Of Crops'
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