Dan Charles Dan Charles is NPR's food and agriculture correspondent.
Dan Charles
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Dan Charles

Maggie Starbard/NPR
Dan Charles
Maggie Starbard/NPR

Dan Charles

Correspondent, Food and Agriculture

Dan Charles is NPR's food and agriculture correspondent.

Primarily responsible for covering farming and the food industry, Charles focuses on the stories of culture, business, and the science behind what arrives on your dinner plate.

This is his second time working for NPR; from 1993 to 1999, Charles was a technology correspondent at NPR. He returned in 2011.

During his time away from NPR, Charles was an independent writer and radio producer and occasionally filled in at NPR on the Science and National desks, and at Weekend Edition. Over the course of his career Charles has reported on software engineers in India, fertilizer use in China, dengue fever in Peru, alternative medicine in Germany, and efforts to turn around a troubled school in Washington, DC.

In 2009-2010, he taught journalism in Ukraine through the Fulbright program. He has been guest researcher at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg, Germany, and a Knight Science Journalism fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

From 1990 to 1993, Charles was a U.S. correspondent for New Scientist, a major British science magazine.

The author of two books, Charles wrote Master Mind: The Rise and Fall of Fritz Haber, The Nobel Laureate Who Launched the Age of Chemical Warfare (Ecco, 2005) and Lords of the Harvest: Biotech, Big Money, and the Future of Food (Perseus, 2001) about the making of genetically engineered crops.

Charles graduated magna cum laude from American University with a degree in economics and international affairs. After graduation Charles spent a year studying in Bonn, which was then part of West Germany, through the German Academic Exchange Service.

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Image of an adult pink bollworm moth USDA/ARS hide caption

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USDA/ARS

Pesticide warning sign in an orange grove. This sign, bilingual in English and Spanish, warns that the poisonous pesticide Lorsban has been applied to these orange trees. Photographed in Woodlake, in the San Joaquin Valley, California, USA. Jim West/Science Source hide caption

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Jim West/Science Source

Ron Rosmann, seen in 2011, received some of the subsidies but says he's not in favor of the program. "It has disproportionately gone to the largest producers," he says. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Farmers Got A Government Bailout In 2020, Even Those Who Didn't Need It

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These sunflowers in San Diego National Wildlife Refuge are wild relatives of sunflowers that farmers around the world grow to produce oil. Lisa Cox/USFWS hide caption

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Lisa Cox/USFWS

Distant Cousins Of Food Crops Deserve Respect And Protection

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Tom Vilsack served as secretary of agriculture during the Obama administration and has been a trusted adviser to President-elect Joe Biden. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Biden Plans To Bring Vilsack Back To USDA Despite Criticism From Reformers

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A boll buggy follows behind a cotton picker during harvest near Clarksdale, Mississippi. Eighty percent of this 1,000 acre farm is genetically modified Bt, Roundup Ready cotton. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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Del Ficke, a farmer in Pleasant Dale, Neb., has embraced the cause of building carbon-rich soil, capturing carbon dioxide from the air in the process. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Farmers Are Warming Up To The Fight Against Climate Change

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These men, harvesting sweet potatoes in North Carolina, came to the U.S. on H-2A visas that are designated for seasonal agricultural workers. Such "guest workers" now account for about 10% of U.S. farmworkers. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Farmworkers Say The Government Is Trying To Cut Their Wages

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A harvester works through a field of corn near Santa Rosa, Calif. This corn has been genetically modified, and contains bacterial genes that kill certain insects, but the genes have become less effective. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

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Rich Pedroncelli/AP

As Biotech Crops Lose Their Power, Scientists Push For New Restrictions

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Donnel Baird stands in front of a building where his company, BlocPower, has installed energy-saving heating and solar panels. "Solar panels aren't just for rich people, or for White people. They're for everybody," Baird says. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Fighting Climate Change, One Building At A Time

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Julie Bishop raises the Katahdin breed of sheep, which have hair rather than wool. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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How To Have Your Solar Farm And Keep Your Regular Farm, Too

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Federal Food Assistance Programs Alone Fall Short For Americans

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President Trump delivers remarks last week on the Farmers to Families Food Box program at Flavor 1st Growers and Packers in Mills River, N.C. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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How Trump's Food Box Initiative Overpaid And Underdelivered

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Rattan Lal, an Indian-born scientist, has devoted his career to finding ways to capture carbon from the air and store it in soil. Ken Chamberlain/OSU/CFAES hide caption

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Ken Chamberlain/OSU/CFAES

A Prophet Of Soil Gets His Moment Of Fame

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