About The Price of Plenty

Funded by a grant from the Pulitzer Center’s nationwide Connected Coastlines reporting initiative, student journalists from the University of Florida and the University of Missouri spent 16 weeks reporting the story of fertilizer from the discovery of nitrogen and phosphorous to their manufacture in supersized chemical plants along the Mississippi River to the promise of future solutions to help us rethink food production and chemical waste.

To get in touch, please reach out to: Cynthia Barnett, Environmental Journalist in Residence at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications,  clbarnett@jou.ufl.edu, or Sara Shipley Hiles, Associate Professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, HilesS@missouri.edu.


from the University of Florida

from the University of Missouri


University of Florida reporters group shot
University of Missouri journalists group shot

Reporting groups from the University of Florida and the University of Missouri collaborated on this project with funding support from the Pulitzer Center.

Additional editing and other special thanks

Production and editing: Matt Sheehan, managing director, the Center for Public Interest Communications and senior lecturer of journalism at the University of Florida.

Additional editing: Ethan Magoc, Managing Editor, UF’s Innovation News Center and WUFT News, and Kristin Moorehead, multimedia content producer, WUFT News.

Data editors: Joan Meiners, adjunct lecturer at the UF College of Journalism and Communications and Climate News and Storytelling Reporter at The Arizona Republic, and Dan Mika, graduate student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism focusing on investigative and data journalism.

Photographer: Lauren Whiddon

Illustrations: Fernando Figueroa, Ana Clara Mattiuzzi Martins and Amayah Novela

Additional design: Julia Cooper

Podcasting: Julia Cooper and Elliot Tritto

With special thanks to professional journalist advisors Julie Anderson, Max Chesnes, Chris Clayton, Mónica Cordero, Dan Egan, Bryce Gray, Georgina Gustin, Erin Jordan, Steven Newborn, Halle Parker and Mark Schleifstein; to Ted Spiker, Ryan Vasquez, Cally House and Ted Bridis at the UF College of Journalism and Communications for additional support; to fertilizer science advisor Dr. George J. Hochmuth, UF professor emeritus of soil and water science; to UF librarians Bridget Bihm-Manuel, April Hines, Savannah Peltrau, Suzanne Stapleton, Patricia Takacs and Florence Turcotte for research assistance; and to Steve Sapienza, who champions journalism at the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. The Price of Plenty is published on UF’s WUFT News and MU-affiliated The Columbia Missourian, with additional distribution through the Florida Climate Reporting Network and the Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk.