Madi McVan

I’m a journalist, writer and language educator based in the Twin Cities.

Photograph of Madi McVan

About Madi McVan

Madi McVan covers the meat industry for Investigate Midwest. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2020 with degrees in Journalism and Latin American Studies.

Before joining Investigate Midwest, she worked for the Columbia Missourian and Missouri Info Corps, covering topics including state and local government, meatpacking plants and the coronavirus pandemic.

She is fluent in Spanish and teaches English in her free time. Originally from Pflugerville, Texas, she is now based in the Twin Cities.

University of Missouri

Bachelor of Journalism (2020)
Emphasis in print/digital investigative reporting

Bachelor of Arts, International Studies (2020)
Emphasis in Latin American Studies


• AP Style
• Adobe Suite
• Content Management Systems
• Copywriting
• Editing text, audio & video
• Interviewing
• Promotional online content
• News reporting
• Spanish (fluent)
• SocialNewsDesk

Pain Denied

At one of the country’s largest meatpacking plants, workers say their injuries were ignored.

I spent six months interviewing former and current employees of Seaboard Foods, one of the largest and most productive meat processing plants in the country.

I also reviewed OSHA and Workers’ comp documents. Here are the major takeaways from the investigation:

  • Employees with serious injuries said they were only provided first aid treatment. One man was given ice and painkillers for what he later discovered was a fractured vertebrae and elbow contusion. He had to return to the production floor.

  • Employees said that the company ignored doctors’ notes requesting restricted work or time off, and that they were pushed to work through injuries.

  • The number of injuries reported at Seaboard Foods increased from 2019 to 2020 when the company increased the speed of production. And the union suspects the injury numbers submitted by the company to federal authorities are lower than reality.

Read story in English | Read story in Spanish

Photo credit: Madison McVan, Investigate Midwest

Missouri State Capitol

Previous work

Sahan Journal is a non-profit digital news outlet serving immigrants, refugees and people of color.

Immigrants to Minnesota know about instability and political violence. Many recognize familiar signs in their adopted homeland. (October 20, 2020)

Missouri Information Corps is a temporary pop-up newsroom covering coronavirus in Missouri

Spanish-language urban agriculture class combats Latino health disparities (August 10, 2020)

COVID outbreak in Carthage nursing home part of national trend (July 18, 2020)

The Columbia Missourian

Gambling on video slot machines: Not everyone's a winner (May 18, 2020)

Milan meat processing plant workers cite unsafe COVID conditions (April 16, 2020)

Coronavirus en Columbia: preguntas frecuentes (March 24, 2020)

Girls find strength, community in weightlifting (June 29, 2018)

After eight weeks in the hospital, a teenage girl gets her prom (June 14, 2018)

The Liberty Hill Independent

Competitive eater stops in Liberty Hill on road to Coney Island (June 28, 2017)

Bertram Recycling Center looking for volunteers (August 21, 2017)

The Maneater

Locals rally behind Islamic community following Trump's 'Muslim ban' (January 29, 2017)


I studied abroad for a semester in 2018 at Universidad de Los Andes in Santiago, Chile. In 2019, massive protests led to a referendum on the country’s constitution. I interviewed Instagram influencers and protesters to write this story on the role of social media in the unrest.

Instagram: La fuerza invisible detrás de las protestas en Chile (November 30, 2019)

Instagram: the invisible force behind Chile's protests (November 30, 2019)


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