Jeremy Bernfeld

Politics
3:31 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Senate approves farm bill

After more than two years of debate on Capitol Hill, a new farm bill is poised to become law after both the U.S. House and Senate approved it.
Credit andrewmalone/Flickr

The U.S. Senate passed the farm bill Tuesday by a vote of 68-32, sending it to the president’s desk and ending years of political wrangling.

The legislation is expected to become law, as President Obama previously indicated he would sign the measure. The House passed it Jan. 29.

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The Salt
11:39 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Farm Bill Charts New Course For Nation's Farmers

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 1:56 pm

The House on Wednesday passed a new five-year compromise farm bill. The bill now moves to the Senate for a vote.

The farm bill — the result of a two-year-long legislative saga — remains massive. The bill contains about $500 billion in funding, most of which is pegged to the food stamp program, officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

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Agriculture
10:15 am
Wed January 29, 2014

New farm bill may be in sight

Should the Agricultural Act of 2014 become law, direct payments would end and the crop insurance program would become the bedrock of the U.S. farm safety net.
Credit wobble-san/Flickr

House and Senate negotiators emerged Monday with a new compromise farm bill, which means the end of the two-year farm bill writing saga may finally be in sight.

The U.S. House approved what's called the Conference Report -- the farm bill negotiated by House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders -- Wednesday. If it were to pass the Senate, as is expected, the bill would head to President Obama’s desk.

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Health & Wealth Update
7:00 am
Wed January 1, 2014

My Farm Roots: Community counts

Matt Pauly, far left, and his family near Lake of the Ozarks (Courtesy of Matt Pauly)

This is an installment of the 2013 edition of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land. Click here to explore more My Farm Roots stories and to share your own.

Matt Pauly has traveled the world  – he’s lived in New York, Paris, South Korea – but he’s still a farm boy at heart.

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Agriculture
5:42 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

No farm bill this year

Leaders of the committee working on the farm bill announced they don't expect to pass a bill before they leave Washington for the year.
Credit andrewmalone/Flickr

Congress won’t pass a farm bill before early next year.

That was the message from Washington Tuesday, when the principal farm bill players emerged from negotiations and announced they won’t have a full bill ready before the House adjourns for the year on Friday.

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The Salt
11:21 am
Mon December 9, 2013

'In Meat We Trust' Argues We Got The Meat Industry We Asked For

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 9:36 am

The meat on your dinner table probably didn't come from a happy little cow that lived a wondrous life out on rolling green hills. It probably also wasn't produced by a robot animal killer hired by an evil cabal of monocle-wearing industrialists.

Truth is, the meat industry is complicated, and it's impossible to understand without a whole lot of context. That's where Maureen Ogle comes in. She's a historian and the author of In Meat We Trust: An Unexpected History of Carnivore America.

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Agriculture
10:52 am
Mon August 19, 2013

State fairs: A summer tradition

The Missouri State Fair has everything from carnival rides to a mule show.

It’s August. The days are growing shorter, fall is approaching, but summer isn’t done just yet. All over the country folks are flocking to that ultimate summer tradition: the state fair.

Carnival rides and games, meat on a stick, livestock competitions – the Midwest does state fairs up right. And for many, summer in the Midwest isn't complete without a trip to the state fair. For others, a virtual visit will have to do.

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Politics
7:13 am
Fri July 12, 2013

House passes farm-only farm bill

Many farmers are resigned to being unable to depend on rock-solid federal farm policy.
Credit Frank Morris / Harvest Public Media

The U.S. House passed its version of farm bill legislation Thursday. The revamped bill strips out funding for food aid and deals only with farm policy, exposing a hefty rift in decades-old alliances between urban and rural legislators and between food aid and farm policy interests.

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Agriculture
2:40 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

House rejects farm bill

The farm bill encompasses all manor of food and agriculture policy.
Credit (tpsdav/pixabay)

In a stunning move, the U.S. House voted against approving farm bill legislation Thursday, leaving the bill's future up in the air.

The House rejected the farm bill on a final tally of 234-195 after a day of dramatic, tight votes on amendments to the bill.

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Agriculture
7:08 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Senate passes farm bill

File photo

The U.S. Senate approved a new comprehensive farm bill Monday, its plan for everything from food and nutrition assistance to disaster aid for livestock producers to crop insurance for farmers. But before you go popping champagne corks and celebrating the creation of five-years of agricultural policy, know this: The U.S. House has yet to weigh in.

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Agriculture
4:24 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

5 things you should know about the genetically modified food you’re probably eating

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 3:56 pm

Would you feed your family genetically modified food? Chances are, you already have.

On Thursday's Central Standard, the science behind genetically modified (GMO) and genetically engineered (GE) food. The guests:

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Agriculture
4:46 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Field Notes: The aftermath of a grain explosion

Bartlett Grain Co. rebuilt the greain elevator that exploded in 2011 in Atchison, Kan.
Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which reporters talk to newsmakers and experts about important issues related to food production.

Who knew storing grain could be so dangerous?

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Agriculture
6:02 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

When grain elevators explode

Zoe Bock’s son, Chad Roberts, was killed when the Bartlett grain elevator exploded in Oct. 2011. (Courtesy Todd Feeback/Kansas City Star)
Credit Courtesy Todd Feeback/Kansas City Star

When the Bartlett Grain Co. elevator exploded in Atchison, Kan., in October 2011, the town’s 11,000 residents knew it immediately. People who live miles away from the elevator still talk about pictures jumping off walls.

Chad Roberts, 20, was among six people killed in the explosion, one of the deadliest workplace accidents in the last decade. The victims also included elevator employees John Burke, Ryan Federinko and Curtis Field, as well as grain inspectors Travis Keihl and Darrek Klahr. Two others were injured.

Zoe Bock, Roberts’ mother, is still grieving.

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Around the Nation
4:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Farmers Frustrated By Farm Bill Extension

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Farmers and ranchers across this country expected to start the year with a new farm bill in place. This is an important piece of legislation to many people. It sets agricultural policy for the next five years.

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Agriculture
2:37 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Beef feedlots grapple with never-ending waste

Allan Sents co-owns McPherson County Feeders, a beef feedlot in central Kansas, with his wife Deanna. His 11,000 cattle produce a lot of waste.
Credit Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

This story on the American beef industry is part of a special reporting series from Harvest Public Media. Check out the rest of their stories at harvestpublicmedia.org.

You think you deal with a lot of bull crap? Allan Sents needs a front-end loader and a dump truck to deal with all the cattle manure he’s up against. Literally.

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Agriculture
12:44 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Field Notes: Making the most of cover crops

The green shoots of young cover crops come up through corn residue on a field in Boone County, Iowa.
Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which reporters talk to newsmakers and experts about important issues related to food production.

For this edition of Field Notes, Harvest Public Media's Amy Mayer spoke with Tom Kaspar, a plant physiologist at the National Lab for Agriculture and the Environment, about the importance of cover crops in how our food is grown.

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Agriculture
4:02 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Gas with more ethanol available at some pumps

Gas with 15 percent ethanol is making its way to some U.S. gas stations.
File Photo KBIA

Head to your local filling station and you might see a new blend of gas at the pump. After a three-year regulatory process, the Environmental Protection Agency approved E15 – gas made with 15 percent ethanol – this summer.

Most gas we pump is already blended with ethanol, sometimes it contains as much as 10 percent, but the ethanol industry fought hard to bring E15 to the market. For ethanol backers and the farmers who feed the ethanol industry, getting drivers to pump gas with 50 percent more ethanol is a big win.

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Science, Health and Technology
6:35 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Robots on the farm

Brent Ware, a member of the robotics team at Kansas State, stands next to a planting robot that won a national competition.
Jeremy Bernfeld Harvest Public Media

There’s always work to be done on the farm, but often it’s the same work day, after day, after day. Parts of the job must feel a bit like an assembly line.

While it’s impossible to automate farming like many manufacturers have automated their assembly lines, using robotic technology on the farm might not be so far off.

Farm robots in the classroom

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The Salt
10:51 am
Wed May 16, 2012

From Science Fiction To Fact, Robots Are Coming To A Farm Near You

Brent Ware, a member of the robotics team at Kansas State, stands next to a planting robot that won a national competition.
Jeremy Bernfeld Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 1:59 pm

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