Kristofor Husted

Harvest Public Media Reporter

Before joining KBIA in July 2012, Kristofor Husted reported for the science desk at NPR in Washington. There, he covered health, food and environmental issues. His work has appeared on NPR’s health and food blogs, as well as with WNYC, WBEZ and KPCC, among other member stations. As a multimedia journalist, he's covered topics ranging from the King salmon collapse in Northern California to the shutdown of a pollution-spewing coal plant in Virginia. His short documentary, “Angela’s Garden,” was nominated for a NATAS Student Achievement Award by the Television Academy.

Husted was born in Napa, Calif., and received his B.S. in cell biology from UC Davis, where he also played NCAA water polo. He earned an M.S. in journalism from Medill at Northwestern University, where he was honored as a Comer scholar for environmental journalism. 

Ways To Connect

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media/KBIA

 

For the Midwest’s biggest crops, this harvest season was a big one. With winter setting in, the race is on for farmers to ship out their harvest so it’s not left out to spoil. But the giant harvest and a lack of available rail cars have created a traffic jam on the rails and the highways.

Usually, famers store their harvest in silos and grain bins, but this year, farmers brought in so much, there’s just no room.  Farmers in Missouri, Indiana, Illinois and South Dakota are all being hit particularly hard by the storage shortage.

wobble-san/Flickr

After jumping up in value over the past few years, farmland in many of the Plains states has slowed down in its appreciation.

A bumper crop, cheap prices for grain, and the lowest predicted farm income in five years have all taken a swipe at the value of farmland. Overall, states in the region, including Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Colorado, have farmland value hovering about 1 to 2 percent above its worth this time last year.

Tax Credits / Flickr

 

Americans had to dig deep into their wallets to cover costs associated with foodborne illnesses, according to new estimates from the U.S. Department Agriculture.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media/KBIA

 

This is the fourth story in a series of stories by Harvest Public Media on food waste called Tossed Out: Food Waste in America.  

Grocery stores and restaurants serve up more than 400 billion pounds of food each year, but nearly a third of it never makes it to a stomach.

wobble-san/Flickr

Missouri’s so-called right to farm amendment will be added to the state Constitution after a statewide recount confirmed the original election results. 

Missouri is the second state after North Dakota to enshrine the right to farm in its constitution -- a move meant to protect farmers and ranchers from legislation that would change or outlaw practices they use.

farm
isnapshot / flickr

Missouri’s so-called right to farm amendment is expected to stand after preliminary recount results were posted on the Secretary of State’s website Friday. The controversial measure’s latest tally shows a slim change from the August primary results. 

Carl Mydans / Library of Congress

The Great Depression saw the U.S. arguably near rock bottom. Some of the economically hardest hit citizens were farmers and their families. Beginning in 1935, photographers hit the dusty back roads of the country. They were charged with documenting the effect of the depression on rural communities.

United Soybean Board/Flickr

Farmers’ can anticipate a sharp drop in income this year, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In fact, the USDA predicts the $113 billion earned in 2014 will be the lowest amount of net farm income in five years. That’s equal to about a 14 percent fall from last year’s record amount, thanks mostly to a massive drop in crop prices.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media/KBIA

 

Late summer in the Midwest is tomato season. For tomato growers around that country, it’s time to pick their bounty and calculate their earnings.

Kyle Stokes / KBIA

Looks like Missouri’s “Right to Farm” amendment was nearly killed by urban voters. After advocates like the Farm Bureau poured more than $1 million into ads, voters Tuesday narrowly approved the ballot measure by just one quarter of a percent.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA/Harvest Public Media

 

The agriculture industry is a cornerstone of the Midwest economy. In some states, it may even become a right.

In Missouri, the so-called “right to farm” is on the ballot in the form of an amendment to the state Constitution. And the controversial provision could be a model for Constitutional additions on other ag-heavy states.

Though the “right to farm” provision is focused on agriculture, it has pitted farmer against farmer with some worried that the results could change the face of farming in the Midwest.

Accountability concerns

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media/KBIA

 

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is touring farm country, trying to assure farmers that the agency isn’t asking for more authority over farmers and ranchers’ lands.

 


Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

 

 

The largest association of U.S. physicians is calling for tighter rules on antibiotic use in livestock. 

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

The Environmental Protection Agency released a proposed rule in June to cut carbon emissions by thirty percent by 2030. Since the announcement, a question has come up. How will the rule impact coal-fired power plants and coal-related industries?

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently announced $3.9 million in funding toward developing a vaccine for a disease crushing hog farms.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

For a long time, Texas was the center of cattle country. But drought is re-shaping the beef map and raising the price of steak. Ranchers are moving their herds from California to Colorado and from Texas to Nebraska by the thousands. They’re seeking refuge from dry weather and, as Harvest Public Media’s Grant Gerlock reports, cattle producers in the Midwest are making the most of it.

tractor on farmland
(tpsdav/pixabay)

Coming up we’ll take a look and how big data and agriculture are finding themselves intertwined with questions about privacy.

Kristofor Kusted / KBIA

U.S. Congress members are throwing their support behind a proposed “right to farm” amendment in Missouri’s constitution. But critics are pointing to the measure’s ambiguous language as problematic.

KBIA

Honeybee colonies have been dying off at alarming rates in recent years. In the Midwest, some people wonder if planting row after row of corn and soybeans may be part of the problem. Researchers in Iowa are trying to find out. Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports on one factor that may contribute to the grim situation for pollinators in the corn belt.

Nearly 130,000 homes were permitted to be built in Missouri last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  KBIA’s Morgan Dzakowic reports one unique house under construction in Columbia stands out among its neighbors.

columbia city hall
File Photo / KBIA

    

Officials with the city of Columbia will be taking a hard look at improving infrastructure during budget meetings this year.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

As Wednesday’s rush hour dies down on Interstate 70, Scott Campbell is merging onto the highway.

“Off like a herd of turtles,” he says.

Campbell is with Missouri’s Department of Transportation and he’s spending the night here with the maintenance team to repaint the yellow stripe in the fast lane. The caravan of trucks, with mounted signs, flashing arrows and bright lights, spreads out for more than a mile creeping along at 10 miles per hour. Even all these emblazoned alerts didn’t protect Campbell when was struck by a pickup on the job two weeks ago.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Farmers can expect more challenges, thanks to climate change. That’s according to a recent report released by the White House.

Iowa State University professor Gene Takle co-authored the chapter on agriculture in the 2014 National Climate Assessment. He says expected changes in humidity, precipitation and temperature may produce more extreme weather events.

“We need to be thinking forward as to the kinds of adaptation strategies that we need to adopt while at the same time we are looking for measures to mitigate the underlying cause of climate change,” Takle says.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA news room, including:

  • Columbia Public Schools and teachers union reach agreement on salary
  • Missouri senators pass 72-hour abortion waiting time
  • Missouri taxpayers still waiting for refunds

Staff / Missouri Department of Conservation

The White House released a new climate change report Tuesday. It predicts threats to agriculture including severe weather, more pests and greater demands for water and energy. Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports.

Jacob McCleland / Harvest Public Media

    

Water experts in the Midwest are worried about Asian carp. They say the invasive fish are taking over U.S. waterways -- the Mississippi River and its tributaries like the Illinois and Missouri Rivers, where they out compete native fish.

But as Jacob McCleland reports for Harvest Public Media, river watchers at their wits end have found new hope. And it lies on dinner tables in China.

Monarch butterflies are in trouble. The latest estimates show their numbers have dropped dramatically at their wintering grounds in Mexico.

Marissane Lewis-Stump / KBIA

When we think of plants, intelligence is usually not the first thing that comes to mind. But maybe plants are more than a decorative feature to our dining room table.

KBIA’s Marissanne Lewis-Thompson checked in with a monthly science conversation series in Columbia. This month’s topic: the secret lives of plants.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Columbia police investigate teenage girl's death
  • Court considers joint tax filings from gay couples
  • House passes bill nullifying federal gun laws

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Saint Louis U to study Missouri death penalty
  • Missouri Senate panel endorses tobacco settlement fix
  • Pastors, workers, business leaders plead for Medicaid expansion

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Advocates say Missouri sets food stamp barriers
  • MU law professor involved in Hobby Lobby case
  • Missouri prepares for Ferguson execution

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Mo. prepares for execution; another date set
  • McCaskill staff surveying colleges on assaults
  • EPA leader responds to Koster on landfill concerns

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