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

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
Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

The University of Missouri invited Gerald Friedman, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, to speak to students and local Columbia residents earlier last week.  The lecture was hosted by the MU Truman School of Public Affairs as the Monroe-Paine annual lecture event.  Friedman’s lecture focused on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and the future possibility of a single payer healthcare system.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Peter Stiepleman named superintendent of Columbia Public Schools
  • Missouri commission approves housing tax credit
  • Missouri could see record number of executions in 2014
Carole Mitchell / Flickr

In Ste. Genevieve County, Mo., about 100 residents gathered for a town hall meeting in 2013 to discuss a new frac sand mine in their backyard. Officials from the county, state and mining company attended to answer questions residents might have.

Neighbors peppered the panel with questions: How will the mine’s sand dust be regulated? How will you prevent it from getting into our lungs? How will the traffic and explosions affect my health, my property and the ecosystem? Concerns about breathing in the microscopic sand particles, which could lead to silicosis in the lungs, abounded.

Jane Hardy, who lives about 1000 feet from the mine, said she wasn’t satisfied with the answers.

Peter Gray / Harvest Public Media

For nearly a year now, hog farmers have been battling a virus. It’s deadly to newly born piglets and farmers are scrambling to protect their herds. With fewer pigs comes less pork. Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Moberly domestic violence center denied grant money
  • Wal-Mart sides with Ameren in electric rate case
  • Missouri Senate panel reviews mandatory vaccine legislation

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Most climate models paint a bleak picture for the Great Plains a century from now. Scientists say it’ll be warmer, and the air will be more rich with carbon dioxide. To what degree is still unclear. But even small fluctuations in climate throw farmland ecosystems out of whack. A new study shows certain invasive plant species will not only be able to withstand climate change, but thrive. Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon has more.

Shibu Jose is the director of the Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri Columbia.

Jesse Moss, The Overnighters

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes

The fracking boom in much of the U.S. has opened up a new path for people searching for work, of course, but also for redemption and reinvention.  In the film “The Overnighters,” filmmaker Jesse Moss travels to Williston, N.D., to tell the story of Lutheran Pastor Jay Reinke and the workers he houses in his church and home. Reinke invites newcomers to sleep in extra rooms at the church and to sleep in their cars in the parking lot while they look for jobs and more permanent housing. Some of the men even live in the pastor’s home with his family.

Robert Greene, Actress

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Fest.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

Robert Greene is no virgin to True/False. Three of his feature films have shown in Columbia over the years. In fact, he says he owes a lot of his career to the festival.

In his latest film “Actress,” Greene follows Brandy Burre – who fans of HBO’s “The Wire” may recognize as cutthroat campaign consultant Theresa D’Agostino – as she steps back into the thespian game after a reprieve to start a family.

Greene blends melodramatic, staged interludes with cinema verite scenes as the audience is guided through Burre’s dance among the roles of mother, partner, friend, businesswoman and actress. Greene tells the story strictly through Burre’s point of view, as her asides demonstrate the piercing self-awareness of an honest woman in the midst of the growing pains of change. Ultimately, the film poses the question to the audience: At what cost does reclaiming your dreams come at?

Amanda Rose Wilder, Approaching the Elephant

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Fest.  Find the rest of them here or download the podcast on iTunes.

In the film “Approaching the Elephant,” filmmaker Amanda Rose Wilder follows the students and teachers of a so-called free school in New Jersey where the students make the rules. Wilder, who mans the camera for the film, is a fly on the wall as the audience is taken through the school’s inaugural year and all of the problems that arise. 

Some students struggle with handling the school’s democratic structure while others thrive. The film culminates in some serious decisions regarding the future of the school, its tireless director and its most troublesome student.

sasha menu courey
MU file photo

The University Of Missouri Board Of Curators has selected independent counsel to investigate how the Columbia campus handled a former student athlete’s alleged sexual assault.

The board has hired Dowd Bennett Law Firm to determine whether the university acted consistently within the law and university policy when responding to events surrounding swimmer Sasha Menu Courey’s assault and 2011 suicide. The firm will report its findings back to the board April 11.

Peter Gray / Harvest Public Media

    

Residents across the Midwest are struggling with tight propane supplies, especially in this bitterly cold, snowy winter.

But it's not just homes that lack adequate access to heating energy. Harvest Public Media's Peter Gray reports on the recent fuel shortage, and how it's hitting farms that put bacon and eggs on your plate in the morning.

If you are a fan of wine, particularly European wines, from France, Italy or Germany, you can be proud of the role Missouri plays in creating that wine.

Karen Mitchell

National Football League prospect Michael Sam publicly came out over the weekend. Although some critics have expressed concern about the league being ready for a publicly gay player, Sam’s former college coach says he hopes Sam’s new team treats him like his college team.  

University of Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel says he’s proud of the courage Sam has shown by announcing he’s gay. Sam is an all-American and co-defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Farm bill signed by President Obama
  • Missouri lawmaker apologizes for DWI
  • Stan Musial bridge opens this weekend

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Monday’s Morning Edition on NPR featured a story about a Columbia biotech startup. We thought we’d give it an encore run on KBIA in case you missed it. After hearing Shihab’s unique story, I called Laurel Smith-Doer, who’s a professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  She’s studied immigrant and women entrepreneurs in biotech in the New England area. I asked her what she’s found in her research.

In parts of the Middle East, people drink camel's milk for its nutritional value. It boasts more vitamin C and iron than cow's milk, and it's lower in fat. But in the American Midwest, some people are rubbing camel's milk on their skin — in the form of a skin-care line from Jordan.

Penelope Shihab is the founder of a biotech company in Jordan — and the woman behind the Missouri startup that's working on the skin-care products.

Pages