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. 

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Missouri River at Rocheport
File Photo / KBIA

Nearly a dozen Missouri agriculture groups sent a letter to Governor Jay Nixon this week calling for his support to oppose a dredging project in the Missouri River.

The project – near Arrow Rock, Missouri – was set up several years ago to create a shallow water habitat for several fish species including the pallid sturgeon – an endangered fish. Under the US Army Corps of Engineers plan, the soil excavated from the site would be deposited into the Missouri River.

A new report from the US Department of Agriculture has found that through voluntary conservation measures, farmers reduced the amount of nitrogen that washes off their fields into Mississippi River watershed waterways by 21 percent. That's good news for water treatment plants that spend millions of dollars each year to remove farm chemicals from drinking water supplies. Harvest Public Media’s Abbie Fentress Swanson takes a look at the particular challenge posed by the nitrogen in fertilizer, which has been running into Midwest streams at concerning levels this summer.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Columbia Mayor McDavid announce plan too add police officers
  • Ellis Library, Stephen College arsonist to represent self in court
  • Missouri State University's beef now sold at specialty meat store
Kristofor Husted / KBIA file photo

Gov. Jay Nixon stopped by Columbia twice this week. He has spent his summer drawing attention to the many problems he and other critics see with House Bill 253. That is the income-tax cut bill he vetoed in June. There is a chance state Republicans could make a run for an override of that bill in September. The bill cuts income tax and corporate taxes and under certain circumstances allows business taxes to be claimed on personal income taxes. Conservative estimates peg a state revenue loss of $692 million dollars if the bill were to become law.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Gov. Jay Nixon continued stumping across the state discouraging state lawmakers from overriding his veto on a tax cut bill.

At the University of Missouri Columbia campus Wednesday, Nixon said the bill could result in a funding slash of $67 million per year for the state’s higher education institutions. The University of Missouri system alone stands to lose $31 million per year. And if a federal online sales tax bill passes, the state number jumps up to a cut of $116 million annually.

Regional news coverage for the KBIA, including:

  • Ameren says nuclear plant to stay closed for days
  • Gov. Nixon defends veto of Mo. tax cut legislation
  • University of Missouri prevails in syllabus suit

Mike Matthes

Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes introduced his fiscal year 2014 budget recommendations on Friday.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

The world’s soil is in trouble, even in the fertile Midwest. Some experts warn that if degradation continues unchecked, topsoil could be gone in 60 years—with implications for agriculture and the broader environment. Farmers feel the pressure of feeding a growing global population and protecting the soil necessary to do that—all while operating a viable business.  Harvest Public Media considers two possible ways to improve the soil. The first--planting strips of prairie grass alongside farm fields. Amy Mayer reports.

Credit Tamara Zellars Buck / KRCUUnion Baptist Church as it stands today in Pinhook, Mo.Edit | Remove

In the countryside, there are fewer people – and some prefer it that way, especially thieves. The National Insurance Crime Bureau says that metal thefts have increased by 36 percent since 2010 – and that leaves farm equipment and machinery as easy pickings. Reporting for Harvest Public Media, Payne Roberts has the story.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • New law allows physician assistants more freedom
  • Missouri, Kansas see increase in drowning deaths
  • Mo. auditor says new law gives more flexibility

Google Glass may seem like space-age technology. But that doesn’t mean it’s only for Star-Trek fans. The innovative device is a pair of glasses with a small screen above the right lens that functions as an extension of a user’s Smartphone. Glass can be used for a variety of functions like taking pictures, shooting video or replying to email all with voice commands. Veterans United in Columbia is one of the advance testers of Glass and recently held a product demo. KBIA’s Anders Aarhus reports.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Nixon signs Mo. legislation dealing with children
  • Mo. senators hear pleas to expand Medicaid access
  • Mo. Lottery sales reach $1.14B in 2013 budget year

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Mo./Kan. public colleges carefully seek minorities
  • Nixon signs Mo. bill dealing with welfare benefits
  • Mo. House chief ends subpoenas for gov's staff

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

A Columbia biotech company has announced plans to commercialize its products around the globe.  EternoGen, LLC. develops collagen-based products for minimally invasive surgical procedures.  KBIA’s Ben Wilson has more on the company’s expansion.

The Columbia City Council recently voted in favor of purchasing 16 natural gas-powered vehicles along with building a natural gas fueling station in northeast Columbia. KBIA’s Rickelle Pimentel tells us why some community members aren’t as excited about this decision.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Memorial service for Eliot Battle
  • Missouri awards contract for online Medicaid enrollment
  • Nixon vetoes bill changing underage gambling laws

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Our neighboring city of Independence, Mo., is going green with its lighting over the few years. 

At the 81st annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Las Vegas last past weekend, Independence announced its plans to partner with Philips Lighting on an energy and maintenance saving project.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • 25-year-old man killed in drug-related shooting
  • Five bills with children's names await Gov. Jay Nixon's signature
  • REDI working to help startups

Crop insurance is a big part of the farm bill debate in Washington this year. The Senate recently passed a bill that would expand the heavily subsidized program. And now the House is zeroing in on the issue. Several amendments to the farm bill pending in the House would curb how much the government provides to cut the cost farmers pay for crop insurance. But, premiums aren’t the only part of the system supported by tax payers. Crop insurance companies also enjoy lots of government largess. Harvest Public Media’s Frank Morris reports.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Sen. McCaskill supports Hillary Clinton super PAC
  • Local support for UM System change to same-sex benefits
  • Missouri moves to lift ban on foreign farm owners

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • U.S. Rep. Jason Smith's first piece of legislation in Washington
  • Kansas City loses thousands of jobs over past decade
  • Gov. Nixon contemplates cash-advance bill

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

The University of Missouri System Board of Curators approved its 2014 budget Friday. UM System President Tim Wolfe says the budget identifies strategic areas for funding to help strengthen the university brand.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

Drought conditions in much of the country have eased, but the Great Plains region is still in rough shape. Last year’s dryness pushed the nation’s cattle herd to its lowest numbers since the 1950s. Dry conditions this summer could cause the herd to dwindle even further. As Harvest Public Media's Luke Runyon reports from Colorado, that means beef prices are on the rise this summer just in time for grilling season.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

On this week's Business Beat: 47 million Americans are enrolled in the SNAP program, or food stamps, including nearly 16 percent of Missourians.  SNAP is the biggest spending item in the farm bill. And the program has a big bulls eye on it as Congress debates new legislation. As Grant Gerlock reports for Harvest Public Media, the economic considerations go beyond who receives SNAP benefits to how and where the money is spent.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Battle High School officially opens for first day of summer school
  • Missouri Department of Natural Resources temporarily shuts down three beaches
  • Flooded Missouri River still causing problems

cindyt7070 / Flickr

Updated 4:12 p.m. with quotes and graphics

 The University of Missouri announced today that all employees working in MU's main administrative building, Jesse Hall, will be moved to a new location to allow for the installation of sprinkler systems, improvements to the heating and cooling systems, and an additional elevator. Nearby Swallow Hall which houses MU's Museum of Anthropology, will also undergo repairs including an increase in classroom, lab and office space totaling up to 5,000 square feet.  The project, called "Renew Mizzou," will cost more than $22.8 million.

Dozens of Ste. Genevieve County residents met last night (Tuesday) with the company applying to open up a sand mine in their neighborhood. Locals fired questions at Mark Rust, owner of Summit Proppants, for four hours about health concerns, traffic safety and property values.

Missouri voters will get the chance to consider a constitutional amendment next fall that would affirm the rights of farmers to engage in modern farming and ranching practices. The state House and Senate passed the measure during the end of the legislative session last week. Harvest Public Media reports.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Dozens of Ste. Genevieve County residents met Tuesday night with the company applying to open up a sand mine in their neighborhood. Locals fired questions at Mark Rust, owner of Summit Proppants, for four hours about the mine’s potential impact on the community.

The biggest points of contention between locals and the company included regulation on air and water quality, the 50 semis traveling in and out of the facility daily, the possible decrease in property value and a guarantee that the company would only operate during the day.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Farm Bill hits the Senate floor for debate
  • Mo. lawmakers to study failed measures before 2014 session
  • Mo. Social Services Director Freeman resigns after 5 months

rustinpc / flickr

With a new farm bill, farmers may have access to fewer dollars for conservation. For 27 years, the popular Conservation Reserve Program has transformed small parcels of land, contributing to cleaner water, more habitat for migrating birds and less soil erosion. But as Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports from Iowa, the program has been enrolling fewer acres in recent years and it’s not just budget cuts that could make it smaller still.

File / KBIA

For the month of April, Missouri employers added more than 12,000 new jobs while the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 percent.