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

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.

Andrew Yost / KBIA

Coming up we’ll hear about the new grocery store opening up show in downtown Columbia. But first, more than 20 years after being listed as an endangered species, the pallid sturgeon is just treading water in the Missouri River. Manmade channels, impounds and dams, commercial fishing and environmental contaminants all had been fingered in the demise of the species.

Boone County Sheriff's Department

Early this morning, Columbia police officers arrested MU employee Tyler D. Hack at the 1100 block of West Broadway for burglary and sexual misconduct.

Hack, 29, is listed as an assistant teaching professor in MU’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism department.

Officers say Hack entered a neighbor’s home through an unlocked door while the victim was sleeping. The victim woke up to Hack fondling his genitals.

“He recognized Hack because he lived in the area and he called the police at that time,” says Columbia Police Public Information Officer Latisha Stroer.

 Photo 3: Members of the communities surrounding Fort Leonard Wood gathered Tuesday to discuss the U.S. Army proposal to remove troops from the fort. Under the proposal, the fort could lose as many of 4,000 of its troops.Edit | Remove

Eight Missouri counties received an “F” grade in The American Lung Association’s recent“State of the Air” report card. The latest report was released Wednesday – grades U.S. counties and cities on air quality. 

Out of the 17 counties with enough data available to issue a score, only Boone County received an “A” grade. And here’s the list of the counties that failed: Clay, Clinton, Jasper, Jefferson, Perry, St. Charles, St. Louis, and St. Louis city. Researchers used air quality data between 2009 and 2011 for the grading.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

The pork business certainly has its challenges. Hog farmers continually grapple with high feed prices, environmental hiccups and criticism from animal welfare groups. But some producers are creating a path to profitability by pursuing smaller, more specialized markets. From Iowa, Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer has the story of Eden Farms.

If you really love your peaches and want to shake a tree, there's a map to help you find one. That goes for veggies, nuts, berries and hundreds of other edible plant species, too.

Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

Gluten-free diets. They bar most beers, breads and cakes among other foods, because they contain wheat, rye and barley. The trendy diet is wildly popular today which is surprising, given that experts estimate only about 1 percent of the U.S. population suffers from Celiac disease, the disorder that causes their immune systems to reject the pesky gluten. But as Harvest Public Media’s Abbie Fentress Swanson reports, this diet fad and others are largely driven by Americans’ growing appetite for food solutions to their health woes.

Reinventionstories.org

Hostess. Nordyne. Fuqua Building Systems. AP Green.

The shutdown of all these plants signaled the loss of hundreds of Missouri jobs. Now imagine if it was just one powerhouse plant that helped define a city – a city known for its innovation and production.

“Dayton, Ohio has a big legacy of invention,” filmmaker Steve Bognar says. “From the car starter, to the step ladder, to the pop top can, to the cash register [having been] invented here.”

But imagine that plant closes. How does a city of inventors reinvent itself in this new time?

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

Before the American Revolution, before the Civil War, before Lewis and Clark came through here, a huge tree has been standing in central Missouri, growing to 90-feet tall. The beloved bur oak – which everybody calls "The Big Tree" -- has survived floods, lightning strikes and all kinds of punishments during her 350 years on the prairie. But, as Harvest Public Media’s Peggy Lowe reports, last year’s record drought was especially hard on the Big Tree.

Over the last year or so, at least 20 states have introduced bills that would require labeling of genetically modified food. The common point of contention is the pervasiveness of grains that have had their DNA altered. But some of these proposed laws – including one in Missouri – take aim specifically at genetically engineered meat or fish. And that got Harvest Public Media’s Abbie Fentress Swanson wondering: How close are we to actually eating genetically engineered animals? What she found out might surprise you.

Coming up we’ll delve into a small school district trying to get a bond passed for the third time.

But first, grain elevators across the country store billions of bushels of farm products like corn and wheat. They’re a staple of rural communities. But the dust that piles up in grain storage facilities is highly combustible – it can be six times more explosive than gun powder. Just one spark can send a blast that will shake the ground for miles.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Missouri House rejects Democratic effort to expand Medicaid
  • Mamtek CEO makes bail
  • Rep. Hartzler and Mayor McDavid call for funding to keep airport tower open
Maria Altman / St. Louis Public Radio

Whole Foods Market recently announced that by 2018, all products in its U-S and Canadian stores containing genetically modified organisms will be clearly labeled as such. The decision by the grocery chain -- which has been labeling some products as non-GMO for years now -- has pushed this strongly debated food labeling issue into the shopping aisle.

The real action, though, is heating up in state legislatures across the country. Harvest Public Media’s Abbie Fentress Swanson explains.

Not many of us are chemists.

The Crash Reel on Facebook

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.

When professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce crashed in the half-pipe in 2009, his life’s trajectory took a turn for the uncertain. After barely surviving a devastating head injury from the fall, Pearce’s recovery ultimately became more than just returning to full health.

Enter filmmaker Lucy Walker. In “The Crash Reel,” the Oscar-nominated documentarian opens a door to Kevin and his family as they struggle with how to handle Kevin’s injury and recovery. The intimate interactions between family members highlight the horrors of traumatic head injuries and the effects they have on loved ones.

Money
Andrew Magill

Coming up we’ll tackle sequestration which is set to occur March 1. But first, when a large group of farmers in the Southeast banded together to sue a powerful dairy cooperative a few years ago, many hoped that the case would bring big changes to the industry. But as Peggy Lowe of Harvest Public Media reports, the recent settlement of the case involving Kansas City-based Dairy Farmers of America has resulted in some money for small farmers in the short term but little long-term reform.

Courtesy of The Expedition to the End of the World

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.

For three weeks, Danish filmmaker Daniel Dencik and his film crew drifted on an old wooden schooner through the remote arctic waters of Greenland. Also on board, a group of artists and scientists studied the changing landscape of northeastern Greenland and used it to answer questions for scientific research and existential definition. Dencik’s job was to capture this age-old tradition of artists and scientists searching for truth and meaning in a rarely navigated locale. (Think Columbus and other early explorers.)

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