agriculture

Ailin Li / KBIA

When Samantha Schumer went out on a farm visiting family members, she was always terrified of cows. So when she knew she had to take science class in her freshman year, she was not thrilled at all. But, now, walking into the agriculture building becomes the best part of her day.

File Photo / KBIA

A bill aimed at bolstering Missouri's agricultural industry is headed to the governor.

Missouri senators on Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of the measure, which previously was approved 101-48 by the House.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon made it official Thursday when he announced that he'll be leading an agricultural trade mission to Cuba in March.

Columbia? Taken. Mississippi? Taken. Sacramento? El Niño? Marlin? Grizzly? Sorry, they're all taken.

Many beer aficionados are familiar with the rare breweries run by Trappist monks. The beer is highly sought after, but it's not the only food or drink made by a religious order. Many abbeys and convents have deep roots in agriculture, combining farm work with prayer.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

CENTRALIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is planning to hold a summit to brainstorm ways to beef up the state's cattle industry.

Nixon announced the summit during a Wednesday visit with Future Farmers of America members at Centralia High School. It's meant to find ways to expand the industry and spur economic development in rural Missouri.

Crop-dusting pilots are the adrenaline junkies of the agriculture world. They whiz through the air, flying under power lines to sow seeds or spread pesticides on farmers' fields.

It's a dangerous job, and now these pilots are facing a new challenge — short towers that can sprout up in fields overnight. These towers are used to gather data for wind energy companies.

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.

  Missouri lawmakers say they're reviving a failed agricultural bill that could help dairy, cattle and crop farmers. 

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.

Scott Bauer, USDA/Wikimedia Commons

Missouri is known for its agricultural interest in cash crops, but some farmers are beginning to invest in something other than soybeans, corn and hogs. Missouri Business Alert’s Matt Zuzolo reports on niche specialty crops that are turning heads and making money for farmers.

Via the PlanetReuse website

Don’t waste what can be used to sustain—that’s the idea behind PlanetReuse, a Kansas City-based company that helps contractors exchange reclaimed construction materials that would otherwise be headed to the landfill. Missouri Business Alert’s Yizhu Wang sat down with founder and CEO Nathan Benjamin at Columbia’s Sustainapalooza to talk about the firm and what it means to be the self-described “go-to solution for reuse.”

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.

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.

Sure, there's plenty you can do with leftovers: foist them on your office mates or turn them into casserole.

But if you're a big food waste generator like a hospital or a supermarket, your scraps usually go to the landfill to rot.

In Massachusetts, that's about to change, as the state prepares to implement the most ambitious commercial food waste ban in the U.S.

farm
isnapshot / flickr

Opponents of Missouri's Right to Farm constitutional amendment are weighing a recount request after the measure appeared to pass by the slimmest of margins.

The unofficial tally from Tuesday's election showed that Amendment 1 carried by a margin of 0.2 percent. The measure was favored in most rural counties, but opposition in the St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia areas was nearly enough to offset it.

Missouri law allows for a recount if the victory margin is 0.5 percent or less, but the losing side must request it.

Hope Kirwan / KBIA

    

  As Father Knute Jacobson of Calvary Episcopal Church in Columbia prays, farmers and their families bow their heads and press their hands to a big, green, John Deere combine.

The combine blessing was just one of the events at the Boone County Farm Bureau’s Safety Expo held in Columbia Saturday, August 2. It was the first time attendees had been invited to pray for the collective safety of farmers this upcoming harvest season.

Christian County official ballot

The August 5, 2014 primary election ballot includes five proposals for amendments to the Missouri constitution. Amendment 1, commonly referred to as the 'Right to Farm' amendment, would add a section 35 to Article I of the state constitution.

Jessica Naudziunas / KBIA

Food prices are up, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture isn’t forecasting a drastic surge. In spite of price spikes in the meat aisle, grocery prices are not rising any faster than they have historically.

brady deaton
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Brady Deaton, University of Missouri chancellor emeritus has been honored with a 2014 Missourian Award according to a press release from the MU News Bureau. The Missourian Award honors the state’s most outstanding citizens who have had a significant impact on their community and on the state’s vitality.

Today Paul Pepper visits with ADAM SAUNDERS, Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, about what goes on at CCUA and gardening in general. At [3:52] ADDISON MYERS and AARON KRAWITZ tell us about "Freud's Last Session," the latest production from Talking Horse Productions. July 31, 2014

  

Hope Kirwan / KBIA

 

  Zane Volkman has been riding for as long as he can remember.

From the steer he would ride through his family’s pasture, to a donkey and finally to his grandpa’s horse, Volkman was already an experienced rider when he started training colts for a local rancher at age 12.

But an accident in the summer before his senior year of high school made it unclear if Volkman would be able to continue his career on a horse. While working at a livestock market in Kingdom City, Mo., a routine dismount caused Volkman to break his back and sustain three brain bleeds.

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

tractor on farmland
(tpsdav/pixabay)

Two proposals on Missouri's August ballot are attracting millions of dollars of campaign spending.

Finance reports filed Monday show supporters of a transportation tax already have spent $2.5 million and have nearly $1.7 million available for their final push.

By contrast, opponents of the three-quarters-cent sales tax have spent just a little over $22,000.

A proposal creating a constitutional right to farm has spawned a somewhat closer financial battle.

Photo courtesy Andy Trupin

Corn farmers in southeast Missouri are expecting high yields — but low profits.

Spencer Thomas / Flickr

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon traveled to Iowa to get a personal look at the latest methods in ethanol production.

KBIA / KBIA

 

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs, are prevalent in Missouri’s agriculture industry. The large farms are very controversial, and many have concerns about the environmental impact of the farms and humane treatment of animals living there. In Callaway County, plans for a new CAFO have prompted very vocal opposition. But CAFOs are also a mainstay of the agriculture industry, and are legal if maintained correctly.On this Intersection we addressed CAFOs in-depth: about what they are, how they’re used in Missouri, about the controversy surrounding them, and about the future of the operations in the state.

Corn
jungmoon / Flickr

Recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that over 90 percent of U.S. field corn is genetically modified. That figure has nearly doubled over the past 10 years.

Most of the corn farmers plant has been embedded with a gene—usually from a bacteria—that protects the corn from pests or herbicides.

Ten years ago, less than half of the corn planted had a genetically modified trait. Today, 93 percent of all field corn does, up from 90 percent last year.

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.

 


Grant Suneson

Missouri's Attorney General put his support behind a controversial amendment on the primary ballot. Chris Koster officially announced his endorsement of Amendment one, also known as the Right to Farm act.

In a short statement at the Missouri Farm Bureau in Jefferson City today, Koster cited the states reliance on agriculture, saying that failing to pass the measure could inhibit the success of Missouri farmers.

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