9:00 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Exploring our global food system at the Natural History Museum

“Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture,” on view now at the American Museum of Natural History, explores how our food is produced, distributed and eaten.
Mansoor Khan for Harvest Public Media

Can a watermelon be grown in the shape of a square? What do Olympic athletes like Michael Phelps eat for breakfast? Which island nation produces the most lamb in the world? Consumers interested in pulling back the curtain on our food system will get these and many other questions answered at “Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture.” The exhibition, on view now at the American Museum of Natural History, explores how our food is produced, distributed and eaten.

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True/False: Conversations
12:00 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

'The Moo Man' casts light on challenges facing small dairies

A still from 'The Moo Man,' showing Steve Hook and some of the Holstein-Friesian cows in his herd.
Credit Courtesy of Trufflepig Films

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.

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1:05 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Field Notes: How Wal-Mart's local foods push is playing out in the Midwest

A customer shops for produce at a Wal-Mart in Columbia, Mo. The retailer claims 11 percent of its produce sold in its stores nationally comes from local farms.
Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which reporters talk to newsmakers and experts about important issues related to food production.

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8:16 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Women in ag are topic of new Missouri Extension course

Credit HPM

The University of Missouri Extension is offering a series of courses aimed at helping women in agriculture.

The courses are part of Annie's Project, a program that started in Illinois about nine years ago, and has since spread to other states. The program is named for an Illinois woman who ran a farm and raised six children in the 1950s.

Topics include farm record-keeping and taxes, business plans, how property is titled, pasture rental contracts and estate planning.

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4:00 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Wanted: Large-animal veterinarians willing to work in rural areas

The red flags on this map indicate counties with high concentrations of livestock without veterinarians.
Courtesy of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

It's no secret that agriculture in the U.S. has gone through major changes in the past century. But let's focus in on ag labor for a second: back in 1900, 41 percent of the national workforce worked in the agricultural sector. By 2000, just 1.9 percent did, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Over the same time period, millions of residents left rural communities behind, seeking job opportunities in cities.

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4:07 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Reports shows drought is getting worse

jetsandzeppelins Flickr

A new report shows that the nation's worst drought in decades is getting worse again, ending an encouraging five-week run of improving conditions.

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5:41 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

The Rural Diner Project: what do politicians know about rural life? [video]


At this country store and café along Highway 63, local farmers, retired professors, blue-collar workers and families gather for breakfast every morning. 

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1:30 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Investors angle for a piece of precious farmland

This field is part of a 160-acre tract in Saline County, Missouri that sold for $10,700 last year. Now this land is selling for around $13,000.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

  Howard Audsley, who wears dark glasses and has his hair cut short in a crew cut, has been driving his Toyota truck through the state of Missouri for the past 30 years to assess the value of farmland. Barreling down the flat roads of Saline County, Mo., on a recent day, Audsley stopped his truck at a 160-acre tract of newly tilled black land. The land sold for $10,700 an acre last February, double what it would have gone for five years ago.

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10:09 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Why is farmland so expensive?

A clod of soil and some corn from some of the priciest land in Missouri: Saline County.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

On Friday, I left the rolling hills of Columbia, Mo., and headed northwest, to the flat farmland of Saline County. The purpose of the drive was to get a look at the priciest cropland in Missouri for a story I'm doing on how investors with no connection to farmland are increasingly interested in buying acreage in the Midwest. I had heard from farmers and real estate brokers that cropland values were at all-time highs in the Corn Belt, and incredibly many of the tracts of land are being paid for in cash.

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12:44 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Field Notes: Making the most of cover crops

The green shoots of young cover crops come up through corn residue on a field in Boone County, Iowa.
Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which reporters talk to newsmakers and experts about important issues related to food production.

For this edition of Field Notes, Harvest Public Media's Amy Mayer spoke with Tom Kaspar, a plant physiologist at the National Lab for Agriculture and the Environment, about the importance of cover crops in how our food is grown.

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Business Beat
4:44 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Higher percentage: ethanol in gas, hogs sent to market

Some U.S. gas pumps feature gas with 15 percent ethanol in the gas.
File Photo KBIA

There’s a new kind of gas on the market, with more ethanol in it than the gas we usually put in our cars. That’s beneficial for corn farmers who grow the corn that ethanol is made from and want more of it in your gas. But while the ethanol industry fought for years to bring this fuel to the market, now that they’ve won… good luck finding it. Even in Corn Country, pickings are slim.

11:35 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Debate this: Which presidential candidate is better for agriculture?

Former Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge (left) and Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns stand in for the presidential candidates in a Presidential Forum on Agriculture in Des Moines in mid-September.
Sandhya Dirks Iowa Public Radio

The presidential candidates have yet to meet in a face-to-face debate. But last week in Des Moines, Iowa, ag leaders witnessed a preview of sorts during a Presidential Forum on Agriculture held in advance of the annual meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

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10:05 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Even after Hurricane Isaac, some Midwest farmers mired in drought

Hurricane Issac in Wisconsin.

Heavy rains from Hurricane Isaac provided relief to some – but not all – farmers and ranchers in the drought-stricken Midwest, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor’s weekly report, which came out on Thursday.

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1:16 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Longhorns, bluegrass and corn combining at the Farm Progress Show [Slideshow]

This 10-year-old Watusi steer named Stevie, who is owned by Garland Ranch, was on view at the Farm Progress Show. Stevie has horns that span more than five feet.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Thousands of farmers from the heartland braved the 97-degree heat in Boone, Iowa on Wednesday for the 2012 Farm Progress Show.

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3:05 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Drought could edge livestock producers out of business

Alfred Brandt says he will have to pay $100,000 in out-of-pocket feed costs to get his 150 Holstein cows fed through next spring.
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Brandt Dairy sits on Swan Creek at the end of a meandering gravel road in Linn, Missouri. The farm is bucolic with its twin silos, red barn and black-and-white Holstein cows. But the brown pastures, dry river bed and burnt corn fields are a reminder that there have been less than two inches of rain here in the last two months.

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8:50 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Livestock farmers seek safety net, while Washington politics delay aid

Peggy Lowe Harvest Public Media

Farmers growing crops have insurance to ward off the financial failure of their season during this terrible drought. But there’s no safety net like that in place for livestock producers. And any emergency aid is tied up in Washington politics.

The rock and the hard place where Stacey McCallister now sits looks like this:

Rock: McCallister’s herd of 200 dairy cattle in south central Missouri have feed for about the next 60 days.

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8:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Intense demand prompts Nixon to announce more water funding for farmers

(via Flickr/KOMUnews/Malory Ensor)

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 4:16 pm

More money is being put into an emergency program to aid farmers and ranchers battling water shortages in Missouri.

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has added $5 million to the $2 million set aside for crop and livestock producers who want to drill new wells or deepen existing ones during the ongoing drought.  More than 600 applications have been sent in since the program’s announcement on Tuesday.

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8:23 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Mo. governor to tour drought-stricken areas

Governor Jay Nixon
File Photo KBIA

Gov. Jay Nixon is traveling the state to survey damage from Missouri's hot, dry summer.

Nixon planned to meet with farmers and local officials Tuesday in Lewis County in northeast Missouri, in Atchison County in northwest Missouri and in Polk County in southwest Missouri. The governor is to be joined by the state's agriculture director.

5:53 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

The lasting heritage of the Homestead Act

Kendall Hodgson, left, and Ed Hodgson, first cousins, in front of the Hodgson homestead near Little River, Kan.
Peggy Lowe Harvest Public Media

LITTLE RIVER, Kan. – Before this town was here, before the railroads were here, before a post office was here, the Hodgsons were here.

In 1871, Hannah and Henry Clay Hodgson moved into a one-room dugout on the banks of the Little Arkansas, their view an Indian camp on the other side of the river. They arrived in central Kansas in November, in the midst of a blizzard, and it took them three days from the train stop in Salina to get the 60 miles south to this outpost.

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Business Beat
5:52 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Language and agriculture

Jamie Pudenz wants to own a cow-calf operation, but he's worried the current political climate will have adverse effects on production agriculture.
Sandhya Dirks Harvest Public Media

A war over words is part of a bigger struggle between agriculture interests and their critics. Plus, a national report looks at agriculture research grants from private corporations to land grant Universities, including MU.

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9:05 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Southwest Columbia farm and home donated to MU

A 400-acre farm and home donated to MU is near the university's South Farm (pictured).

Wes and Simone Sorenson pledged to donate their house and the 400 acre farm it sits on 10 years ago, but the University wouldn’t take ownership until after they had died. Wes died in May, and now the University is discussing how to best use the land.

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Under the Microscope
5:53 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

On agriculture and immigration

Terry van Maanen bought Winding Meadows Dairy from his father in the '80s and has grown it to about 600 cows. He sells milk to Land O Lakes.
Kathleen Masterson Harvest Public Media

On this week's show, we'll hear about how immigrant populations are filling a gap in agricultural labor.

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5:27 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Blending of cultures may be blueprint for growth

Luis Campos came to the U.S. illegally but eventually became a legal resident. Campos is now the parlor manager at Winding Meadow Dairy in Rock Valley, Iowa.
Kathleen Masterson Harvest Public Media

Sioux County, in northwest Iowa, is known for its Dutch pastries. The landscape is dotted with Lutheran and reform churches.  But today, Catholic churches and tortillerias are creeping into the landscape — signs of the new residents joining this vibrant community.

In Sioux County, as in a scattering of communities across the Midwest, Hispanic immigrants are working in meat processing plants, dairies, egg-laying facilities and hog barns. In fact, the majority of U.S. farm laborers today were born outside the U.S.

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AM Newscasts
9:10 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Newscast for April 18, 2012

Regional news coverage from the KBIA News room, including:

  • Ryan Ferguson hearing continues in Jefferson City.
  • More on confirmed e. coli. cases in Missouri.
  • Missouri House endorses law making undercover filming of agriculture facilities a crime.
2:46 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Mo. bill criminalizes undercover videos at farms

The Missouri House has endorsed legislation seeking to make it a crime for undercover activists to produce videos portraying poor conditions at agricultural facilities.

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4:24 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

The arrival of early spring weather

Watch the show and join the conversation on the Intersection website.

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4:09 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Photos from Digest This: Farm and food controversies

Harum Helmy KBIA

How do consumers make decisions about what they consume? And, how are the various stakeholders attempting to shape those thoughts about food? Host Reuben Stern spoke with four experts with diverse views about the messages and motives behind these controversies in this special Intersection event, 

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5:10 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

Gov. Nixon sees off MO National Guard team

Members of a Missouri National Guard Agribusiness Development Team have received a sendoff from Gov. Jay Nixon as they prepare for deployment to Afghanistan.

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8:09 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Missouri treasurer announces financial assistance for farmers

The Missouri treasurer's office will partner with community banks to negotiate lower interest loans on equipment and land.
Eric Durban Harvest Public Media

Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel has announced a new financial assistance package for beginning farmers trying to make their way in an expensive industry.

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5:31 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Big trucks on small roads

MoDOT engineers worry that heavier trucks would spell rutted roads in rural Missouri.
Jacob Fenston KBIA

Cattlemen in Missouri are backing a bill in the House that would increase weight limits for hauling livestock on the state's highways. But department of transportation engineers worry heavier trucks would damage already-strained rural roads.

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