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 â€śOur Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture.â€ť The exhibition, on view now at the American Museum of Natural History, explores how our food is produced, distributed and eaten.
This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this yearâ€™s True/False Festival.Â Find the rest of themÂ hereÂ orÂ download the podcastÂ on iTunes.
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.
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.
Â Â 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 acreÂ last February, double what it would have gone for five years ago.
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.
This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Mediaâ€™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.
Thereâ€™s a new kind of gas on the market, with more ethanol in it than the gas we usually put in our cars. Thatâ€™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 theyâ€™ve wonâ€¦ good luck finding it. Even in Corn Country, pickings are slim.
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.
Heavy rains from Hurricane Isaac provided relief to some â€“ but not all â€“Â farmers and ranchers in the drought-stricken Midwest, according to the U.S. Drought Monitorâ€™s weekly report, which came out on Thursday.
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.
Farmers growing crops have insurance to ward off the financial failure of their season during this terrible drought. But thereâ€™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: McCallisterâ€™s herd of 200 dairy cattle in south central Missouri have feed for about the next 60 days.
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.
LITTLE RIVER, Kan. â€“ 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.
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.
Wes and Simone Sorenson pledged to donate their house and the 400 acre farm it sits on 10 years ago, but the University wouldnâ€™t take ownership until after they had died. Wes died in May, and now the University is discussing how to best use the land.
Sioux County, in northwest Iowa, is known for its Dutch pastries. The landscape is dotted with Lutheran and reform churches.Â But today, Catholic churches and tortillerias are creeping into the landscape â€” 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.
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,Â
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.