Back From War, on to the Farm

Feb 21, 2015
John Wendle / Harvest Public Media

Sara Creech has grown dependent on farming. She started out planting an orchard of fruit trees - apples, peaches, cherries and pears. She added berry bushes and rows of vegetables. And then she bought her first chickens.

“A lot of people call chickens the gateway animal,” she said. “Like once you have a chicken on the farm, then you end up getting sheep on the farm, and then you end up getting horses, and cows, and then it just explodes from there.”

Creech served as a surgery nurse during the Iraq War. She has a master’s degree and 16 years of experience. But she turned to farming when her career in nursing fell apart.

Carl Mydans / Library of Congress

The Great Depression saw the U.S. arguably near rock bottom. Some of the economically hardest hit citizens were farmers and their families. Beginning in 1935, photographers hit the dusty back roads of the country. They were charged with documenting the effect of the depression on rural communities.

Photo courtesy Andy Trupin

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

It seems that everybody, going back at least to Thomas Jefferson, loves small family farms.

Yet those beloved small farms are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Big farms are taking over.

According to the latest census of American agriculture, released this year, there are two million farms in America. But just four percent of those farms account for two-thirds of all agricultural production.


Several Missourians in the U.S. House are backing a proposed amendment to the state Constitution on farming.

Federal conservation programs soon to lose funding

Sep 4, 2013

Farmers across the country are being encouraged to sign up for federal conservation programs. The catch is, as of now, the programs have no funding.

Scott Stuntz reports for Harvest Public Media.

Farm Progress visitors worry about weather

Aug 29, 2013
Bill Wheelhouse / Harvest Public Media

Hot weather has been greeting visitors to this year’s Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois, one of the country’s largest agriculture trade shows.

Jake Godin for Harvest Public Media

On this week's show, we'll hear why a popular grass for feeding cattle may be doing more harm than good, and learn about the popularity of food hubs.

Food hubs try to grow local farms

Jul 18, 2013
Sean Powers for Harvest Public Media

Restaurants across the country have jumped on the local food bandwagon. They’re trying to source more of their produce from nearby farms, but it's not easy. Enter: Food hubs.

Courtesy of

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.

Over the last three years, the Midwest has gone from flooding to drought and back to flooding. This is a case of “weather whiplash,” a term first used in April by Jeff Masters, a meteorologist and co-founder of the online weather forecasting site Weather Underground.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Visitors to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. only get small glimpses of farming, such as a mural display of immigrant farmworkers planting crops in a 19th century California town. The museum once had an Agriculture Hall, but it was removed in 2006.

Child labor bill could help kids on the farm

Apr 9, 2013
File / KBIA

A proposed bill would change the child labor law requirements for Missouri children under the age of 16 who work on a family farm.

Photo courtesy of USFRA

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.

Missouri farmer Chris Chinn is taking on a high-profile role as one of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance’s “Faces of Farming and Ranching.” 

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.

Drought takes head start into 2013

Jan 24, 2013
Lance Cheung / USDA


2012 was a drought year for the record books. It was the warmest year ever recorded in Des Moines, IowaTopeka, Kan., and Columbia, Mo. and the driest ever in Grand Island, Neb. The question is whether 2013 will be any different.

Hilary Stohs-Krause / Harvest Public Media

This week, we’ll hear how some farmers are using hydroponics technology to save on water, and revisit an interview with biologist Edward O. Wilson.

Drought and heat? Some farmers try hydroponics

Oct 4, 2012
Hilary Stohs-Krause / Harvest Public Media

Marv Fritz runs a 24-acre greenhouse in O’Neill, Neb., in the north-central part of the state. The 7-year-old greenhouse produces about 250,000 pounds of tomatoes a week during the height of summer.

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

Robots on the farm

May 31, 2012
Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

There’s always work to be done on the farm, but often it’s the same work day, after day, after day. Parts of the job must feel a bit like an assembly line.

While it’s impossible to automate farming like many manufacturers have automated their assembly lines, using robotic technology on the farm might not be so far off.

Farm robots in the classroom

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

File Photo / KBIA

River flooding is expected to be a major topic at the upcoming Missouri Governor's Conference on Agriculture. (AP)