farming http://hppr.org en Fewer farms kids but record Future Farmers http://hppr.org/post/fewer-farms-kids-record-future-farmers <p></p><p>The blue corduroy jacket worn by high school students in FFA, formerly the Future Farmers of America, is an icon of rural life. To the average city dweller the jacket is a vestige of dwindling, isolated farm culture, as fewer and fewer young people grow up on farms. The numbers tell a different story however. In spite of that demographic shift, a record number of kids are donning blue jackets this year.</p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 05:00:01 +0000 Luke Runyon 30016 at http://hppr.org Fewer farms kids but record Future Farmers Sticker shock – it’s not just on new tractors anymore http://hppr.org/post/sticker-shock-it-s-not-just-new-tractors-anymore <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Buying a new farm tractor costs almost as much as a new home in a decent suburb. &nbsp;</span></p><p>Shelling out $200,000 or more for shiny new John Deere, Case IH, New Holland or other name brand horsepower to work the fields of a 21<sup>st</sup>&nbsp;century Midwestern farm isn&rsquo;t unusual, farmers and dealers say.</p> Thu, 26 Sep 2013 03:27:51 +0000 Gene Meyer 22125 at http://hppr.org Sticker shock – it’s not just on new tractors anymore End of Tax Break Could Affect Tractor Sales http://hppr.org/post/end-tax-break-could-affect-tractor-sales <p></p><p>On a hot August day in late August, Kevin Bien stands in the shade of a large gray piece of farm equipment.&nbsp; The brand marketing manager for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gleanercombines.com/">Gleaner Combines</a>&nbsp;gives his best spiel to a group of farmers attending the&nbsp;<a href="http://farmprogressshow.com/">Farm progress Show</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;in Decatur, Ill.&nbsp;&nbsp; Torque, efficiency, and new technology are among his key points for the prospective buyers of the large machines that can run anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Tue, 24 Sep 2013 04:41:21 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 22031 at http://hppr.org End of Tax Break Could Affect Tractor Sales Still farming, despite disability http://hppr.org/post/still-farming-despite-disability <p></p><p>One sign that you have strong farm roots is when your rural road is named for your family.</p><p>I met Steve Quandt on Quandt Road, north of Grand Island, Neb., on the farm that used to belong to his grandfather. It’s the place he remembers spending days as a kid, from morning to night, helping milk cows, work the fields and repair machinery.</p><p>He followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, building his own farming operation. But that path was suddenly interrupted nearly six years ago.</p> Sat, 24 Aug 2013 05:00:01 +0000 Grant Gerlock 20612 at http://hppr.org Still farming, despite disability Both ways for Buffet: GMO and Organic http://hppr.org/post/both-ways-buffet-gmo-and-organic <p></p><p>A Midwestern farmer with a well-known last name has set out to fight hunger on a global scale. Howard G. Buffett is the son of Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world. The younger Buffett believes that to help people, you must first make sure they can feed themselves. He has a 3,200-acre farm in Illinois and another in Arizona, where research is being done in hopes of learning how Africans can become better farmers.</p> Thu, 22 Aug 2013 05:00:01 +0000 Peggy Lowe 20548 at http://hppr.org Both ways for Buffet: GMO and Organic Doing More With Less Water http://hppr.org/post/doing-more-less-water <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The future of agriculture across the Great Plains hinges on water. Without it, nothing can grow.</span></p><p>Climate models&nbsp;<a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/article/thirsty-cities-drain-colorado-farmland">and population growth</a>&nbsp;paint a pretty bleak picture for water availability a few decades from now. If farmers want to stay in business, they have to figure out how to do more with less. Enter: super efficient irrigation systems.</p><p> Wed, 21 Aug 2013 05:00:01 +0000 Luke Runyon 20491 at http://hppr.org Doing More With Less Water Howard Buffett: Farmer of the world http://hppr.org/post/howard-buffett-farmer-world <p></p><p>Five years ago, Howard G. Buffett was at a meeting of an international food aid agency when he was told that feeding the millions of starving people in Africa was simple.</p><p>Just give them better seeds, someone said.</p><p>That advice might work on some philanthropists. But Buffett, son of billionaire Warren Buffett, happens to be an Illinois farmer.</p><p>“This guy was explaining to me how to farm and he’d never been on a farm in his life,” he said. “So it really kind of irritated me. I came home and said, ‘OK, I’m going to have data to show these guys.’”</p> Sat, 17 Aug 2013 04:57:00 +0000 Peggy Lowe 20349 at http://hppr.org Howard Buffett: Farmer of the world Estate taxes can complicate farm transitions http://hppr.org/post/estate-taxes-can-complicate-farm-transitions <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Welsh-born immigrant William R. Charles in 1868 fought an uphill battle with Indians and grasshoppers when he homesteaded 400 acres of well watered crop and timberland in Republic County, Kan., that his great-grandchildren farm today. The family’s first log cabin burned to the ground in December, 1869 and they dug through two feet of frozen dirt to find shelter.</span></p><p>Today, Charles’ grandchildren, great-grandchildren and their children are far flung from that homestead, Valley Point Farm, 240 miles northwest of Kansas City.</p> Sat, 27 Jul 2013 03:35:00 +0000 Gene Meyer 19283 at http://hppr.org Estate taxes can complicate farm transitions Metal thefts plague farm country http://hppr.org/post/metal-thefts-plague-farm-country <p></p> Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Payne Roberts 19068 at http://hppr.org Metal thefts plague farm country Want to invest in farmland? Join the crowd http://hppr.org/post/want-invest-farmland-join-crowd <p></p><p>The new company&nbsp;<a href="https://fquare.com/">Fquare</a> is bringing crowd-sourcing to the increasingly lucrative market of investing in farmland.</p> Sat, 20 Jul 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 19067 at http://hppr.org Want to invest in farmland? Join the crowd Video Documentary: Aging of the American Farmer http://hppr.org/post/video-documentary-aging-american-farmer <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Farmers are getting older.&nbsp; They’re working longer, staying on the land later and continuing to do what they’ve done for decades: heading out day after day after day to work their land.</span></p> Mon, 15 Jul 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Grant Gerlock 18798 at http://hppr.org Video Documentary: Aging of the American Farmer Young dreams, huge obstacles http://hppr.org/post/young-dreams-huge-obstacles <p></p><p>While the farming community continues to age fewer young people are filling the ranks, prompting the question: Do young people even want to farm anymore?</p><p>The quick answer is yes, just not in the same numbers as they used to. And surveys indicate many of them don’t want to farm in conventional ways.</p> Sat, 13 Jul 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 18725 at http://hppr.org Young dreams, huge obstacles Retiring to the farm anything but quiet http://hppr.org/post/retiring-farm-anything-quiet <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It’s not just lifelong farmers who feel the pull of the land as they get older. For some Americans, retirement is an opportunity to begin the farming dream.</span></p><p>“I wanted to be able to be active and have a pastime that ensured physical activity,” said beginning farmer Tom Thomas, who at 65 still has the physical fitness to wrestle and brand steers at his son’s ranch in Oklahoma.&nbsp;</p><p>Thomas retired two years ago after teaching exercise physiology for 35 years and he knew what he wanted to do next.</p> Thu, 11 Jul 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Abbie Fentress Swanson 18617 at http://hppr.org Retiring to the farm anything but quiet Facing the family farm legacy http://hppr.org/post/facing-family-farm-legacy <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Driving out of the western Iowa town of Panora, the winding roads offer broad vistas of rolling hills. Many of the mailboxes along Redwood Road show the name Arganbright. Jim Arganbright grew up in this area, one of 10 children. He and his wife, Beverly, have eight kids.</span></p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Amy Mayer 18550 at http://hppr.org Facing the family farm legacy How long can you farm? http://hppr.org/post/how-long-can-you-farm <p></p><p><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt; line-height: 11.25pt;">Working beyond retirement is a fairly common refrain these days. In 2012, 5 percent of the U.S. workforce was beyond retirement age. But farmers seem to work longer than most. In the last Agriculture Census 25 percent of all farm operators were over 65 years old.</span></p> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Grant Gerlock 18469 at http://hppr.org How long can you farm? Budget cuts and wider competition for USDA's 'rural' dollars http://hppr.org/post/budget-cuts-and-wider-competition-usdas-rural-dollars <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">As lawmakers debate the Farm Bill in Washington, millions of dollars are at stake for small businesses across the country. Rural development grants go out to everything from home loans to water projects to small co-ops.</span></p> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 05:01:01 +0000 Luke Runyon 17155 at http://hppr.org Budget cuts and wider competition for USDA's 'rural' dollars The Tricky Business of Running a CSA http://hppr.org/post/tricky-business-running-csa <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Within the local food movement, the <a href="http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/csa/csa.shtml" target="_blank"><strong>community supported agriculture</strong></a>, or CSA, model is praised. It’s considered one of the best ways to restore a connection to the foods we eat. Consumers buy a share of a farmer’s produce up front as a shareholder and then reap the rewards at harvest time. But as Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon reports running a CSA can bring some tricky business decisions.</span></p> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 03:27:13 +0000 Luke Runyon 17390 at http://hppr.org The Tricky Business of Running a CSA Refugees find home on the farm http://hppr.org/post/refugees-find-home-farm <p></p><p>On a small farm in suburban West Des Moines, Iowa, even the barn is a refugee—an historic structure relocated from nearby Valley High School. The farmers, most of them refugees, are just starting to hoe the land, each one working a 50-foot by 50-foot plot where they’ll grow corn, beans, cabbage, eggplant, onions, tomatoes and peppers.</p> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 05:01:00 +0000 Amy Mayer 17053 at http://hppr.org Refugees find home on the farm My Farm Roots: From pastime to passion http://hppr.org/post/my-farm-roots-pastime-passion <p></p><p>Aaron Troester’s life both did, and didn’t, turn out exactly the way he planned.</p><p>The 29-year-old farmer in the north-central Nebraska town of O’Neill was pouring honey into jars from bees he keeps when I met him. I soon learned he had a chemistry degree and had planned to go to medical school, but the lure of the land he farms with his father changed his mind.</p> Tue, 18 Sep 2012 22:26:06 +0000 Hilary Stohs-Krause 6576 at http://hppr.org My Farm Roots: From pastime to passion