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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Up From the Roots

Today, I'm thinking about how the plants, in my garden, are similar to public radio on the prairie.  Some of my plants come from seeds, some are off-shoots of parents plants, some started as cuttings or grafts relocated from other gardens and plants.  Some are divisions, where I have dug up the parent plant, divided it, and then planted the "kids" in a new spot.  

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High Plains History Episode
8:01 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Prejudice and Pride

Velma Wancura 41966

It was hard to be German during World War I.  Velma Wancura's father hired extra help during harvest time.  She said you had to be careful not to hire a German sympathizer or a spy. 

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HPPR Environment
3:45 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Who's on the hook for nearly $17 billion paid to farmers?

The extent and degree of 2012 crop losses is clear in this map of crop insurance policy payouts.
Credit USDA Risk Management Agency

Nearly $17 billion has been paid out to farmers in crop insurance indemnities to cover the losses from the catastrophic drought of 2012, the government reported this week.

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Who will reign supreme?
3:59 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Pet Challenge Day!

Vote Now!

April 23rd is Pet Challenge Day at HPPR! Who will reign supreme? Cats? Dogs? Iguanas? Vote now and pledge your support for great public radio now! (Pledge Here)

For every $100 pledged to HPPR today, we'll donate one underwriting announcement to benefit humane societies. For example, a goal of $7,500 for that day would net 75 announcements. That would be over 12 announcements per month to be aired during regular programming over the next six months.

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Upcoming Meetings
6:25 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Upcoming Community Advisory Council and Board Meeting

HPPR board meeting in Colby, KS

The Community Advisory Council meets via conference call or in-person periodically throughout the year.The next meeting will be Wednesday, July 16 at 6pm via phone conference. Contact Deb Oyler, Executive Director, at 1-800-678-7444 or director@hppr.org for more information.

KANZA Society Inc (governing board for HPPR) will meet Saturday, July 19th at 9am in Hays, KS. The Annual Meeting will be Saturday, July 19th at 1pm in Hays, KS.

new members matched with $50
6:14 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

New Member Match

Thanks to generous support from the Dr. Luther and Ardis Fry donor advised fund at the Western Kansas Community Foundation, we'll be able to match every new member's pledge, made at any level,  with an additional $50 contribution (Pledge Here)

If there was ever a time to join the community of public radio supporters that make HPPR possible, that time is now!

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
7:43 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Money Grows... in the Garden

Money Plant, or Lunaria is known for its silvery, white seed pods that resemble coins of the realm. It is a biennial.  Clusters of lavender flowers bloom in the spring, and the flat seed pods form the second summer.  The coin-shaped pods are beautiful in dried arrangements. 
To dry the pods, simply cut when they are fully developed, gather them into a bunch, and hang upside down in a place where the air circulates well until they are completely dry, usually two to three weeks.  The brown husks on the sides of the seed pods can be removed by gently rubbing the pod between your thumb and finger. 

Double your support
6:45 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Final Challenge Ends Soon!

We've been issued a challenge from our current listener-members! Thanks to their generous support, every pledge made A Prairie Home Companion will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $1,500.  Pledge Here 

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High Plains History Episode
8:01 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

The Root Cause of Stingy

Velma Whipple Wancura around 1930

Go back to May, 1935.  Velma and Ted Wancura have a young son.  They haven't had a wheat crop in years, or rain for that matter.  Most of their cattle herd has been lost in the dust storms.  A tornado took their house.  The Wancuras moved a vacant house in to replace it.

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Play Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Conservation Easements and Land Trust Organizations

Credit Ducks Unlimited

More than half of western Great Plains farmers are near retirement age. Many are considering conservation easements as a way of protecting the land from development and subdivision long after they're gone. The federal government, through USDA programs, negotiate easements on land meeting conservation requirements. Other organizations - Land Trusts - have been created specifically for contracting with landowners to quell future development rights to the land. This episode the functions of land trusts and what they're able to accomplish. This story is part one of a four-part series on Conservation Easements. It originally aired on HPPR April 16, 2013

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Whad'ya Say?
1:42 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

How does HPPR enrich, engage and empower you?

We want to hear from you!

We've asked our members to share how HPPR enriches, engages and empowers their lives and communities and  compiled a list below.

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Prairie Ramblings Episode
8:01 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Blooming Turkeys

Outback Steakhouse may advertise blooming onions, but I know where turkeys bloom in  green fields near my house.  Like a rose going from a tight bud to full summer bloom, those big ol’ gobblers put on a show. Puffing their feathers and spreading their fan-shape tails into a full blown sail, they strut and rattle.  All this action occurs to woo nearby hens that coyly scan the area for insects and greens.

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High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:01 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Squirrels Unlimited

Squirrel hunting was a big deal when I was growing up in Northeast Texas.  My mother was a great wild game cook.  Crispy fried squirrel and smothered squirrel were a couple of our favorite meals.  Did you know that there is a group dedicated to squirrel hunting?  Squirrels Unlimited.  Yes, I said Squirrels Unlimited, not Ducks.  

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Storm season
9:22 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Severe weather coverage by HPPR

In order to provide notification of severe weather to the public, most of HPPR’s transmitter sites are equipped to continuously monitor the National Weather Service (NWS) and immediately interrupt regular programming and directly broadcast any severe weather warning issued by the NWS.  These warnings include severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings. 

The list below identifies the counties covered by this notification service.  Next to the county is the HPPR station(s) to tune to in order to hear the NWS warnings.

KANSAS

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Help close the gap
6:48 am
Thu April 11, 2013

HPPR's Spring Drive continues (quietly)

HPPR's Spring Membership Drive has ended, but if you didn't have a chance to pledge your support, you can still help  close the gap! You can keep public radio on the High Plains strong by pledging now.

This spring HPPR also wants to know how public radio enriches, engages and empowers you and your community on the High Plains. (You can use the comment section at the end of this post.)

By selecting a new, additional or renewing membership level that’s comfortable for you (pledge here) you'll give a strong finish to our April goal of $110,000.

Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Flowering Quince

Suffering from a bout of spring fever, Skip succumbed to the purchase of a plant that produced beautiful blossoms even before planting time.  However, balmy spring weather was quickly replaced by a spring snowstorm, forcing the shower of flowers indoors.  There it still brightened the corner where it was with scarlet colors and a promise of a garden show to come.

High Plains History Episode
8:01 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Dark Cloud on the Horizon

The mid 1930's were the dry years on the high plains.  The drought has taken so much, a tornado took their home, but one young couple continue to persevere.  Velma and Ted Wancura were creative problem solvers.  They had 150 head of cattle, but no grass in the pasture. so   Ted and his brother harvested the cactus that remained for feed.  After burning the spines off with a blow torch, the cactus were placed in a cattle tank where the were well received.  When they were gone, Ted fabricated a truck bed to haul beet tops from the Garden City sugar factory, approximately 50 miles away, where the farm land was irrigated.  That solution worked until weather conditions worsened. 

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Playa Country episode
6:05 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Weaver Ranch Grazing Conservation

Shinnery Oak Leaf
Credit Max Licher

When Jim Weaver purchased his ranch in southeast New Mexico in the 1980s, some decades of mismanagement had left grassland overrun by shinnery, short shin-oak plants that impede grass growth by sequestering water in the root system. Weaver Ranch manager Willard Heck discusses benefits of limiting shin-oak to let the tall grasses return.

This Episode of Playa Country originally aired as part of the Grazing Management series on November 6, 2012. I was repeated April 9, 2013 as part of the Landowner Stories series.

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Prairie Ramblings Episode
8:01 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Spring Concert

For some, spring heralds the arrival of green leaves and flowers.  For others, it is a time to plant the garden in anticipation of summer’s bounty.  For me, spring signals the opportunity to fall asleep each night to nature’s jam sessions and to awaken to her symphonies in the morning.

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High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:01 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Hmmm.... Shark Fillet

Last week, Captain Mike Williams was on the show, and we talked about catching shark.  Today, I got him on the line, and we started talking cooking shark.  One of our favorite sharks to eat is a Black Tip, and the best eating size is the 30-50 pounder. 

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
12:48 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Lavender

This week we'll look at one of the oldest and most loved plants in the herb garden.  The numerous types of lavender are often named for their country of origin, with Spanish, French, and English lavenders among the top competitors in any popularity contest.  Originally used for medicinal purposes, it is now listed as the top aromatic herb around the globe.

High Plains History Episode
8:01 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

No Home to Go To

In 1935, there had been no rain and no wheat crop for the Wancuras.  One day, Velma and Ted decided to drive to Beehler to a farm sale about 14 miles north.  On the way home, they stopped at her parent's home in Beehler to say hello.  The weather turned.  Velma's dad told them to stay for the night. 

The next day they started out for home.  They met a neighbor on the road, who told them there was no reason to travel any further, a tornado had destroyed their home.  It was scattered for miles.  

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Harvest Public Media story
4:12 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

A new frontier in genetically engineered food

Kevin Wells has been genetically engineering animals for 24 years.

“It’s sort of like a jigsaw puzzle,” said Wells recently as he walked through his lab at the University of Missouri - Columbia. “You take DNA apart and put it back together in different orders, different orientations.”

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Harvest Public Media story
3:14 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Taxing complications for farmers and an April 15 deadline

This tax season is an unusual one for farmers.

“Farmers didn’t necessarily have a great crop to harvest, but they harvested a huge amount of income last year. It was one of the biggest years, inflation-adjusted, since going back to the 1970s,” said Roger McEowen, who runs the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State University.

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Playa Country episode
11:53 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Playa Renovation: Jan Minton Ranch Floyd, TX

Credit Oklahoma Conservation Commission

We examine Jan Minton's ranch, the family operation she took over in Floyd Co., Texas. It had been "farmed to death," she said, and two playa lakes were in poor condition. Bill Johnson, a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist, developed a restoration plan that involved silt removal, playa repair, and a native grass and forbs plant buffer around the playas' margins. This story is part two of a four-part series on playa health and originally aired on HPPR on February 19, 2013. The story was repeated April 2, 2013 as part of the Landowner Stories series.

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Prairie Ramblings Episode
8:01 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Eggs and Antlers

I hated leaving childhood and the annual Easter morning search for hidden goodies behind. Until I discovered shed hunting, the adult equivalent of a child’s egg hunt, I didn’t know grown-ups could still experience the thrill of finding well-hidden treasure, in this case antlers camouflaged by tall grass.  My husband introduced me to this spring ritual soon after we met. Discovering that first drop thrilled me the same way finding Easter prizes brightened my early years.

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High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:01 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Here Fishie Fishie...

There are few fishing trips more exciting than shark fishing.  My friend, Captain Mike Williams of Galveston, Texas, told me it was like standing on a corner, a Harley comes by going about 80 mph- downtown with both barrels, and you throw a hook out to snag it.  That described it exactly right.  It's a heck of a fight.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Spanish Moss a.k.a Gray Beard

A trip from the High Plains to the Coastal Plains of South Carolina brought Skip lots of new gardening images and ideas.  One of the most interesting botanical finds was Spanish moss, a wispy airplant  with an unusual history.  This week Growing on the High Plains will take a look at an area of the country that is as botanically different from the flatlands of Kansas as day is different from night.

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High Plains History Episode
8:01 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

The Dry Years

The hard times began long before the dust storms that inspired movies, documentaries, and books.  There was no rain, no crops, wheat was .25 cents a bushel, which would have been something if there was any wheat to harvest.  For Velma Wancura, the dry years meant going back to work as a teacher.    That wage supported her family.   

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Playa Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Ogallala Aquifer Conservation: Playa renovation on the Grissom Ranch

Credit Playa Lakes Joint Venture

Southeast Colorado rancher Grady Grissom and Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory manager Seth Gallagher discuss renovation of a playa on the Grissom Ranch. The wetland had been "pitted," and a flat playa bottom was restored, which normalized plant-life, then birdlife, around the playa.

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