News

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The Department of Agriculture has improved the federal Conservation Stewardship Program, offering $100 million to landowners taking steps to conserve soil and natural resources.  But, they’re doing a poor job of telling farmers about it reports Bruce Knight for Agri-Pulse.

Knight says high profile initiatives like providing habitat for the lesser prairie chicken or conserving the Ogallala Aquifer are getting all the attention because of political priorities.  He says what excites him are the enhancements embracing modern precision agriculture technology, soil health, cover crops and fertilizer management.

bearlyvisible.net

Keeping it all in the family, Skip takes a short trip back in time and learns how to keep her mother's violets alive.  And in doing so she develops her own keepsakes for the future.

USDA

Agriculture drinks up 80 percent of the freshwater in America every year.  Every five years the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports just how much that is, for what crops, and at what cost reports the National Geographic.

The latest survey shows corn is still king, using 14 percent more irrigation than the last report. 

wikipedia.org

The most common jobs are changing.  Across the high plains, truck drivers dominate. 

Why?  NPR reports there are a few reasons:

kansaspublicradio.org

Hundreds of LGBT activists held a rally outside the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka Saturday. They were protesting Governor Sam Brownback for withdrawing protections for state employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The group Equality Kansas led the rally, where several state lawmakers and activists spoke. Micah Kubic (Mike-uh Cubic) of the Kansas branch of the ACLU told the crowd that Brownback’s actions have set the entire state back.

HPPR welcomes Don Conoscenti back to Amarillo for a Living Room Concert on Saturday, February 21, 7:30pm, at The Chalice Abbey, 2717 Stanley Street (across from Hastings on Georgia) in Amarillo.

To make a reservation for this show, call us at 806-367-9088 or send an e-mail to music@hppr.org. This is Don's 2nd appearance for HPPR; don't miss it!

Stephen Koranda / kansaspublicradio.org

Kansas reinstated the death penalty in 1994, but has not yet executed anyone in last 20 years. Opponents of the death penalty are hoping to replace the option with life in prison without the possibility of parole. Anti-death penalty advocates are renewing their push to change the law reports Stephen Koranda for Kansas Public Radio.

The Holdouts

Feb 16, 2015

Three families who took a pass on the fracking boom-- and what it cost them.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Across the Corn Belt, farmers are signing up for Farm Bill support programs and which ones they choose will impact the overall price tag for taxpayers.

Projections for the cost of these commodity programs are blowing past the amounts originally budgeted just a year ago, when the Farm Bill was enacted, leaving the possibility that U.S. taxpayers will pay out billions more than planned.

Simply put, this is not your dad's Bob Dylan.   'Shadows In The Night' is Bob's 36th release, and none of the tunes were composed by him. It's a collection of tunes from the Great American Songbook, featuring classics like Autumn Leaves and That Lucky Old Sun.

We will listen to all 10 tracks this week on High Plains Morning.

Over a decade ago, I lucked into a National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar titled  The Great Plains: Texas to Saskatchewan.  For five weeks,  Tom Isern  led 19 other teachers and I to read and analyze literary and historical texts, discuss conclusions, and visit iconic sites to better understand what it means to live on the plains.

Winter Catfishin

Feb 13, 2015
Luke Clayton

The dead of winter is prime time for catching giant blue catfish. The listening area of High Plains Public Radio encompasses some of the very best catfishing waters in the country. In today's show, Luke highlights some of his favorite catfish waters and discusses a big catfish tournament down in Texas that is scheduled later this month, details at kingkatusa.com.   

In Oklahoma and Texas, under state law, some workers could lose their jobs if they don’t repay their college loans.

Professionals in at least 22 states can lose the licensure required to do their jobs if they fall into default on their student loans, according to labor and worker’s rights advocacy group Jobs With Justice.

To limit sales, states propose legalizing raw milk

Feb 12, 2015
Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media

The federal government banned raw milk sales across state lines nearly three decades ago because it poses a threat to public health. The Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Medical Association all strongly advise people not to drink it.

Derek Ramsey/Wikimedia

A new report from the environmental group The Center for Food Safety says a Monsanto herbicide is to blame for a vast decline in the monarch butterfly population.

The Glyphosate herbicide, commonly known as Roundup, destroys weeds, including the common milkweed. And that’s a problem for monarch butterfly caterpillars, which only eat the plant.

As milkweed has disappeared from Midwest farms, there’s been a steady decline in the number of monarchs overwintering in Mexico.

Orchids 101

Feb 11, 2015
wikipediacommons.org

Growing your own orchids can be challenging unless you plan ahead and consider investing some time in learning what makes these tropical flowers so special to so many floral fans.  Today we'll talk about air, water, light, and growing mediums.

nbcnews.com

Colorado veterinarians are warning pet owners that the number of dogs accidentally eating pot products is on the rise reports Vermont Public Radio.

Apryl Steele is the past president of the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association.  She says since pot became legal in Colorado, they’ve seen a four-fold increase in the number of dogs treated for accidentally ingesting it.  Steele says THC is much more toxic to dogs who don’t understand the concept of eating just a little. 

kansas.com

There’s bill being heard by the Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee today that creates a higher tier of foster care reports the Wichita Eagle

This level pays at a substantially higher rate and families in the program would be eligible for state education aid to either home school or send their foster kids to private school.

The bill is introduced by Sen. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona.  He says he wants to provide stability for children.

To be eligible for this program, a husband and wife have to be married for at least seven years, one cannot work outside the home.  They must keep their home free of liquor and tobacco, and refrain from extramarital sex.   

Lost Home Movie Footage of Selma March Discovered

Feb 10, 2015
texasarchive.org/

In the summer of 2014, the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI) went to Amarillo to collect Texas-related films and videos from the Panhandle community for our free digitization program.  One donor, Joe Jeoffrey, brought in a large collection of 16 millimeter family films from the 1960s. While we are always excited by 16mm film, which produces a sharp, dynamic image, we were especially enthusiastic to receive this collection after Jeoffrey disclosed that one reel might contain his father's footage of the Selma march.

wikipedia.org

Kyle Dillard, a Milnesand, NM, rancher is taking advantage of an NRCS program. He's a cow/calf man in eastern New Mexico - right in the middle of a large Lesser Prairie-Chicken population.

hdmlawoffice.com

What are the issues that families need to discuss when they begin to talk about estate planning?  What process do they use?  Why do they need to do it? How do they get started? 

These are just a few of the topics which will be covered in two regional “Preserving the Family with Estate Planning” workshops offered by K-State Research and Extension in northwest Kansas in February.

Sales at farmers markets are slowing dramatically, but that's not necessarily bad news for farmers.

Liberty Theater (Amarillo Downtown, Inc.) / myhighplains.com

The Liberty Theater could be getting a chance at a second life reports Channel Four News in Amarillo. 

The historic theater was built in 1921.  It was the only place African-Americans were welcome.

It’s been vacant for years, but a group of people are working to redevelop the building into a place for artists to perform.

kscorn.com/

Hundreds of corn farmers across the state of Kansas attended Corn School this year reports Seedbuzz.  If you wonder what producers learn at corn school, here are some lessons they took away:

  • You have to soil test.  David Mengel is a soil fertility specialist at KSU.  He shared this quote from North Dakota counterparts, "Producers would not dare go to the field without checking the oil in their tractor engine. One should approach soil testing in the same manner."
     

Diana Krall chose, once again, to do the unexpected with her latest release.  ‘Wallflower’ is a collection of some of the most iconic pop tunes from the 60’s and 70’s- Eagles, Elton John, Beatles, Crowded House and more.  Given the choice of material, the choice of David Foster as producer and arranger is an inspired one. We will take a trip down memory lane with ‘Wallflower’ this week on High Plains Morning.  

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

When Jon Slutsky’s dairy farm in Wellington, Colo. is fully staffed, it’s a moment to celebrate. A full roster of employees at Slutsky’s La Luna Dairy is rare these days.

“We’re doing really well with our employee base,” Slutsky said. “A year ago, we couldn’t say that. We were short.”

With the farm’s 1,500 cows waiting to be milked, Slutsky and his wife Susan Moore felt panicked, worried they didn’t have enough hands on deck to milk about 200 cows per hour.

ninetyone.canby.k12.or.us

Kansas is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to kids taking advantage of the Summer Food Service Program.  Only 7 percent of eligible children participate.  That’s the lowest in the nation reports the Hays Daily News.

One reason for dismal participation rates in a state where one out of every four children live in poverty could be the lack of serving sites. 

The Kansas State Department of Education reports there are 40 counties statewide with no serving site.  The only counties in northwest Kansas with summer programs are Ellis, Russell, and Smith counties. 

endorevblog.com

Fans of the Pulitzer Prize winning “To Kill a Mockingbird” know Harper Lee is planning to release an unexpected sequel to the famous story later this year.  But, you may not know the private author has ties to the Sunflower State reports KSN.

Before she was internationally recognized for “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Harper Lee spent some time in Garden City working on another famous book.

Laurie Oshel is the assistant director of Finney County Historical Society.  She says, “Lee came to Garden City in late 1959, early 1960 with Truman Capote.”

coloradopreservation.org/

2016 is the centennial year of the National Park Service.  President Obama’s budget request for the coming year includes $3 billion for the bureau’s critical conservation, preservation, and recreation mission reports the Lamar Ledger.  That’s a boost of almost $433 million.

The national parks in southeastern Colorado plan on using the increase to add seasonal park rangers, deliver more educational programs, and address maintenance backlogs.

Alexa Roberts is the superintendent of Bent’s Old Fort and Sand Creek Massacre National Historic sites.  She says the President’s budget highlights the importance of investing in a historic effort to attract and host more visitors.  It also helps leverage additional private philanthropy for the parks. 

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