Cindee Talley

Regional Programming Director

As Regional Programming Director, Cindee develops and produces HPPR’s regional information and feature programming, including working closely with volunteer individuals and organizations from across the region with knowledge, experience and perspectives to share.

Cindee is a native of Western Nebraska and a graduate of the University of South Dakota who followed her love of public radio and passion for rural life to High Plains Public Radio.  She joined HPPR in August, 2010, assuming the role of Regional Programming Director.  Simply put, she strives to provide listeners a sense of the High Plains- in all its dimensions of environment, history, enterprise, and culture that stretch beyond geography.  

Location:Garden City, KS studios

Phone: (800) 678-7444 or (620) 275-7444

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Imagine eHarmony for agricultural employers and workers. That’s how western Kansas farmer Mark Pettijohn describes Nebraska-based Hansen-Agri-placement.

No one really knows why the High Plains are so high in elevation, but researchers at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado are proposing a new explanation.

Discussion was limited to four questions decided prior to the second regional water planning meeting in WaKeeney. Halting water declines at their current levels led one table’s discuss to the conclusion of “no irrigation and more education.” Water quality and nutrients steered to criticism of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the division of Water Resources for proposed regulations. Another group discussion asked the question, “How do you get people from broadly different backgrounds to come together, sit down, and discuss solutions?”

cpr.org

For the first time in more than a decade enrollment in the federal food stamp program fell in Colorado reports Colorado Public Radio.  The rate dropped to 8.6 percent in 2013 according to data released from the U.S. Census Bureau.  The previous year close to 10 percent of Coloradoans received food stamps.

Colorado enrollment rates increased sharply during the recession. 

Only 3.3 percent were enrolled in 2000.  

John Hanna / The Topeka Capital-Journal

When it comes to Kansas universities and the budget, there are winners and there are losers.  This report from The Topeka Capital-Journal.  A Senate subcommittee took $9.4 million from the budget of the University of Kansas main campus in Lawrence, and gave $7.4 million of it to the KUMC expansion program in Sedgwick County.  $2 million must be diverted to medical student scholarships.

Three legislative bills before the Nebraska Unicameral are being called "a corporate assault on family farmers and rural communities." They lift the ban on packer ownership for hogs, replace county zoning of livestock facilities with a statewide matrix, and provide infrastructure grants to "livestock friendly" counties to facilitate large-scale livestock development.

Quail were once plentiful in Texas. But, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife officials the population has fallen over 60 percent in the last 30 years, and it continues to crash reports Texas Public Radio. A group of ranchers are working to restore habitat and bring back native birds.

Despite long-held suspicions that Oklahoma’s earthquake surge was linked to oil and gas activity, the Oklahoma Geological Survey stay silent amid pressure from oil company executives. State Seismologist Austin Holland admits “intense personal interest” from energy company executives, but says it never affected his scientific findings.

Agriculture seems to be under attack by the Kansas legislature reports Amy Bickel for Hutch News. Bickel says in the last two weeks two ag taxation bills could generate more than $900 million combined. That could mean a big difference in the budget gap. But, it would increase agriculture land values by an average of 473 percent.

The Kansas Farm Bureau with support from the Kansas Corn Growers Association is working to put a price tag on saving the prairie chicken. Their message is economic disaster. Jim Sipes is a farmer in Stanton County. There’s been a large reduction in the amount of intent to drill permits that began prior to the drop in oil prices. Sipes says the decrease is largely due to the $46,000 to $83,000 mitigation fee per drilled well companies have to pay for disrupting the bird’s habitat. He says it’s even worse for the wind industry. Three projects have been stopped, and the mitigation fee for each wind tow is $400,000 to $1 million depending on the value of the habitat. There’s also a fee for transmission lines which is roughly $870,000 a mile. These costs are associated with the species having the threatened tag. If the chicken is listed as endangered, it will change everything.

During annual inventory, it was discovered that 1.121 steer calves were missing from the Braums 24,000 acre facility in the Texas Panhandle.

Kansas has the highest rate of students starting at a two-year public institution and finishing with a degree from a four-year college or university. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center's annual report lists only five states above 20 percent. They are: Kansas, Texas, Iowa, North Dakota, and Virginia.

A Texas state senator says, "when you fail to invest in your infrastructure, your infrastructure deteriorates." The Lone Star state is seeing that up close and personal.

protecttheharvest.com

Right-to-farm has made its way to the Sooner State.  It’s a topic that puts agriculture at odds with environmentalists and animal rights advocates reports StateImpact Oklahoma.

The right-to-farm amendment recently passed by a narrow margin in Missouri. 

Now there’s a similar bill in Oklahoma.  Rep. Scott Biggs is sponsoring the measure.  He’s a Republican from Chickasha. 

If it passes it will add this to the state constitution:

Jeff Bell

When our land is not covered with a brief blanket of white, “this is the time of the year when the grass is a dormant shade of brown and trees are denuded of leaves,” says Jeff Bell. 

Bell is a travel blogger.  His website is called Planet Bell

He usually leaves his camera in the case when he goes home to western Oklahoma.  But, this year he made an effort to get out and take photos, trying to see the land in a new light. 

The results are stunning.

There is an upside to lower oil prices. StateImpact Texas takes a look at consumer trends. Lower prices at the pump might mean more tourists for gems like Palo Duro Canyon.

http://cjonline.com/

Twice as many Kansas children would be in poverty without government aid reports the Topeka Capital-Journal.  Data just released from Kids Count shows government programs have kept over 100,000 Kansas kids out of poverty the past few years.

The Kansas child poverty rate would double to 30 percent without assistance.

The data measures the time period of 2011 to 2013.

More of the story, including reactions to the data from Shannon Cotsoradis, president of  Kansas Action for Children is available from the Topeka Capital-Journal. 

The latest poll from the University of Texas and Texas Tribune shows the federal government isn't winning any popularity contest with Texans.

Kansas said Nebraska used more than its fair share of water out of the Republican River in 2005 and 2006. The Supreme Court agreed, and ordered Nebraska to pay up.

According to a recent survey, Kansas is the only state with an increased number of uninsured.

Josh Davis / rollingstone.com

Sometimes you’ve got to leave home… to see home.  That’s how Rolling Stone says it was for Ryan Culwell. 

Rolling Stone’s Andrew Leahey writes:

According to the Kansas Insurance Department, members of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas and other Blue organizations were also affected by the security breach.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / texastribune.org

Retired Texas state district Judge John Dietz made his first public appearance this weekend.

Deitz spoke at the Association of Texas Professional Educators in Austin.

He says a solution to the state’s unequal and ineffective public education system should come from the Legislature. This report from the Texas Tribune.

He says, "We are dooming a generation of these children by providing an insufficient education, and we can do better."

Dr. Mark Peterson is chair of the political science department at Washburn University, but we may soon get in trouble for telling you this fact. Peterson is a guest commentator for Kansas Public Radio. He offers his thoughts on a bill before the legislature limiting free speech rights of university employees.

Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant were married Thursday morning in Austin. The county clerk issued the couple a marriage license based on a court order. Theirs is Texas' first same-sex marriage. The order, the county clerk's office confirms, will only apply to this one couple, one of whom is "medically fragile."

texastribune.org

Texas State Senator Kel Seliger is working to fast-track a bill giving school officials the option to graduate high school students who have failed state exams.  This report from the Texas Tribune.

Seliger says students who are doing well in school shouldn’t be kept from getting a high school diploma because of a standardized test.

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts met privately with more than a dozen industry groups recently. He says over-regulation is a common theme regardless of the organization. He also said reducing trade barriers and improving federal assistance for ag research are priorities.

deschutesswcd.com

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.

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:

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