Harvest Public Media

How Agriculture is Helping These At-Risk Teens

Feb 5, 2016
Boys Grow / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

A puppy races down the gravel driveway to greet Tyson Hicks-Garlington. The 17-year-old teen rubs its neck as he greets his mentor of several years, John Gordon, Jr. They walk past goats and chickens inside an enormous pen, and stop before lush fields, where Hicks-Garlington introduces himself for the interview with steady eye contact and a firm handshake.

Eric Durban / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

Worried about the price of wheat on the global market, Midwest farmers are planting less wheat.

Nationwide, farmers seeded about 5 million fewer acres in wheat this planting season than they did two years ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Winter Wheat Seedings Report (PDF) issued Tuesday.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

The massive Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, trade deal could require some countries to accept more genetically engineered crops.

The TPP is the largest free trade agreement in history, and while not yet approved by Congress, includes the U.S. and 11 other countries along the Pacific Ocean. 

Brian Seifferlein / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

New federal guidelines for healthy eating announced Thursday do not urge Americans to eat less meat, delivering a big win to Midwest meat farmers and ranchers.  

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

The time is ripe for the sharing economy in farm country.

Much like other Web-based companies like Airbnb or Uber, a site dedicated to leasing and using farm equipment is making available expensive machinery during the times producers need it most. And the idea is taking root as crop and livestock prices trend lower and costs climb higher.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

Advocates for listing the monarch butterfly as threatened under the Endangered Species Act are tired of waiting for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make up its mind.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

Wheat is one of the world’s staple foods and a big crop on the Great Plains, but it has been left in the dust. A corn farmer can grow 44 percent more bushels per acre than 30 years ago, but only 16 percent more wheat. That’s led many farmers to make a switch.

Abby Wendle / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

The U.S. may be on the verge of a boom in new fertilizer plants, which could be good news for farmers, but not the environment.

Today’s farmers can produce more from their land than ever before thanks, in part, to nitrogen fertilizer, a key ingredient that has never been more widely available.

Pipestone Veterinary Services / Harvest Public Media

Veterinarian and researcher Scott Dee doesn’t much look the part of a detective, in his jeans and company polo shirt.

But when a virus never before seen in North America swept through the network of hog farms where he works, Pipestone Veterinary Services, in January 2014, he had his first clue.

“These farms had the same pattern of infection,” Dee said.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

After the patent on one of the most popular versions of genetically engineered soybeans expired this year, U.S. universities are creating new generic GMO soybean varieties, many of which are designed to guard against specific, local pests.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

The value of farmland is riding high, and so are the taxes farmers pay on that property. But as those numbers remain steady, the actual income farmers make from the land has tumbled, leaving some farmers to push for a discount on their tax bill.

Larry Tegeler raises corn and soybeans along with some cattle in northeast Nebraska. He started farming about 30 years ago, and the first land he ever bought was a field near the small town of Meadow Grove.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

Blake Hurst rides ten feet above his soybean field in northern Missouri, looking more like he’s playing a video game than driving a $350,000 high-tech piece of machinery.

Darrell Hoemann / Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

From Harvest Public Media:

About the authorRobert HollyReporter, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

Robert Holly is a reporter with the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

The rural areas in the U.S. where immigrant workers that pick crops like cotton and melons find work often lack the social services and affordable housing vital to integrating new arrivals into a community. That means many farmworker families end up in dilapidated buildings, which can come with health risks.

Migrant workers planting roots

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

Cage-free eggs could be coming to a breakfast near you.

Several large food companies and restaurants, from Starbucks to McDonald’s to Kellogg’s, announced timelines this year for phasing out eggs laid in conventional cages, a victory for animal welfare advocates who have pushed for changes for years.

Environmental Group Pushes Support for New Biofuels

Nov 12, 2015
Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

U.S. energy policy that effectively promotes corn ethanol is holding back a generation of more environmentally sound fuels according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group.

To grow corn for ethanol, farmers have been plowing up new land and fertilizing big crops. Some research says that means corn-based ethanol can have a larger carbon footprint than traditional fuel.

Colorado State University Photography

From Harvest Public Media:

Close to 60,000 jobs are set to open up in agriculture, food and natural resource sectors each year for the next five years, according to a report from Purdue University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media
USDA

From Harvest Public Media:

Updated at 11:30 a.m. with comment from USDA

A senior scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture filed a whistleblower complaint on Wednesday accusing the federal agency of suppressing research findings that could call into question the use of a popular pesticide class that is a revenue powerhouse for the agrichemical industry.

Poncie Rutsch / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

Fort Morgan is a town of about 11,000 people tucked into the farmland of northeastern Colorado. Among its residents are people of Latino and European ancestry, and more recent immigrants, including refugees from eastern Africa.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

After years of work, U.S. negotiators on Monday announced agreement on a trade deal with 11 Pacific Rim nations that is expected to expand export opportunities for U.S. farmers.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

All week, Harvest Public Media’s series Choice Cuts: Meat In America is examining how the meat industry is changing the U.S. food system and the American diet.

Pesticide Drift Threatens Organic Farms

Aug 10, 2015
Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

Chert Hollow Farm sits nestled between rows of tall trees and a nearby stream in central Missouri. Eric and Joanna Reuter have been running the organic farm since 2006. That means they don’t plant genetically modified crops and can only use a few approved kinds of chemicals and fertilizers.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Just over a year ago, Tracy Dethlefs learned she has stage 1 breast cancer. Since then, she estimates she’s charted some 10,000 miles travelling from her farm near Loup City in central Nebraska to area hospitals for treatment. Every surgery, round of chemotherapy and radiation treatment was a road trip.

“Radiation treatments usually (take) only about 5 minutes (on) a day that they have to see you,” Dethlefs said. “But for a week, for seven weeks in a row, you’re driving every single day to the cancer treatment. We’re about an hour away from cancer centers.”

My Farm Roots: Entrusted with a legacy

Sep 25, 2012
Camille Phillips/Harvest Public Media

Down a stretch of rural highway and country roads lined with fields, about an hour south of Lincoln, Neb., lies the Dorn family farm. That’s where Nathan Dorn grew up, where his grandfather farmed before him and where his father, uncles and cousin now farm beside him.

Dorn’s strong ties to the land made the decision to continue the family tradition of farming an easy one. But it also leaves him feeling misunderstood by the average American.

Frank Morris/ Harvest Public Media

Rose Alderson is a bright-eyed, energetic grandmother who loves her home a few miles outside of Nickerson, Kan. It’s the home her father was raised in and where she raised her kids, but the house is not the most important part of the Alderson place.  

Alderson loves the barn and the silo. Neither building plays much of a role on the farm anymore, but to Rose, they are the soul of the place.