Clay Masters

Clay Masters is a reporter for Iowa Public Radio and formerly for Harvest Public Media. His stories have appeared on NPR’s news magazines “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.” In addition to being a husband and father, Masters is a seasoned fly fisherman and studies the solo folk guitar style called American Primitivism.

Shots - Health News
3:21 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Iowa Opens The Doors To Medicaid Coverage, On Its Own Terms

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 4:52 pm

At the Central Iowa Shelter and Services in Des Moines, Iowa, health insurance navigator Andrea Pearce stood in a crowded dining hall on a recent day, shouting instructions on how residents can sign up for Medicaid.

"If you do not have insurance and you want to enroll and you have an e-mail address where you know the password," she said, "come to the computer lab we will guide you through the application."

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Agriculture
8:04 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Organic Food Producers Struggle To Find Grains

James Frantzen, left, and his father Tom Frantzen run an organic farm in New Hampton, Iowa.
Credit Clay Masters / Harvest Public Media

Organic food is a hot market in the U.S.—the Organic Trade Association says that sales over the past five years have grown 35 percent. But there’s a problem in the supply chain – not enough organic grain.

Many producers in the farm belt aren’t willing to take on organic production despite a hefty price premium. That has left organic food companies scrambling to find enough raw ingredients for the products that hit grocery store shelves. Just as corn and soybeans dominate conventional processed food and meat, these same grains are often key ingredients for organic foods.

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Harvest Public Media
7:47 am
Wed September 4, 2013

In Iowa, Government Asks Farmers To Control Runoff

Farmer Tim Smith stands by a creek that cuts through his property near the north-central Iowa town of Eagle Grove. He does several water quality conservation practices on his land including a bio-reactor, strip tilling and cover crops.
Credit Clay Masters / Harvest Public Media

This summer, officials in Iowa have been asking farmers to voluntarily reduce the amount of fertilizer they use. That’s because the fertilizer contains nitrates that are being washed into state waterways and creating environmental concerns locally and nationally. The runoff has been particularly bad this year, and the outcry over typical crop practices is growing.

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Music News
11:11 am
Thu August 22, 2013

A Unique Digital Music Service, For Locals Only

Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios reviews recently donated CDs. Paulios says donations of old music give the library greater freedom to purchase new stuff, as well as license digital versions directly from smaller artists.
Clay Masters

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 12:30 pm

Iowa City librarian Jason Paulios pulls out his smartphone, enters his library-card number and begins downloading an album by local metal band Blizzard at Sea.

"So it's extracting now," he says, eyes on the screen. "It's at about 90 percent."

The download takes about five minutes to complete. Paulios says it's a great way to check out local music: You could be waiting for a concert to start, download an album by the band you're about to see and then listen to it on the way home.

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Music
1:03 am
Sat August 17, 2013

William Tyler Speaks 'Truth' Through His Guitar

William Tyler performs in Iowa City.
Clay Masters

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 6:35 am

William Tyler takes the stage at the Trumpet Blossom Café, a vegan restaurant and bar in Iowa City. Surrounded by effects pedals for his guitar, he wears jeans and black cowboy boots, and his fingernails are about an inch long.

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Business
3:46 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Mississippi River Level Disrupts Supply Chain

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 5:26 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.

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Election 2012
5:31 am
Sat August 18, 2012

King, Vilsack Take House Battle To The Fairground

Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa (right) flips pork chops at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines while Terry Aupperle of Wiota watches. Aupperle lives in Cass County. He can't vote for King anymore because of redistricting.
Clay Masters Iowa Public Radio

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 1:14 pm

One of the country's toughest congressional races is in Iowa between Republican Rep. Steve King and the state's former first lady, Christie Vilsack.

Iowa is losing a seat in the House after the election, due to redistricting. Now ultra-conservative King is facing a more moderate electorate as he runs in the newly redrawn 4th Congressional District against a political newcomer.

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Harvest Public Media
3:03 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

What If Congress Doesn't Pass A Farm Bill?

Ed Greiman, a cattle producer and president-elect of the Iowa Cattlemen, climbs onto the front of a truck hauling silage on his ranch near Garner, Iowa. Like other ranchers, he's getting a feel for what life would be like without a farm bill.
Clay Masters Harvest Public Media

Roy Pralle is an 85-year-old retired farmer from Latimer, Iowa. He spends most afternoons playing cribbage with other retired farmers at Dudley's Corner, a diner attached to a gas station in north-central Iowa.

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Around the Nation
7:01 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Drought Hits Farmers And Residential Landscapers

The drought is beginning to really sink its teeth into the Midwest. More than three-quarters of the nation's corn acres are in a drought zone. In Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, corn crops are burning up and its causing commodity prices to shoot up. Suburban residents are paying to water their lawns, but it isn't doing much good.

Harvest Public Media
7:26 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Control Of Missouri River Divides Communities

Jim Redmond, with the Northwest Iowa Sierra Club, stands along the Missouri River in Sioux City, Iowa. Redmond said the river could handle the rainfall of the 2011 flood, but not when it’s cutoff from the flood plain.
Clay Masters Harvest Public Media

Along a vast stretch of the Missouri River, the floodwaters that ravished homes, businesses and farms last year are not a distant memory. 

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Election 2012
1:53 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Democrat Bob Kerrey Faces Uphill Race In Nebraska

Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey campaigns at a Democratic caucus site on April 14 at Bellevue University in Bellevue, Neb. Kerrey has decided to run again for his old seat in the U.S. Senate.
Clay Masters for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 5:15 pm

Former Nebraska Gov. and two-term Sen. Bob Kerrey, who faces long odds in reclaiming the seat left open by retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson, is in his home state trying to get his old job back.

After a full of morning of shaking hands, smiling and trying to win over voters, Kerrey settles on lunch at the Taqueria Tijuana in south Omaha.

After lunch, he takes off walking down 24th Street, telling his staffers to catch up with him. He says things are different now from when he first sought public office in 1982.

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Harvest Public Media
9:06 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Liberal Arts Degrees Grow Jobs At ConAgra

ConAgra is behind giant brands like Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice and Orville Redenbacher.
Courtesy ConAgra

You might think employees in ConAgra’s Information Technology department are all big-time techies or that they boast computer science degrees from prestigious universities. While some certainly do, ConAgra is one of many companies making hiring decisions that are a bit outside the box.

A few years ago, the company re-vamped its IT intership program looking for more recent graduates with liberal arts degrees.  IT departments are usually heavy on computer scientists and not on those who didn’t climb the traditional techie ladder.

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School Lunches
3:13 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

School Lunch Changes Still In The Works

Food service workers set out Individual salads at a school cafeteria in Lincoln, Neb.
Clay Masters Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media: With more families depending on the National School Lunch Program to feed their children, school districts are gearing up to implement new nutrition guidelines being handed down by the federal government by early next year.

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