Jeremy Bernfeld

Editor, Harvest Public Media

Jeremy Bernfeld is the editor of Harvest Public Media, based at KCUR. New to the Midwest, Jeremy joined Harvest as Multimedia Editor in 2011 from Boston where he helped build wbur.org, named the best news website in the country by the Radio Television Digital News Association. He has covered blizzards and tornadoes and the natural disaster that was the Red Sox’ 2011 season. A proud graduate of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, Jeremy’s work has appeared in the Boston Globe, the (Falmouth, Maine) Forecaster and on NPR’s Only A Game.

Ways to Connect

Farmers can expect a paycut, thanks mostly to an abundance of corn and soybeans.
File: Kathleen Masterson / Harvest Public Media

This year will be another tight one for farmers, at least if the federal government’s predictions are correct.

Farm income will sink to its lowest point since 2009, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast. The USDA expects net farm income will drop 11.5 percent to $71.5 billion this year, which would mark the third-straight year of falling income.

File: Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

Southwest Missouri native Courtney Frerichs is heading to Rio de Janeiro looking for gold.

Frerichs, who hails from Nixa, Missouri, finished second in the steeplechase at the U.S Olympic track and field trials on Thursday, good enough to earn her a ticket to the Olympics in Brazil in August.

U.S. beekeepers report losing many of their hives in recent years, thanks a to a variety of threats.
File: Brian Seifferlein / Harvest Public Media

Late spring is swarm season, the time of year when bees reproduce and find new places to build hives. Swarms of bees leave the nest, flying through the air, hovering on trees, fences and houses, searching for a new home.

Large stockpiles are driving prices lower for some of the nation's most important crops.
File: Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Kansas farmers may be facing some of toughest financial times they have experienced in three decades, largely thanks to low prices for the state’s biggest crops.

The average net farm income for farmers in the state plummeted in 2015 to just $4,568, according to a report released this week by the Kansas Farm Management Association (KFMA). The figure is less than 5 percent of the previous year’s average of $128,731.

The U.S. EPA sets the level of ethanol that oil refiners must blend into the fuel supply.
File: Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

It was clear Thursday at a public hearing on ethanol policy, that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tries to thread a very tricky needle when it establishes renewable fuel plans.

The EPA in May proposed modest increases in the amount of renewable fuels it will require oil refiners to blend into the U.S. gasoline and diesel supply next year – a total of 18.8 billion gallons, up from 18.11 billion gallons this year.

Melissa Wiese / Creative Commons

Food giant General Mills is recalling millions of pounds of flour milled in Kansas City, Missouri, on suspicions that the product is contaminated by a dangerous strain of E. coli bacteria.

Thirty-eight people in 20 states have been infected in the outbreak, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ten have been hospitalized.

Missouri beef producers voted down a referendum that would have established a fund to promote Missouri beef.
File: Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

Missouri’s beef producers roundly rejected a proposal that would have forced them to pay an extra dollar for every head of cattle they sell.

Some in the beef industry wanted to add the fee to create what’s called a state beef checkoff – a fund meant to promote Missouri beef and beef research.

Nearly 75 percent of the beef producers that voted in a state referendum by mail rejected the proposal, according to the Missouri Department of Agriculture. In all, 6,568 valid ballots were returned, the department said.

Demand is growing for GMO-free labels on food products, according to the Non-GMO Project, one of the principle suppliers of the label.
File: Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

There’s a heated debate happening right now about GMOs and labels.

Big food companies like General Mills, Mars and Kellogg’s say they plan to put labels on their products that tell consumers whether or not the food contains ingredients derived from genetically engineered plants.

So what’s the big deal? What are GMO labels, and what do they tell you?

Watch the video below to get the full scoop on GMO labels.

Thanksgiving Dinner
vxla / Creative Commons

The food on your kitchen table has a fascinating story.

Cuts to the crop insurance program will again be a talking point on Capitol Hill.

The budget drafted by President Obama and released Tuesday would make cuts to the crop insurance system, allocate more funds for agricultural research and fund the summer program that provides free meals to children.

USDA / Flickr creative commons

Food safety regulators are hoping new rules will reduce the number of Americans sickened by salmonella bacteria found on the chicken they eat. Currently, salmonella is estimated to cause about 1 million illnesses a year.

Courtesy Robert DePalma

While the Tyrannosaurus rex was at the top of the food chain 66 million years ago, a team of researchers linked to the University of Kansas discovered a giant, fearsome raptor that may have given T. rex a run for its money.

Dakotaraptor, as it’s called, was 17-feet long, six-feet tall at the hips and weighed hundreds of pounds. With a 9.5-inch razor-sharp retractable claw likely used to gut or latch onto prey, it was an unbeatable hunter.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

The amount of ethanol blended into the U.S. fuel supply will go up under new rules issued Monday.

In releasing the details of the Renewable Fuel Standard, the policy that sets the amount of biofuels oil refiners must blend into the fuel supply, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it planned to continue to increase the proportion renewable fuels, most of which is comprised of corn ethanol.

Cody Newill / KCUR

A generation’s worth of Kansas City hopes and prayers and pleading was finally answered Sunday night in New York. The Kansas City Royals are World Series champions.

It took 30 years for the Royals to once again reach the top of the baseball mountain. Thirty years of Opening Days pregnant with promise. Thirty years of long, hot summers drifting aimlessly toward autumn.

Thirty years of disappointment turned in a flash to shock, and quickly on to joy, when in the twelfth the Royals took the championship 7-2 after a turn in the ninth when the Mets left in their starting pitcher, Matt Harvey, with more than 110 pitches.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

This is not a dream. The Kansas City Royals are headed to the World Series for the second-straight year.

Kansas City eliminated the Toronto Blue Jays four games to two, after winning Game 6 by a score of 4-3 to take the American League pennant. The team will face the New York Mets for the Major League Baseball title.

The clinching win was anything but easy.

Jeremy Bernfeld / / KCUR 89.3

Don’t ever count the Royals out.

Down three runs. Who cares?

Just nine outs to go. So what?

Facing a near-unhittable pitcher? Big deal.

A five-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday vaulted the Royals from losers to winners over the Toronto Blue Jays and rewrote with a happy ending what had looked like a lost day for the home side.

The 6-3 win means the Royals will bring a two-game lead to the north as the best-of-seven series shifts to Toronto, and that the club needs just two more wins to book their place in the World Series.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

With baseball’s top offense coming town, the Royals were hoping to hit just enough to end the game on top.

Throwing a shutout will help.

An outstanding pitching performance led the Royals to a 5-0 win Friday over the Toronto Blue Jays and allowed them to take the first game of the best-of-seven American League Championship Series.

Kansas City starter Edinson Volquez fired bullets through the first five innings, allowing just one Toronto hit. Back-to-back walks to open the sixth caused trouble, but Volquez got himself out of the jam and the Royals never looked back.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

By virtue of winning the most games in the American League this season, and a win for the AL team in the All-Star Game, the Royals have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

But does the potential to play more at home really give the Royals a leg-up? Isn’t that just another one of those sports myths, like the one about the team with more heart and hustle always winning?

“The home field advantage: definitely no myth,” says Jon Wertheim, executive editor of Sports Illustrated.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

It just seems the Royals wouldn’t have it any other way. And now they’re headed to the American League Championship Series.

Kansas City defeated the Houston Astros Wednesday to win the decisive game in their best-of-five series.

Down in a two-run hole, the Royals rallied in a three-run fifth inning to go up 4-2 and take a lead they’d never give back.

The Toronto Blue Jays, who beat the Texas Rangers to advance Wednesday, are next up for Kansas City.

The story of the night: Royals starting pitcher Johnny Cueto.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

This story was rebroadcast as part of our best-of 2015 series. It was originally reported in October 2015.    

When the Royals take the field for their do-or-die Game 5 Wednesday night, all eyes will be on the players. But during the game, there will be a largely invisible team at work behind-the-scenes doing everything they can to get the Kauffman Stadium crowd whipped into a frenzy.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

Just because Kansas City has seen this before, it’s not any less thrilling.

With their back against the wall, the Royals scored 5 in the eighth inning Monday and rallied to beat the Houston Astros 9-6.

The win prolongs the Royals’ season for another game. With the best-of-five American League Division Series tied at two games apiece, the Royals will host the do-or-die Game 5 at Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

It’s do-or-die time for the Royals.

After dropping Game 3 Sunday, Kansas City can’t afford another loss in their best-of-five American League Division Series against the Houston Astros.

On the strength of solid starting pitching by ace Dallas Keuchel, the Astros held off the Royals 4-2 Sunday to claim a 2-1 series lead.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

After finding themselves in an early hole, the Royals rallied Friday night to take Game 2 of the American League Division Series and knot the best-of-five game series at one.

The win was a crucial victory for Kansas City, which risked traveling to Houston to face the Astros’ ace starting pitcher while staring at elimination. Now, it’s a race to two wins to move on to the American League Championship series.

First-baseman Eric Hosmer said the win would give the team some confidence.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

The Royals fell behind in the first inning and a punchless offense never allowed them to catch up.

In the end, Kansas City dropped the first game of the best-of-five American League Division Series at home to the Houston Astros, 5-2.

“It’s a five-game series,” said Royals manager Ned Yost. “It’s not a death-sentence to lose Game 1.”

Royals starter Yordano Ventura surrendered two runs in the first inning and another one in the second, leaving the Royals to enter a 49-minute rain delay down 3-1. Ventura did not return after the showers.

Courtesy Kathleen Kunkler

Despite finishing the regular season with the best record in the American League, the Royals aren’t the AL team most-likely to win the World Series, at least according to FiveThirtyEight, the statistical analysis sports blog headed by Nate Silver.

Sportswriter Neil Paine lists the Toronto Blue Jays as the team most-likely to take the title after crunching the numbers. Paine gives the Jays a 19 percent chance to end the season as winners.

File: Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

As China’s president tours the U.S. this week, a bipartisan group of senators is urging the Obama Administration to push China to streamline trade of biotech crops. U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran from Kansas, and Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill of Missouri, all signed the letter.

Regulators in China have in the past rejected shipments of U.S. corn after determining they contained genetically modified varieties that had not been approved in China.

Kristofer Husted / Harvest Public Media

As the agriculture industry changes, what it means to grow up on a farm is changing, too. Our panel talks chores, the cycle of life, the dangers of farming and the lessons in business and character that farm kids learn. Plus, leaving the farm for the "concrete jungle," and city kids pursuing agriculture as adults.

Guests:

  • Mary Hendrickson, rural sociologist, University of Missouri
  • Adam Kirby, Future Farmers of America
  • Alex Haun, young farmer, Trenton, Missouri
File: Kristofer Husted / Harvest Public Media

Some of the nation’s largest farm groups are cheering after a federal judge blocked implementation Thursday of new rules governing water pollution.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson issued a preliminary injunction delaying the rules, which had been set to take effect Friday, saying that the Environmental Protection Agency had overstepped its bounds. Thirteen states sued the agency, seeking to prevent implementation, and Erickson said the “states are likely to succeed in their claim.”

UMKC Athletics

Courtney Frerichs finished in second place in the steeplechase at the NCAA Track and Field Championships Saturday in Eugene, Oregon.

A native of Nixa, Missouri, Frerichs capped a strong season with a personal best time of 9:331.36 at the national championship meet. Fellow Missouri-native Colleen Quigley of Florida State finished two seconds ahead to take the title. 

File: Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

Courtney Frerichs can run faster than you.

Already one of the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s most-decorated athletes, she’ll represent UMKC in the steeplechase on Thursday in the semifinals of the NCAA Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Entering the field as one of three favorites, Frerichs hopes to become UMKC’s first-ever national champion and to bring the title back to Kansas City.

Pages