Harvest Public Media

Global demand for food and fuel is rising, and the push and pull for resources has serious ramifications for our country’s economic recovery and prosperity.

How much do you know about that bread you just buttered or that steak you just ate? What do you know about cars powered on ethanol or about how fracking will affect your water supply?

Harvest Public Media, based at KCUR, is a collaborative public media project that reports on important agriculture issues in the Midwest.

To learn more, visit www.harvestpublicmedia.org, like Harvest Public Media on Facebook or follow @HarvestPM on Twitter.

How Much Is Organic Certification Worth?

Dec 24, 2012
Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

The organic farming industry is booming. Since the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched its federal organic certification program in 2002, the number of organic farms has more than doubled.

Jacob McCleland / Harvest Public Media

Southbound barges on the Mississippi River carry grain destined for world markets.

Drugged-Up Horsemeat From U.S. Showing Up In Europe

Dec 17, 2012
Ken Terpenning

Silky Shark was a beautiful animal and a successful race horse. Over the course of his career he earned over $100,000 for his Kentucky owner.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

When Allen Berry brought his 11 yearlings to the Green City Livestock Market in central Missouri last month, he paid into a fund that at first blush, seems a bargain.

Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

You think you deal with a lot of bull crap? Allan Sents needs a front-end loader and a dump truck to deal with all the cattle manure he’s up against. Literally.

Frank Morris / Harvest Public Media

Backstage behind the cattle pens at the giant livestock show at the American Royal in Kansas City, Mo., “cow fitter” Maddee Moore was awash in glamour goods.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

Agricultural colleges in the top five beef-producing states have become quasi-arms of the cattle industry, selling science to corporate bidders who set the research agenda with their dollars.

Thomas Bjørkan

Just how much influence does Big Beef have in Cowtown?

Workers trim beef at the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Dakota City, Neb. The plant employs about 4,000 people.
Keith Myers / The Kansas City Star

What should you know about the beef on your table? The Kansas City Star answered that question with a three-part series on the beef industry.

New Reporting Series Covers 'America's Big Beef'

Dec 7, 2012

On Monday, Harvest Public Media launches a five-part series called "America’s Big Beef: An Industry in Transition." It's a deep dive into the big business of cattle.

Corn Belt Farmland: The Newest Real Estate Bubble?

Nov 8, 2012

Howard Audsley has been driving through Missouri for the past 30 years to assess the value of farmland. Barreling down the flat roads of Saline County on a recent day, he stopped his truck at a 160-acre tract of newly tilled black land. The land sold in February for $10,700 per acre, double what it would have gone for five years ago.

Heading out into the field, Audsley picked up a clod of the dirt that makes this pocket of land some of the priciest in the state.

Supporters of the farm bill attend a rally organized by Farm Bill Now, a coalition of ag-related interest groups, in Washington D.C. Sept. 12.
National Milk Producers Federation / Flickr

The farm bill expired Monday and lawmakers didn’t pass a new one, thanks largely to election-year politics.

From Pastime To Passion

Sep 19, 2012
Aaron Troester farms about 5,000 irrigated acres in north-central Nebraska.
Hilary Stohs-Krause / for Harvest Public Media

Aaron Troester’s life both did, and didn’t, turn out exactly the way he planned.

Grateful To Be Home

Sep 12, 2012
Rose Alderson and her husband Loren have farmed outside of Nickerson, Kan., for decades.
Frank Morris / Harvest Public Media

Rose Alderson is a bright-eyed, energetic grandmother who loves her home a few miles outside of Nickerson, Kan.

Brandon Fahrmeier and his brother Bret Fahrmeier farm in Lexington, Mo., on land that has been in their family since the 1940s.
Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

Brandon Fahrmeier had a nice job as a sales rep in Ohio for a large company. He and his wife had a nice suburban home. Then they had kids. 

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Rhonda McClure seems to approach farming with a homesteader’s resourcefulness, but she adds her own modern flair.

McClure and her husband Don sell fleece and home spun yarn across the country. But Rhonda is also a quilter and fiber artist who uses the wool in her own creations.

McClure often has gone a different direction than the rest of the flock. In the 1970s she was one of just a handful of women attending ag classes at the University of Nebraska. Today, the small McClure sheep farm is an uncommon neighbor to corn and soybean fields.

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.

Home Is Where The Farm Is

Aug 13, 2012
Justine Greve / Harvest Public Media

It was a warm day when I interviewed Ryan Brady, but we sat outside to talk. Discussing farm life didn't seem right with walls between us and the land.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

When a guy is a mechanical engineer at a nuclear power plant, you figure he puts in a pretty good day of work.

Crate Question Looms Over Pork Producers

Aug 7, 2012
Sarah McCammon / Harvest Public Media

Craig Rowles grew up on an Iowa farm, and like a lot of farm kids, he’s done his share of heavy lifting.

Camille Phillips / Harvest Public Media

Are Midwestern farmers overlooking an opportunity ripe for the picking?

Harvest Public Media

As one of the worst droughts in 50 years ravages the Midwest, livestock producers are left without a safety net, watching their herds suffer or be sold because there’s nothing else to do. 

Lightening The Load

Jul 30, 2012
Courtesy of Jan Phillips

Ninety years ago this May, my grandfather, Ronald Merle Phillips, and his twin brother, Robert Earl, were born on a farm near Chetopa, Kan.

Just Taking Notes

Jul 24, 2012
Donna Vestal / Harvest Public Media

Sometimes farm roots don’t blossom into a farm life. But those memories can still have a huge influence, perhaps even determining a career choice.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

It’s not every day that a trip to the drug store can change your destiny.

Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

Farmers are the bedrock of the agricultural commodities markets – after all, they make the products that are traded there.

Harvest Public Media

The future of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan is under the microscope this week for the second time in just over a month.

Andrea Silenzi / Harvest Public Media

Kate Edwards hasn’t always been a farmer. No, she came back to the farm after college, grad school and a stint as an environmental engineer.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

Many people in the Kansas City area have close ties to agriculture, whether they currently work on a farm, or grew up on one and left. Or maybe their ancestors settled in the region to work the land. 

Importers Get The Whole Wheat Tour

Jul 2, 2012
The view of the Kansas City Board of Trade’s trading floor from the observation deck (Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media)
Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

Kansas wheat farmers may be tied to the land, but their crop isn’t. About half of the wheat grown in the United States each year is exported.

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