Natalia Reyes

Christopher Gannon


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A new fashion exhibit at Iowa State University explores an area of fashion often stereotyped or misunderstood.

On the eve of the Lunar New Year, River to River host Ben Kieffer talks with United States Ambassador to China Terry Branstad about a range of topics, including sanctions on North Korea, fentanyl regulation, and trade.

"Iowa as an agriculture producing state has had significant success marketing our agriculture products in all of Asia, but in China in particular," Branstad says.

The former governor of Iowa also discusses South China Sea territorial disputes, cyber security, censorship, and human rights.

Andrew Fogg

Orchids are beautiful, fragile, and extremely popular. As appealing as they are, the idea of growing orchids can be a bit intimidating. Proper watering is key. Aaron Steil, assistant director of Reiman Gardens, recommends against ice cube irrigation.

"If ice is always on the plant or if there's a lot of ice on the plant a lot of the time, that medium is never allowed to dry out completely," Steil says. It is important for orchids to get as dry as possible, without becoming bone dry, before watering again.

Stepan Mazurov

This Valentine’s Day, while many humans woo potential mates with chocolate, flowers or other tokens, there are a number of other species that are also in the mood for love. Eagles are nesting, barn owls are calling, cardinals are singing, and love is in the air.

On this hour of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe sits down with wildlife biologist Jim Pease to talk about mating calls and other wooing habits of the animal kingdom. 

Dean Borg

More cut flowers are purchased on Valentine’s Day than on any other day of the year, in spite of the fact that the holiday falls in the dead of winter. When buying a bouquet, it can be hard to determine how best to care for cut flowers and make them last.

Cindy Haynes, a horticulturalist from Iowa State University, has some tips for selecting cut flowers.

“We like roses that are fairly tight in bud that are showing good color,” Haynes says. “Red roses and some of the darker colored roses don’t show that damage quite as much as something like a white rose.”

During this Talk of Iowa interview, host Charity Nebbe talks with romance novelist Hector Lareau about his Newsroom Romance series.

Lareau, a novelist and lawyer based in Davenport, draws on his experience in a Des Moines newsroom for his books Love, Local, Latebreaking, and Traffick Report. The high pressure newsroom environment inspired him to write romance. 

Joseph Gruber

Millennials will oust Baby Boomers as the largest voting bloc as early as 2020. Dave Andersen, assistant professor of political science at Iowa State University, joins host Ben Kieffer in this River to River segment to discuss how Millennial voters may change politics in the decades to come.

“They are going to shift the focus of how we talk about government,” Andersen says. “Millennials seem to want lower taxes, more government. They are really in favor of smart government that is more efficient. We haven’t really talked about that yet as a country.”

Pat Blank / Iowa Public Radio

It's not quite time to start sowing seeds, but it is time to get ready. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Horticulturalists Jauron and Linda Naeve of Iowa State University Extension about selecting and starting seeds, decoding the gardening jargon found in seed catalogs, and knowing when to plant.