Frank Morris http://iowapublicradio.org en Federal Plan To Save Prairie Chickens Ruffles State Feathers http://iowapublicradio.org/post/federal-plan-save-prairie-chickens-ruffles-state-feathers It's prairie chicken mating season!<p>Still, it's tough being a lesser prairie chicken these days. This type of grouse once spanned an enormous area, though now they survive mainly in pockets of Oklahoma and Kansas. Their numbers are plummeting; in 2012, the population dropped by half.<p>But after they were recently listed as a threatened species by the U.S. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 21:27:00 +0000 Frank Morris 38883 at http://iowapublicradio.org Federal Plan To Save Prairie Chickens Ruffles State Feathers States Fight California's Chicken Cage Law. But It's Really About Bacon http://iowapublicradio.org/post/states-fight-californias-chicken-cage-law-its-really-about-bacon By most measures, David Kesten's hens are living the good life.<p>"They can act like chickens, they can run around," says Kesten, who's raising hens in an old wooden shed in the open countryside near Concordia, Mo. "They can go out and catch bugs, they can dig in the ground."<p>But most U.S. hens live crammed into very close quarters, according to <a href="http://www.humanesociety.org/about/leadership/executive_staff/joe_maxwell.html">Joe Maxwell</a>, with the Humane Society of the U.S. Mon, 17 Mar 2014 13:37:10 +0000 Frank Morris 37202 at http://iowapublicradio.org States Fight California's Chicken Cage Law. But It's Really About Bacon Injured Veteran Keeps Up His Fight, Deciding To Live http://iowapublicradio.org/post/injured-veteran-keeps-his-fight-deciding-live A spinal injury left Iraq War veteran Tomas Young paralyzed below the waist<strong> </strong>in 2004. Further medical complications a few years later made him quadriplegic.<p>Although Young had enlisted two days after the attacks of Sept. Sat, 28 Dec 2013 22:02:00 +0000 Frank Morris 34137 at http://iowapublicradio.org Injured Veteran Keeps Up His Fight, Deciding To Live My Farm Roots: Tough guys in the saddle http://iowapublicradio.org/post/my-farm-roots-tough-guys-saddle <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;">&nbsp;</p> Thu, 15 Aug 2013 10:00:00 +0000 Frank Morris 27457 at http://iowapublicradio.org My Farm Roots: Tough guys in the saddle Twinkies' Return Is Mostly Sweet News For Kansas Town http://iowapublicradio.org/post/twinkies-return-mostly-sweet-news-kansas-town The news of Hostess' return to Emporia, Kan., sparked an ecstatic response in this beleaguered town — even though there will be only half as many jobs.<p>The new company, formed when investors bought Hostess' snack cake business, has hired longtime snack cake production veterans Pat Chambers and her husband, Bob, to help get the bakery here running again. Pat lost her job at the Hostess plant when it closed last November. Now, she sits beaming on her front porch, wearing a dirty Hostess work shirt.<p>"We worked today! It's like going home," she says. "I'm so excited. Mon, 27 May 2013 07:32:00 +0000 Frank Morris 21404 at http://iowapublicradio.org Twinkies' Return Is Mostly Sweet News For Kansas Town Cities Turn Sewage Into 'Black Gold' For Local Farms http://iowapublicradio.org/post/cities-turn-sewage-black-gold-local-farms On a normal day, Kansas City, Mo., processes more than 70 million gallons of raw sewage. This sewage used to be a nuisance, but Kansas City, and a lot of municipalities around the country, are now turning it into a resource for city farmers <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2011/12/13/143659204/putting-farmland-on-a-fertilizer-diet">hard up for fertilizer</a>.<p>After the sewage has been processed at a treatment plant, it's piped out to Birmingham Farm on the north side of the Missouri River.<p>Tim Walters is the chief agronomist for Kansas City who runs Birmingham. Wed, 10 Apr 2013 21:22:00 +0000 Frank Morris 19031 at http://iowapublicradio.org Cities Turn Sewage Into 'Black Gold' For Local Farms After Years Of Struggle, Veteran Chooses To End His Life http://iowapublicradio.org/post/after-years-struggle-veteran-chooses-end-his-life After a dozen years at war, an estimated 2 million active-duty service members will have returned home by the end of 2013. Some reintegrate without much struggle, but for others it's not so easy. The psychological wounds of war can sometimes prove to be just as fatal as the physical ones.<p>For injured veterans such as Tomas Young, life is a daily struggle. But this Iraq War veteran, who says his physical and emotional pain is unbearable, has decided to end his life.<p><strong>At War</strong><p>Before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Young was an athletic, rambunctious 22-year-old. Sun, 07 Apr 2013 21:42:00 +0000 Frank Morris 18844 at http://iowapublicradio.org After Years Of Struggle, Veteran Chooses To End His Life Drought-Stricken Plains Farmers 'Giddy' Over Heavy Snow http://iowapublicradio.org/post/drought-stricken-plains-farmers-giddy-over-heavy-snow Two rapid-fire snowstorms <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/02/22/172680402/storm-buries-kansas-missouri-as-it-heads-east" target="_blank">belted Kansas</a> with more than 2 feet of snow this week. Fri, 01 Mar 2013 21:40:00 +0000 Frank Morris 17010 at http://iowapublicradio.org Drought-Stricken Plains Farmers 'Giddy' Over Heavy Snow Major Storm Blankets Plains States http://iowapublicradio.org/post/major-storm-blankets-kansas-city Transcript <p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>A lot of kids have the day off from school today, thanks to a huge winter storm in the Midwest. A foot of snow fell on Kansas City, one of the worst storms in the city's history. That city declared a state of emergency, as did several others in the region. Frank Morris, of member station KCUR, reports.<p>FRANK MORRIS, BYLINE: The storm hit hard right before morning rush hour with wind, muffled thunder and lightning diffused through a sky that seemed almost saturated with snow. Fri, 22 Feb 2013 10:42:00 +0000 Frank Morris 15858 at http://iowapublicradio.org Beef checkoff feud exposes divide within cattle industry http://iowapublicradio.org/post/beef-checkoff-feud-exposes-divide-within-cattle-industry <p></p><p>People who raise cattle are, as a rule, independent and far flung geographically. But, almost all the beef they raise comes to market through just four enormous packing companies. In the conclusion to Harvest Public Media’s series&nbsp;<a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/big-beef">America’s Big Beef</a>, Frank Morris explores how the cattle industry’s deep divide has come to a head over something called the Beef Checkoff.</p> Thu, 20 Dec 2012 11:00:00 +0000 Frank Morris 12058 at http://iowapublicradio.org Beef checkoff feud exposes divide within cattle industry Judging a cow by more than its cover http://iowapublicradio.org/post/judging-cow-more-its-cover <p></p><p>The beef in the cooler at your grocery store is the product of thousands of years of selective breeding. For nearly all of that time, ranchers have made cattle-mating decisions based on the outward appearance of animals. That’s changed, in a big way, and as Frank Morris reports in Part 2 of Harvest Public Media's <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/big-beef">America's Big Beef</a> series, an emerging understanding of cattle genetics promises to accelerate that change exponentially.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 18 Dec 2012 11:00:00 +0000 Frank Morris 12057 at http://iowapublicradio.org Judging a cow by more than its cover Despite Record Drought, Farmers Expect Banner Year http://iowapublicradio.org/post/despite-record-drought-farmers-expect-banner-year After one of the driest summers on record, recent rains have helped in some parts of the country. But overall, the drought has still intensified. The latest tracking classifies more than a fifth of the contiguous United States in "extreme or exceptional" drought, the worst ratings.<p>In some parts of the Lower Midwest, water-starved crops have collapsed, but the farmers have not. Farmers across the country are surviving, and many are even thriving. This year, despite the dismal season, farmers stand to make exceptionally good money, according to the U.S. Thu, 27 Sep 2012 21:24:00 +0000 Frank Morris 8626 at http://iowapublicradio.org Despite Record Drought, Farmers Expect Banner Year My Farm Roots:Rose Alderson http://iowapublicradio.org/post/my-farm-rootsrose-alderson <p><em>This is the tenth installment of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s series chronicling Americans’ connections to the land. </em><u><a href="http://www.harvestpublicmedia.org/myfarmroots"><em>Click here to explore more </em></a><a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/myfarmroots"><em>My Farm Roots</em></a></u><em> stories and to share your own.</em></p> Wed, 12 Sep 2012 12:22:30 +0000 Frank Morris 7844 at http://iowapublicradio.org My Farm Roots:Rose Alderson Some In Mo. Still Back Rep. Akin Despite Comments http://iowapublicradio.org/post/some-mo-still-back-rep-akin-despite-comments Many people in Missouri are still backing GOP Rep. Todd Akin — some more strongly than before — after his <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/08/22/159834627/cut-off-from-partys-purse-strings-rep-akin-plans-next-move" target="_blank">controversial remarks</a> about rape and pregnancy.<p>Akin was polling ahead of the incumbent, Democrat Claire McCaskill, in the U.S. Sun, 02 Sep 2012 20:45:00 +0000 Frank Morris 7336 at http://iowapublicradio.org Some In Mo. Still Back Rep. Akin Despite Comments Crop Insurance to the Rescue http://iowapublicradio.org/post/crop-insurance-rescue <p></p><p style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); line-height: 1.7em; font-family: Georgia, &quot;Times New Roman&quot;, serif; font-size: 1.2em; margin-bottom: 1.1em;">Stop by most any unirrigated farm across the lower Midwest and you&#39;ll see crops in distress. Midwestern corn and soybean farmers are taking a beating during the recent drought, but it&#39;s not likely to drive many out of business.</p> Thu, 26 Jul 2012 12:33:44 +0000 Frank Morris 5282 at http://iowapublicradio.org Crop Insurance to the Rescue Drought Brings Misery To Arkansas River Basin http://iowapublicradio.org/post/drought-brings-misery-arkansas-river-basin Drought has set in early and hard across the Midwest, parching the Arkansas River basin. The river trickling out of the mountains is dry before it reaches some of the major agricultural uses downstream. Wed, 18 Jul 2012 21:45:00 +0000 Frank Morris 4903 at http://iowapublicradio.org Drought Brings Misery To Arkansas River Basin