Ongoing Coverage:

Jeremy Bernfeld

Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
1:03 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

EPA: No Final Ethanol Rules This Year

Ethanol plants, like this one in Adams, Neb., use corn from Midwest farms to pump out millions of gallons of biofuel.
Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media file photo

The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday that it won’t release rules for how much ethanol oil refiners have to mix in to our gasoline supply this year.

The ethanol rules, called the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), are meant to prop up the U.S. biofuels industry by creating demand for ethanol. Without the rules, both oil companies and the biofuel sector will be left in the dark as to what the demand for ethanol will be.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
7:50 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Monsanto set to settle GMO wheat cases

Genetically modified wheat has never been approved for farming, so nearly all of the wheat grown in the U.S. is a conventional variety.
Lauren Tucker/Flickr

Monsanto has agreed to settle some of the lawsuits brought by U.S. farmers who allege they lost money when an Oregon field was discovered to have been contaminated with an experimental genetically modified strain of wheat.

Most of the corn and soybeans grown in the United States is genetically modified, but GMO wheat has never been approved for farming.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Out of Public Eye, a Costly, Bitter Farm Bill Fight

K Street in Washington D.C. has long been known as the home to powerful lobbyists. Hundreds of companies and groups lobbied to influence the 2014 Farm Bill.
Creative Commons

The “who” part of the Farm Bill is pretty clear.

With trillions dollars of government spending up for grabs,lobbyists from all ends of the spectrum – representing environmental interests, biotech companies, food companies, farmers – flocked to Capitol Hill to find their piece of the Farm Bill pie.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Farmers Try to Tap Bigger Local Markets

Samara Davis shops at the small Harvest Learning Center market in the basement of her Kansas City, Mo., church. It’s part of an effort for local farmers to expand their customer base.
Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media

Farm stands and farmers markets remain really important for many local farmers, but U.S. consumers barely buy any food directly from farms. That’s why local farmers are trying to crack in to the big institutional markets such as grocery stores, work cafeterias, schools and hospitals.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
10:00 am
Wed April 16, 2014

What You Should Know about Our Food System

Despite certainty on the farm bill finally coming down from Washington, Midwest farmers still face plenty of unknowns.
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media file photo

Food doesn’t just come from a grocery store. Millions of farmers spend their lives producing the crops and raising the livestock that we eat and use.

So it makes sense: If you’re interested in what’s on your plate, you’re interested in what’s going on in the field.

With that in mind, here are four things you should know about today’s food system:

The new farm bill became law in February

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Politics
10:55 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Farm Bill Charts New Course For Nation's Farmers

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 1:56 pm

The House on Wednesday passed a new five-year compromise farm bill. The bill now moves to the Senate for a vote.

The farm bill — the result of a two-year-long legislative saga — remains massive. The bill contains about $500 billion in funding, most of which is pegged to the food stamp program, officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

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The Salt
11:21 am
Mon December 9, 2013

'In Meat We Trust' Argues We Got The Meat Industry We Asked For

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 9:36 am

The meat on your dinner table probably didn't come from a happy little cow that lived a wondrous life out on rolling green hills. It probably also wasn't produced by a robot animal killer hired by an evil cabal of monocle-wearing industrialists.

Truth is, the meat industry is complicated, and it's impossible to understand without a whole lot of context. That's where Maureen Ogle comes in. She's a historian and the author of In Meat We Trust: An Unexpected History of Carnivore America.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
7:51 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Farm bill expires, leaves farmers in limbo--again

Ames farmer Jeff Longnecker says the farm bill should provide a safety net.
Amy Mayer/IPR

The farm bill expired at midnight on Monday, leaving farmers and ranchers across the country guessing at what federal farm policy will look like when they next put their crops in the ground.

Of course, they’re used to uncertainty, as this is the second straight year Congress has let the farm bill expire. Last year, farmers were set adrift for three months before lawmakers passed a nine-month extension of older policy in January.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Sun August 18, 2013

Greetings from Midwest state fairs

The Little Hands on the Farm exhibit is a big draw for kids at the Iowa State Fair.
Amy Mayer/IPR

The Iowa, Missouri and Illinios state fairs all wrap up this weekend. Couldn't visit them all? Get a glimpse here.

Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:05 am
Fri July 12, 2013

House passes farm-only farm bill

Many farmers are resigned to being unable to depend on rock-solid federal farm policy.
Frank Morris/Harvest Public Media

The U.S. House passed its version of farm bill legislation Thursday. The revamped bill strips out funding for food aid and deals only with farm policy, exposing a hefty rift in decades-old alliances between urban and rural legislators and between food aid and farm policy interests.

Now, that alliance has been battered.

“Agriculture has joined many of the other topics that are discussed in Congress in becoming a partisan debate of policy,” said Chad Hart, an economist with Iowa State University.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:59 am
Fri June 21, 2013

House rejects farm bill

The Farm Bill rejected by the House would have cut $2 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps. Many Republicans were hoping for more cuts, while many Democrats thought the cuts too onerous.
Credit tpsdav/pixabay

In a stunning move, the U.S. House voted against approving farm bill legislation Thursday, leaving the bill's future up in the air.

The House rejected the farm bill on a final tally of 234-195 after a day of dramatic, tight votes on amendments to the bill.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Beef feedlots grapple with never-ending waste

Allan Sents co-owns McPherson County Feeders, a beef feedlot in central Kansas, with his wife Deanna. His 11,000 cattle produce a lot of waste.
Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media

Had a hamburger lately? The cow it came from likely passed through a feedlot – a huge farm that fattens cattle before they’re slaughtered.  The thousands of cattle housed at a feedlot produce tons and tons of waste and if it’s not properly disposed, it could lead to an environmental disaster. In Part 3 of Harvest Public Media’s series, America’s Big Beef, Jeremy Bernfeld reports. 

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
5:44 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Gas with more ethanol headed to some pumps

The Zarco 66 gas station in Lawrence, Kan., is the first in the country to offer E-15.
Jeremy Bernfeld Harvest Public Media

Head to your local filling station and you might see a new blend of gas at the pump. After a three-year regulatory process, the Environmental Protection Agency approved E15 – gas made with 15 percent ethanol – this summer.

Most gas we pump is already blended with ethanol, sometimes it contains as much as 10 percent, but the ethanol industry fought hard to bring E15 to the market. For ethanol backers and the farmers who feed the ethanol industry, getting drivers to pump gas with 50 percent more ethanol is a big win.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
6:57 am
Wed September 5, 2012

My Farm Roots: Brandon Fahrmeier

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

This is the ninth installment of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land. Click here to explore more My Farm Roots stories and to share your own.

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.  

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
6:38 am
Wed July 11, 2012

My Farm Roots: Kate Edwards

Edwards grows all kinds of vegetables on her plot and delivers whatever is ripe to the participants in her Community Supported Agriculture program.
Andrea Silenzi Harvest Public Media

This is the first installment of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s new series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land. Click here (http://harvestpublicmedia.org/myfarmroots) to explore more My Farm Roots stories and to share your own.

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.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
7:27 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Could the 'Farmer of the Future' Be...A Robot?

Brent Ware, a member of the robotics team at Kansas State, stands next to a planting robot that won a national competition.
Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media

There’s always work to be done on the farm, but often it’s the same work day, after day, after day. Parts of the job must feel a bit like an assembly line.

While it’s impossible to automate farming like many manufacturers have automated their assembly lines, using robotic technology on the farm might not be so far off.

The biological and agricultural engineering robotics team at Kansas State University knows a thing or two about agricultural robots. They’ve won national robotics competitions in each of the last five years.

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The Salt
10:51 am
Wed May 16, 2012

From Science Fiction To Fact, Robots Are Coming To A Farm Near You

Brent Ware, a member of the robotics team at Kansas State, stands next to a planting robot that won a national competition.
Jeremy Bernfeld Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 1:59 pm

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