Ongoing Coverage:

Farming

Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
7:38 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Making it in the Middle: the mid-sized farmer

Eric Neill always wanted to be a farmer. So in 2008, he made the leap, launching a mid-size grazing dairy operation in western Missouri.
Frank Morris Harvest Public Media

A few years ago, things were going smoothly for Eric Neill and his family.

Neill was making good money as a construction superintendent for a commercial contractor in Kansas City, traveling the country, running challenging job sites. But he wasn’t satisfied.

“I decided I wanted to be a farmer,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be a farmer.”

So Neill and his wife, Julie Neill, met with an extension agent and asked how they could make a living with a farm.

That is a tall order.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
6:54 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Who are you calling a corporate farmer?

Chris Boeckmann grows turkeys for Cargill on his Loose Creek, Mo., farm. But he also raises grass-fed all-natural beef for his private label.
Peggy Lowe Harvest Public Media

A surprising thing happens while touring Chris Boeckmann’s turkey farm, where 50,000 birds are grown each year for Cargill Inc.

After seeing the huge brooder barn, after looking into a second enormous facility for the older birds and after spying the Cargill sign, the obvious conclusion is that this is a corporate farm.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
7:46 am
Wed May 23, 2012

What does "sustainable" agriculture really mean?

Dan Howell, a farmer-rancher in Marshall County, Kan., is experimenting with his land like an idealistic young farmer.
Jessica Naudziunas Harvest Public Media

The farmer of future will grow food and raise animals with tomorrow in mind. They’ll know contributing to the food supply is not enough. If the soil, air and water they use to produce food is damaged, good luck feeding anyone.  

That’s the idea, anyway, behind “sustainability” — one of the big buzz words in agriculture today. It’s all about making sure natural resources are not depleted or permanently damaged so that we can farm into the future.

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Agriculture/HPM
8:11 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Wild Horses Come to Iowa

You have to weave between Amish buggies on the gravel road that leads to the Davis County Fairgrounds.

There, this weekend, corrals are holding more than 30 burros and wild horses.

Most of the animals quietly munch on hay. They pay little attention to the families and kids coming up to stalls.

Dave Berg is a specialist for the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM.

“If they have good food and clean water, they’re happy campers," he says. "And out in the wild, they do not have good food and clean water that readily available.”

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Around the Nation
9:23 pm
Sun April 22, 2012

Women Take Over The Farm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Staying in the middle of the country, you might have heard that America's farmers are getting older. Something else you probably know: women tend to outlive men. So do the math and what do you get? More women in charge of land and some who aren't really sure how to take care of it. So as Iowa Public Radio's Sarah McCammon reports, female conservationists are reaching out to this growing group.

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Agriculture/HPM
5:30 am
Thu April 12, 2012

For women farmland owners, a place at the (decision-making) table

Sarah McCammon

You’ve probably heard that America’s farmers are getting older. Something else you may know: women tend to outlive men. So, do the math, and what do you get? More women coming into agricultural land – and some who aren’t really sure what to do with it. Conservationists say this shift is both a challenge – and an opportunity – for Iowa’s farmland.

Harvest Public Media/Agriculture
5:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Dairy industry pushes for reform

Many dairymen are calling the government price support system broken, but just how to fix it isn't clear. There's debate over how much the government should step in to help in tough times and as to what degree it should let the free market govern.  

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