WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Agriculture

Some Farmers Warming Up to the Affordable Care Act

Apr 1, 2015
Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Until the federal health insurance marketplace opened in late 2013, farmers and ranchers were more likely to be uninsured than many other occupational groups. The Affordable Care Act changed that by requiring them to buy insurance. But it also gave them coverage options they didn't have before. 

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

A battle is brewing in the organic food industry.  The largest trade association for organic farmers, marketers, and processors wants growers to help pay for promotional campaigns.

There’s a new stop on the Iowa campaign trail. This weekend, many presidential hopefuls will be in Des Moines for the first Iowa Ag Summit. Republican donor Bruce Rastetter, who is the CEO of Summit Farms and president of the Iowa Board of Regents, is hosting the event.

Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

You’ve probably seen, but may not have noticed, labels on the meat at your grocery store that say something like “Born, Raised, & Harvest in the U.S.A.” or “Born and Raised in Canada, Slaughtered in the U.S.”

These country of origin labels, as they are known, are part of an ongoing international trade dispute that has swept up Midwest ranchers. And they may not be long for store shelves.

Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media

Call it “peak farmers market.” Or maybe the plateau of “know your farmer.”

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

A highly anticipated batch of federal laws governing the use of drones could change the regulatory landscape and lead to an explosion in drone use by farmers.

County Fairs Hit Hard By Illinois Budget Cuts

Feb 15, 2015
Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs

The possibility of budget cuts makes the future of agricultural fairs in Illinois unknown.

Darrell Hoemann/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

To counter a “super weed” epidemic plaguing farmers, agribusiness giant Monsanto is steadily moving forward on the introduction of its next major wave of genetically engineered crops.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Bacon and pork chops could become cheaper this year thanks, in part, to fewer pigs getting sick with the virus that devastated hog farms in 2014.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

Western Illinois University’s School of Agriculture will see things from a new perspective thanks to some new technology.

Wiki Commons

The sponsor of Illinois' medical marijuana pilot program is unsure whether it will come to fruition.

Farmers Work to Ensure Diversity in Rare Sheep Breed

Jan 8, 2015
Laura Palmisano for Harvest Public Media

Federal researchers are on a mission to back up the genetic material of the plants and animals that the nation’s food supply depends on. 

Illinois Key State in Food Distribution

Jan 4, 2015

More food passes through Illinois annually than any other state.

Wikipedia

2014 was the year even the lunch ladies got political.

When ‘Waters of the United States’ Aren’t Even Waters

Nov 24, 2014
Wiki Commons

Silly is a funny word. You call babies and toddlers silly when they smile and coo and do funny things.  But adults, especially farmers, are rarely called silly. 

The online market opened by the Macomb Food Co-op in April continues to grow in popularity among shoppers and producers.

Wiki Commons

The public-comment period on a new rule about water ended two weeks ago, but the uproar over a “government takeover” of ditches remains.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

In a dimly-lit lab on the Des Moines, Iowa, public schools’ agricultural science campus, students in aprons, safety goggles and plastic gloves poke and probe chicken wings.

Corn Huskers Still Pick by Hand

Oct 7, 2014
Abby Wendle

Dick Humes squinted and sweat as he moved down a row of corn. He sliced through the husk with a metal hook in his right hand, snapped the ear from its stalk with his left, and threw it over his shoulder into a wagon rolling alongside him.

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.

Valdemar Fishmen/Flickr

The ongoing turmoil in Ukraine could impact the world’s wheat supply.

Rich Egger

The Illinois business community is lining up with farm groups in an effort to stave off some new federal water regulations. 

Joel Gruver / Google Plus

WIU's annual event serves local farmers, gardeners and those interested in organic produce.

Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

When they heard Dan Hromas’ truck rolling in, the chickens came strutting.

Rich Egger

Despite the abundance of food we see around us this time of year, many families still struggle to get enough to eat.

Right to Farm Pits Farmer against Farmer

Jul 30, 2014
Kris Husted/Harvest Public Media

The agriculture industry is a cornerstone of the Midwest economy. In some states, it may even become a right.

My Farm Roots: Farm Life Anything but Quiet

Jul 21, 2014
Suzanne Hogan for Harvest Public Media

Jack and Diane Aaron lived in Strawberry Hill in Kansas City, Kan., for decades. They loved their neighborhood and it was close to family. But when a friend passed away and left them land on a farm, they decided to take a chance on country living.

While farm life is different, they found it’s anything but quiet.

“Out here we’ve got, just different sounds. We have birds that will wake us up. A cat that likes to wake me up at six because he wants to eat,” Diane Aaron said. “It’s peaceful, but it doesn’t make you crazy,”

Courtesy Kurt Rosentrater

Global hunger has no easy answer.

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Farms aren’t just for food any more.

Pike County calls itself the "pork capital of the world." However, in an area so tied to farming, it might be a bit surprising that a local school district has cut its agriculture education program.  I graduated from high school there five years ago, and went back to report on how districts are struggling to pay for activities not tied to the core curriculum.

Pages