The effects of bird flu ripple through one Iowa county, the hardest hit in the nation

https://cpa.ds.npr.org/s60/audio/2022/06/0617bvbirdfluweb.mp3 Nearly 5.5 million chickens and turkeys have died or had to be destroyed in Buena Vista County, Iowa, during the latest bird flu outbreak — more than in any other county in the nation. That’s impacted producers, as well as workers and their families. Colin Johnson has been around turkeys for nearly seven decades. […]

Agriculture companies have lots of job openings in STEM fields, far from the farm

Agriculture companies are looking for people who are interested in science, and hiring managers are increasingly looking for people who don’t have traditional ag backgrounds. ST. LOUIS — Jobs in agriculture don’t just take place on the farm. Across the Midwest, plant science and ag companies are looking for scientists and others in STEM to […]

How small companies bring fast internet to rural places that telecom giants ignore

Installing fiber-optic internet in sparsely populated places like western Kansas is extremely expensive, even with government subsidies. But some smaller, local broadband providers are finding ways to make it work where the big national companies have not. https://cpa.ds.npr.org/s8/audio/2022/05/050222-dc-sk-ruralbroadband-webmix.mp3 HAYS, Kansas — With a family of five and a farming operation to run, Clay Scott’s home […]

Kernza — the grain you’ve never heard of that could revolutionize farming

https://cpa.ds.npr.org/s60/audio/2022/05/kernzawebaudio.mp3 The perennial grain can produce an annual crop even as it stays in the ground for up to four years. Its deep root system helps pull carbon out of the air and makes it more resistant to floods and drought. This story was produced in partnership with the Food & Environment Reporting Network Carmen […]

Farmers in the Plains are in ‘dire straits’ due to drought, wildfire conditions

Most of Illinois has had plenty of rain, but even with a few recent rains, much of the Great Plains are in a drought. Wildfires have swept across the grasslands and farmers are worried about how they’ll make it through the growing season. https://cpa.ds.npr.org/s60/audio/2022/05/drought-in-plains-hpm-web2.wav Listen to this story here. Randy Uhrmacher is in his tractor, […]

Pork producers are taking a gamble to get more money for lobbying and lawsuits

Looking for ways to fund lobbying and legal efforts to preserve their way of business, pork producers are turning down guaranteed money that could go to advertising and marketing. Pork producers are feeling threatened by attempts to change the way they raise pigs. So much so that they made the surprising move of reducing the […]

As bird flu sweeps across U.S. even small, backyard flocks are at risk

In fall 2020, Leah Shaffer ordered four chickens from a Missouri hatchery — a pandemic impulse purchase to get her two children outside, she said. “I wanted them to have a reason to go out basically into the backyard and just have some real life sort of experience with nature instead of just computer time,” […]

Not a fan of daylight saving time? Don’t blame farmers

Every spring Americans grumble about losing an hour of sleep to daylight saving time. This year the debate over changing the clocks is lingering, after the U.S. Senate passed a bill to end the biannual time changes and make daylight saving time permanent. Similar measures have been proposed in 27 states, including Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois […]

Black farmers see new opportunities in the budding industrial hemp industry

Just northwest of Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks, past Mennonites in horse-drawn buggies, there’s a curvy road that leads to a forgotten piece of Missouri’s Black history – Lake Placid. The Black-owned cabin retreat thrived in the mid-1900s. P.C. Turner, a doctor from Kansas City, designed it as a place of restoration and refuge for […]