Harvest Public Media

Harvest Public Media reports on food systems, agriculture and rural issues through a collaborative network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest and Plains.

Our goal is to provide in-depth and unbiased reporting on complex issues for a broad, diverse audience, often connecting the Heartland to the rest of the country. Primary topics include, but are not limited to, agribusiness, biofuels, climate change, farming and ranching, food safety, rural life and public policy.

Harvest Public Media reports on KOSU are sponsored by Oklahoma's Electric Cooperatives, powering and servicing Oklahoma and committed to bringing rural communities to life. Find out more at oaec.coop.

Harvest Public Media reports on KOSU are sponsored by Oklahoma Farm Bureau, supporting family farmers and ranchers to improve the lives of all Oklahomans. More at okfarmbureau.org.

Harvest Public Media reports on KOSU are sponsored by Oklahoma Farm Bureau, committed to ethical animal agriculture and providing a safe work environment. More about responsible farming and videos on real pig farming online at okpork.org.

Ways to Connect

The White House

After a majority Senate vote, Tom Vilsack is now reprising the role of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. He said during a news conference that one of his biggest priorities is responding to the pandemic.

Katie Peikes / Harvest Public Media

There’s been a lot of hype around how farmers can make money from selling the carbon their plants naturally remove from the air, but there are still questions about how much of a difference these markets can make in reducing greenhouse gases.

Kelly Garrett is experimenting with carbon markets on his farm in western Iowa’s Crawford County. As of early February, he’s made $115,000. Most of that money came from Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify, which bought 5,000 carbon credits from Garrett.

Seth Bodine / KOSU

More than 20 years ago, Black farmers across the country won a discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Today, advocates and experts are saying more is needed to repair the decades of discrimination.

CARLOS MORENO / KCUR

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of meatpacking plants across the country have struggled to contain outbreaks. Many of the hardest-hit plants are in the Midwest and Great Plains, where the virus initially spread on crowded production lines. 

ERICA HUNZINGER / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA

Donald Trump won two-thirds of the vote in rural areas in the last two presidential elections — highlighting what some see as a growing divide between rural and urban America.

Now, a Washington, D.C., based think tank suggests the Biden administration look to expand broadband internet access in rural areas to help bridge the economic divide.

Seth Bodine / KOSU

Many farmers may not re-enroll in a conservation program that plays an important role in regenerating soil and water. Lower payments are influencing their decisions.

CHRISTINE HERMAN/ILLINOIS NEWSROOM

The rollout of the coronavirus vaccine provides hope that the end of the pandemic is near. But it’s not over yet. And in some parts of the country access to COVID-19 testing is still a problem.

For more than a decade, Saraí has been a farmworker, cultivating corn and soybeans in the fields of central Illinois. She moved to the U.S. from Mexico to find work that would allow her to better support her family.

Why Even Corn Can Get A Bad Night Of Sleep

Jan 20, 2021
GRANT GERLOCK / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA FILE PHOTO

In 2020, a stubborn enemy emerged for corn farmers across the Great Plains: drought. Today, about half of the U.S. is in drought, with large swaths of Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Illinois impacted.

PROVIDED BY AMERICAN HEMP RESEARCH

The most recent Farm Bill legalized hemp production nationwide, but left individual states in charge of the oversight. As the crop continues to roll out across the Midwest, some states are seeing more success than others. But farmers generally remain optimistic about hemp’s future.

ESTHER HONIG / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA FILE PHOTO

The number of migrant farmworkers in the U.S. dropped 42% in 2020, likely because of the risk of COVID-19 coupled with high unemployment rates.

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