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

AMY MAYER / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA

Pork producers in the Midwest had great hope for 2020, in part because China was still rebuilding its swine herd after a devastating African swine fever outbreak. Still, the Sino-American trade war had barely cooled as the Phase 1 deal was signed early in the year, suggesting over-reliance on China could backfire.

SETH BODINE / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA

Pumpkin patches and corn mazes are common on the outskirts of cities, but even more rural areas are getting in on the action.

JONATHAN AHL / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA

Farmers are looking closely at what they might be able to expect from four more years of Donald Trump versus a Joe Biden administration, but they aren't finding a lot of solid answers. And any difference may not matter, anyway.

Seth Bodine / KOSU

There are fewer than 1,800 Black farmers in Oklahoma, and many are working second jobs to make a living. But Oklahoma once had a thriving agricultural community. Harvest Public Media’s Seth Bodine explains how things have changed and visits one farmer trying to keep his ancestor’s legacy alive.

Jonathan Ahl / Harvest Public Media

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting farm income will increase significantly this year, but that’s only because of an unprecedented amount of government payments that could top $40 billion.

Christina Stella / Harvest Public Media

So far, 2020 has not been kind to beef producers. Farmers and economists say the food system fielded a one-two punch that triggered huge market disruptions and losses.

AMY MAYER / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA

Farmers in the South were paid more on average than those in the Midwest and Great Plains from a government program set up to offset the losses due to the trade war with China, according to a new study from the Government Accountability Office.

After China placed retaliatory tariffs on crops, the U.S. Department of Agriculture created the Market Facilitation Program to help farmers make up the lost income. 

Ed Koger

Lesser prairie chickens don’t really bother Mike McCarty. He likes them just fine, but doesn’t think people understand how hard it is to balance wildlife conservation and being a rancher and farmer in southwest Kansas.

“Yes, we need to protect our wildlife and everything,” he says, “but we also need to protect our people, our agriculture.”

ERICA HUNZINGER / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA

As workplaces and schools go online to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many people are relying on a strong internet connection. But in some states, less than 50% of rural households have access to broadband, according to data from the Federal Communications Commission.

AMY MAYER / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA FILE PHOTO

First restaurants and school cafeterias closed, then COVID-19 outbreaks at meat-packing plants slowed processing. In the spring, shoppers started seeing signs declaring limits on the amount of fresh meat they could buy in one trip. Prices for some products crept up.

Pages