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

Seth Bodine / KOSU

The U.S. Census efforts have been interrupted by COVID-19, forcing the Bureau to push back deadlines and adjust to the pandemic. That's left rural community leaders struggling to adapt.

U.S. House

As COVID-19 isolates many children and families in their homes, many youth mentorship programs like 4-H have been forced to online formats.

More than 40 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to House leadership, advocating for more than $260 million in grant funding to support mentorship programs.

KRISTOFOR HUSTED / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA

Large meatpacking plants across the country shut down after outbreaks of COVID-19 among employees, causing supply chain disruptions for farmers, ranchers and consumers. But a new bill in the U.S. House seeks to address the problem by boosting small scale meat processors.

According to new quarterly crop data from the USDA, farmers planted about 92 million acres of corn this spring, a 5 million acre decrease over the agency's March acreage report. The decrease could slash this season’s corn harvest by around a billion bushels, providing some much-needed price increases for commodity farmers. 

SHERI GLAZIER

Sheri Glazier is used to seeing dry conditions on the family farm in central Oklahoma around wheat harvesting time in June. But this year, the heat came faster than normal. She remembers the unusually early heat one day while driving the combine in the wheat field.

“I was extremely worried about heat strokes that day, and I don't ever remember truly being that early in June, being that extremely concerned about ‘where's the water, where's the Gatorade, where's the fire extinguishers?’ All in one day, that early in wheat harvest,” Glazier says.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

KOSU, the public radio station licensed to Oklahoma State University, welcomes a new reporter to cover agriculture and rural issues. At a time when local journalism is reeling from years of newsroom cuts and unforeseen challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, KOSU is expanding its newsroom to be of better service to the Oklahoma community.

Rachel Hubbard / KOSU

Farmers in Oklahoma and across the Great Plains are in the middle of cutting their wheat crops. Even as more people bake during the pandemic, some wheat farmers may need help to break even this year.

SPENCER PUGH / UNSPLASH

Studies have found the rates of mental illness and suicide are higher for farmers. The profession requires long hours, limited social contact and is often at the mercy of external factors such as weather and market rates. Now the COVID-19 pandemic has farmers facing unprecedented challenges, and this has some worried about a mental health crisis in this community.

JOHN PAUL COONROD

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, grocery store aisles have been crowded, and shelves emptied of basic food items. To avoid the mayhem, some shoppers are turning to smaller markets in more rural areas. That’s giving rural grocery stores a boost.

PROVIDED BY MAPLEGLEN CARE CENTER

Like many small business owners, Amy Manganelli has taken a financial hit since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. So, a few weeks ago, she decided to apply for a small business loan from the federal government.

She was turned down.

Manganelli is the co-owner of Mapleglen Care Center, a cannabis dispensary in Rockford, Ill.

“We're a legitimate business in every sense of the word, until it comes to some kind of government program that might assist,” she says.

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