Seth Bodine

Agriculture and Rural Issues Reporter

Seth Bodine joined KOSU in June 2020, focusing on agriculture and rural issues as a Report For America corps member.

Previously, Bodine covered agriculture, business and culture for KBIA, the NPR affiliate station in Columbia, Missouri. He also covered the 2020 Missouri Legislature for the Missouri Broadcasters Association and KMOX-St. Louis.

Previously, he was an intern at Missouri Business Alert, Denver Business Journal and the Colorado Springs Gazette. His work has been picked up by dozens of publications, including U.S. News & World Report, The Associated Press and The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

Bodine graduated with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and English creative writing from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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Seth Bodine / KOSU

As U.S. Census Bureau director Steven Dillingham visited a mobile questionnaire assistance site in front of the Oklahoma capitol building on Friday, he announced the bureau will be sending an additional 130 enumerators from different states to help with Oklahoma’s efforts.

The state is about 90% enumerated, but Dillingham said there’s still a lot of work to do in order to get close to 100%.

Chelsea Stanfield / KOSU

KOSU is covering the coronavirus in Oklahoma and how it's affecting our lives. Bookmark this page for the latest updates.

Oklahoma farmers are close to stripping cotton, but some are losing crops from dry weather in August.

Seth Byrd, an Oklahoma State University Extension cotton specialist, said this year’s crop had a lot of potential. With unexpected dry weather in August, he’s slightly adjusting expectations.

“We kind of realized in the middle of August that, you know, if we don't get a rain pretty quick, we're going to start definitely losing some of that yield potential,” Byrd said. “And that happened, we were pretty hot and basically dry through … almost the whole month.”

The National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado, one of the largest livestock events in the country has been delayed due to COVID-19. The 16-day event, which usually takes place every January, has been pushed to 2022.


While COVID-19 has hampered farmers this year by forcing many farmers markets and restaurants to close, usually it’s the weather that threatens crops. A practice called “gleaning” helps save crops from going to waste while feeding those in need.

Flickr / DeeAshley

The COVID-19 mortality rate continues to be higher in rural parts of the state than urban areas, according to analysis of state data by the Oklahoma State University Center for Rural Health. Rural areas make up 34% of Oklahoma’s population but account for 36% of all COVID-19 deaths in the state since April.

As of Sept. 11, the cumulative mortality is about 24 per 100,000 people in rural areas. This is slightly higher than urban areas.

Seth Bodine / KOSU

The Census Bureau is working to count every household in the U.S., but response rates--especially in rural areas--are lagging behind 2010. Lower self-response rates could risk inaccurate counts. 

Tonkawa Processing Corp / Facebook

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry has distributed $10 million CARES Act grants to help meat processors expand, an effort to calm disruptions in the meat supply chain caused by COVID-19.

Seth Bodine / KOSU

State fairs across the country have been canceled to prevent the spread of COVID-19, creating big dents in state economies. These fairs often help support small businesses, but some states are turning to e-commerce to help those businesses.


Algal blooms in bodies of water often caused by runoff of manure and fertilizer on crop lands have a high price tag. 

An economic analysis by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group found that 22 states have spent more than $1 billion altogether since 2010. Kansas, Iowa and Texas are among the states that have spent millions clearing the algae. Of the Midwestern states in the study, Iowa has spent the most — more than $40 million across six sites since 2010.