Luke Runyon

AgriBusiness Reporter

I'm a reporter with Harvest Public Media based at KUNC, covering the wide range of agricultural stories in Colorado.

I came to KUNC in March 2013, after spending about two years as a reporter with Aspen Public Radio in Aspen, Colorado.

During my time in Aspen, I was recognized by the Colorado Broadcasters Association and Public Radio News Directors, Inc. for my reporting and production work. My reports have been featured on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

I'm the product of two farm families in central Illinois, which is where I spent most of my formative years. Before moving to Colorado I spent a year covering local and state government for Illinois Public Radio and WUIS in the state's capital. I have a Master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield, the same place where I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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6:00am

Fri August 29, 2014
Agriculture

Above Colorado’s Fruited Plains, Local Food Faces Hurdles

Yampa Valley Farms sit about 20 miles outside Steamboat Springs.
Luke Runyon KUNC and Harvest Public Media

Local food is no longer just a novelty. Farmers markets are growing nationwide and farms that sell directly to consumers brought in $1.3 billion in 2012, up eight percent from just five years earlier. Despite the demand, making local food work in some places is decidedly more difficult than others. Steamboat Springs is one of those places.

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3:14pm

Tue August 26, 2014
Marijuana

Colorado's Marijuana Industry Faces Food Safety Test

Maka Kalaí, manager of Organic Alternatives, a recreational and medical marijuana store in Fort Collins, Colorado, holds up a card that tells the reader to "start low, go slow." when it comes to edibles, meaning eat a little bit and give it some time to kick in.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use earlier in 2014, it also opened the door for food products infused with the drug to anyone over the age of 21. That means a whole set of bakers and food companies have to ensure new products aren’t contaminated with foodborne pathogens. And they have to make sure they’re falling into the hands of children or are too potent to eat.

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2:43pm

Fri August 22, 2014
Men In America

In Changing America, Gay Masculinity Has 'Many Different Shades'

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:09 pm

The Colorado Rush, a gay rugby team in Denver, at practice. "I've always thought of myself as ... the rugby player that happens to be gay," says Skyler Meyer. "I never want to be the gay man who happens to play rugby."
Luke Runyon KUNC

Editor's note: This story contains language that may be offensive to some readers.

Life as a gay man in the U.S. has changed in the past decade — the law and cultural attitudes toward homosexuality have shifted. And those greater social and legal freedoms have also changed how some gay men choose to express their masculinity — and their femininity.

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3:15pm

Sun August 10, 2014
My Farm Roots

My Farm Roots: Smells Like Home

Growing up in Nebraska, Kari Williams spent many vacations visiting her family’s farms.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

Most family vacations are remembered for endless car rides, packed tourist beaches and a string of poorly decorated hotel rooms.

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1:25am

Thu August 7, 2014
The Salt

Will Americans Buy Bug Snacks? Maybe ... If They're Funny And Cute

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 1:50 pm

Packages of edible insects lie on a display table at the Denver County Fair.
Luke Runyon/KUNC

Insects can be a great source of protein, and in many parts of the world, people gobble them up.

But here in the U.S., a certain "ick factor" has kept consumers from eating crickets, locusts and mealworms. To combat the ickiness and convert skeptical consumers, bug-food advocates are trying a specific marketing tactic: be clever and cute.

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