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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3:58pm

Fri May 16, 2014
Agriculture

Kentucky's Hemp Seed Lawsuit Could Affect Colorado's Aspiring Growers

Hemp seedlings sprout in a warehouse in Lafayette, Colo.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is picking a fight with the federal government, and it’s all about hemp. The state is suing the Drug Enforcement Agency over a shipment of hemp seed. With Colorado farmers currently exploring their options with the plant, a final decision in the case could have implications here too. 

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6:00am

Wed May 7, 2014
Agriculture

Brazil Beef Imports Too Risky, Ranchers Worry

Rancher Sharon Harvat worries that importing fresh beef from Brazil could bring foot-and-mouth disease, which could wreak havoc on the U.S. beef trade.
Luke Runyon KUNC and Harvest Public Media

The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants to greenlight a proposal that would allow imports of fresh beef from certain sections of Brazil, despite the South American country’s history of outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, a highly contagious pathogen that cripples cattle.

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3:55pm

Fri May 2, 2014
Agriculture

Six Cool Maps From The Farm Census

Rural pockets of the country still lack internet connectivity, the agricultural census shows.
Credit USDA-NASS

Remember that scene from the 1979 movie The Jerk where Steve Martin’s character leaps with glee over the delivery of new phone books? That same sequence plays out every five years when the U.S. Department of Agriculture drops its agricultural census and ag data nerds everywhere rejoice.

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12:08pm

Wed April 30, 2014
Agriculture

Colorado Hemp Growers Begin Historic Planting Season

Industrial hemp can grow more than ten feet tall. The plant, which can resemble marijuana grown for medical or recreational use, usually lacks THC, the chemical that gives users a high.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

An historic planting of Colorado’s first state regulated industrial hemp crop is underway. More than 70 applications to grow the towering cousin of marijuana have come in to the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

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6:00am

Wed April 16, 2014
Marijuana

When Marijuana No Longer Sells Itself Branding Steps Up

At The Farm in Boulder, Colo., the decor and store exterior are so inviting, owner Jan Cole says some customers come in thinking they're at a specialty grocer, not a marijuana store.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC

For years in Colorado, the thought has been that pot will sell itself. Now that it’s legal, marijuana businesses are realizing they’ll need to carve out niches and reach out to new buyers to survive in a very competitive marketplace.

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