kunc-header-1440x90.png
NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Global demand for food and fuel is rising, and competition for resources has widespread ramifications. We all eat, so we all have a stake in how our food is produced. Our goal is to provide in-depth and unbiased reporting on things like climate change, food safety, biofuel production, animal welfare, water quality and sustainability.

Harvest's Top 10 Stories of 2017 (And A Short Note)

The Nebraska Sandhills are sand dunes covered by prairie grassland. The area is used primarily for cattle grazing and some farming.
The Nebraska Sandhills are sand dunes covered by prairie grassland. The area is used primarily for cattle grazing and some farming.

We can’t get enough of year-end lists, so here are the stories that Harvest Public Media’s reporters and editors thought were interesting, thought-provoking, unique or just plain fun:

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue
Credit Julie Denesha / File/For Harvest Public Media
/
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue

Sonny Perdue took over the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and was one of the last Cabinet positions in Trump’s administration to be filled. Harvest’s Peggy Lowe scored one of the first interviews with him.

Instructor Melissa Velazquez teaches prospective naturalized citizens in Colorado about U.S. civics and history.
Credit Luke Runyon / File/Harvest Public Media
/
Instructor Melissa Velazquez teaches prospective naturalized citizens in Colorado about U.S. civics and history.

The year may be best remembered for the issues that separate parts of America — and the places where there are commonalities. Harvest reporters looked at several issues, from immigration to education, to take our country’s temperature.

Damage to soybean plants that's blamed on the pesticide dicamba.
Credit Courtesy of Kevin Bradley, University of Missoui
/
Damage to soybean plants that's blamed on the pesticide dicamba.

One of the biggest agriculture stories was dicamba, a pesticide that’s been blamed for damaging millions of acres of soybeans across the Midwest and South. Harvest’s Kristofor Husted took the lead in covering it, including looking forward and explaining what pesticides are.

A guard patrols the perimeter of a survival bunker near Concordia, Kansas.
Credit Frank Morris / File/Harvest Public Media
/
A guard patrols the perimeter of a survival bunker near Concordia, Kansas.

Fear and uncertainty drives humans in various ways. For the wealthier among us, there’s a $3 million option waiting should the apocalypse arrive, and Frank Morris got the tour.

What is left of the home of O.T. Jackson, the founder of Dearfield, Colorado, sits on the town site in rural Weld County.
Credit Luke Runyon / File/Harvest Public Media
/
What is left of the home of O.T. Jackson, the founder of Dearfield, Colorado, sits on the town site in rural Weld County.

Ghost towns are a common sight across rural America. But there’s one unlike the others that Luke Runyon found in eastern Colorado, where the remnants of an African-American farming community stands.

061114_beef-map-cattle.jpg
Credit Grant Gerlock / File/Harvest Public Media
/

The Trump administration took aim at several Obama-era rules, some that were in place and others that were proposed. Among them: Waters of the United States, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, organic animal welfare, changes to the school lunch program and, as Grant Gerlock reported, fair-practice rules for livestock producers.

This is an example of a typical "grow out" in Puerto Rico. There are two rows planted with the same seeds, marked by an identifying tag.
Credit Courtesy of Les North/MayerSeedline
/
This is an example of a typical "grow out" in Puerto Rico. There are two rows planted with the same seeds, marked by an identifying tag.

Puerto Rico is still reeling from Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island in September. Amy Mayer found out how seed research on the unincorporated U.S. territory was affected.

Two cowboys work the pens of cattle at a feedlot in southwest Kansas.
Credit Peggy Lowe / File/Harvest Public Media
/
Two cowboys work the pens of cattle at a feedlot in southwest Kansas.

Universities are looking to diversify who they’re teaching to be agronomists and farmers, as reported by Mayer. And while immigrants are the key to modern U.S. agriculture, there are too many jobs left to fill, a problem that Lowe reports Congress is trying to solve. (Yes, we cheated, it’s two stories.)

IMG_8363.JPG
Credit Luke Runyon / File/KUNC and Harvest Public Media
/

Colorado farmers put aside their grudges and band together to ensure they can keep making a living, as Runyon reported.

Members of the Single Action Shooting Society load their rifles and pistols at the Iron Hero match, including Dannette Ray of Boulder, Colorado (left), aka Marie Laveau.
Credit Grant Gerlock / File/Harvest Public Media
/
Members of the Single Action Shooting Society load their rifles and pistols at the Iron Hero match, including Dannette Ray of Boulder, Colorado (left), aka Marie Laveau.

In a slice of life from Nebraska, Gerlock spent the day with people who dress up like cowboys, recite lines from their favorite movies and see who can be the quickest on the draw.

Harvest Public Media went through a couple of changes this year, with editor Jeremy Bernfeld becoming the director of collaborative reporting at WAMU in Washington, D.C., and Runyon shifting coverage for KUNC to the Colorado River basin and water issues in the western U.S. We’re grateful for all they did to help Harvest succeed.

Stick with Harvest in 2018 for full coverage of the next farm bill — among many other topics — see how our new editor, Erica Hunzinger, manages and meet our new reporters in the coming months!

Follow Harvest on Twitter, @HarvestPM, and on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/HarvestPublicMedia/

Copyright 2020 Harvest Public Media. To see more, visit .