Luke Runyon http://krcc.org en Mutton Busting: A Rodeo Tradition http://krcc.org/post/mutton-busting-rodeo-tradition <p>A furry beast, a brave rider and a roaring crowd make up the list of ingredients for the Western rodeo tradition known as “mutton busting.” Think of it as bull-riding, but for 6-year-olds, and the furry beast is actually a wooly sheep.<br />&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Mutton busting has its roots in Colorado, where it was first introduced in the </span>1980s<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. The crowd-pleaser is now a favorite at many rodeos and county fairs across the Midwest and Great Plains.</span></p> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 01:56:12 +0000 Luke Runyon & Harvest Public Media & KUNC 22444 at http://krcc.org Mutton Busting: A Rodeo Tradition Industrial Hemp Could Take Root, If Legal Seeds Weren't So Scarce http://krcc.org/post/industrial-hemp-could-take-root-if-legal-seeds-werent-so-scarce The most recent farm bill is allowing a handful of farmers across the country to put hemp, the nonpsychoactive cousin of marijuana, in the ground.<p>The bill allows small-scale experimentation with the plant. But despite the new law, many farmers say they're getting mixed messages from the federal government.<p>Jim Denny is one of more than 100 growers given the nod by the Colorado Department of Agriculture to start planting hemp seeds. On his farm in Brighton, Colo., just outside Denver, Denny is prepping for planting season. Wed, 28 May 2014 07:33:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 19692 at http://krcc.org Industrial Hemp Could Take Root, If Legal Seeds Weren't So Scarce While Farm Life Changes, FFA’s Blue Jacket Stays The Same http://krcc.org/post/while-farm-life-changes-ffa-s-blue-jacket-stays-same <p>The blue corduroy jacket worn by high school students in FFA, formerly the Future Farmers of America, is an icon of rural life. To the average city dweller the jacket is a vestige of dwindling, isolated farm culture, as fewer and fewer young people grow up on farms. The numbers tell a different story however. In spite of that demographic shift, a record number of kids are donning blue jackets this year.<br />&nbsp;</p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 04:06:55 +0000 Luke Runyon & Harvest Public Media 17223 at http://krcc.org While Farm Life Changes, FFA’s Blue Jacket Stays The Same Climate Change Could Benefit Some Invasive Plants http://krcc.org/post/climate-change-could-benefit-some-invasive-plants <p><br />Most <a href="http://www.hprcc.unl.edu/publications/files/HighPlainsClimateChangeGuide-2013.pdf" target="_blank">climate models paint</a> a bleak picture for the Great Plains a century from now: It will likely be warmer and the air will be richer with carbon dioxide. Though scientists don’t yet know how exactly the climate will change, new studies show it could be a boon to some invasive plant species.<br />&nbsp;</p> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 13:33:00 +0000 Luke Runyon & Harvest Public Media 16424 at http://krcc.org Climate Change Could Benefit Some Invasive Plants Colorado Loses "Least Obese" Title http://krcc.org/post/colorado-loses-least-obese-title <p><br />Colorado is no longer the least obese state in the country, according to <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/167642/mississippians-obese-montanans-least-obese.aspx" target="_blank">a new Gallup poll</a> released yesterday. KUNC’s Luke Runyon reports.<br />&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>Since 2010 Colorado has consistently topped lists as having the slimmest population in the country. Not anymore. Montana has usurped the title, where 19.6% of the population is obese, compared to Colorado’s 20.4, putting the Centennial State in second place. Mississippi has the highest level, at 35 percent.</p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 23:14:57 +0000 Luke Runyon & KUNC 15904 at http://krcc.org Colorado Loses "Least Obese" Title Colorado Gains USDA Climate Change Research Hub http://krcc.org/post/colorado-gains-usda-climate-change-research-hub <p>The U.S Department of Agriculture is setting up <a href="http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2014/02/0016.xml&amp;contentidonly=true" target="_blank">seven new research hubs</a> across the country to help farmers adapt to climate change. And as KUNC’s Luke Runyon reports, one will be in northern Colorado.<br />&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Agriculture Secretary Tom </span>Vilsack<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> says in the past few years farmers across the Midwest have grappled with epic drought, mega-blizzards and crippling heat.</span></p> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 19:39:41 +0000 Luke Runyon & KUNC 14796 at http://krcc.org Colorado Gains USDA Climate Change Research Hub Marijuana-Laced Treats Leave Colorado Jonesing For Food-Safety Rules http://krcc.org/post/marijuana-laced-treats-leave-colorado-jonesing-food-safety-rules Where there's pot, there's pot brownies. But how do you make sure those high-inducing sweets are safe to eat?<p>Colorado regulators are wrestling with that question now that the state has legalized recreational marijuana. From sodas and truffles to granola bars and butter, food products infused with THC – the chemical in marijuana that gives you a high — are already for sale.<p>The problem? Marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Sun, 02 Feb 2014 21:10:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 14617 at http://krcc.org Marijuana-Laced Treats Leave Colorado Jonesing For Food-Safety Rules Colorado Imposes Food Safety Rules On Marijuana Industry http://krcc.org/post/colorado-imposes-food-safety-rules-marijuana-industry <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><br />Colorado made history when it opened up licensed marijuana retail shops. Aside from just legalizing the purchase of smoke-able marijuana, it also means pot brownies have the potential to be big business.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Food products infused with marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, THC, are available in stores across the state.</span></p> Wed, 29 Jan 2014 14:44:54 +0000 Luke Runyon & Harvest Public Media 14429 at http://krcc.org Colorado Imposes Food Safety Rules On Marijuana Industry Food Safety and Recreational Marijuana http://krcc.org/post/food-safety-and-recreational-marijuana <p>Colorado’s fledgling recreational marijuana industry has a new set of rules to live by. And as KUNC’s Luke Runyon reports, many of them deal with food safety.<br />&nbsp;</p> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 14:33:39 +0000 Luke Runyon & KUNC 13832 at http://krcc.org Food Safety and Recreational Marijuana Forget Golf Courses: Subdivisions Draw Residents With Farms http://krcc.org/post/forget-golf-courses-subdivisions-draw-residents-farms When you picture a housing development in the suburbs, you might imagine golf courses, swimming pools, rows of identical houses.<p>But now, there's a new model springing up across the country that taps into the local food movement: Farms — complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees — are serving as the latest suburban amenity.<p>It's called development-supported agriculture, a more intimate version of community-supported agriculture — a farm-share program commonly known as CSA. Tue, 17 Dec 2013 08:15:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 12747 at http://krcc.org Forget Golf Courses: Subdivisions Draw Residents With Farms Developers Look to Farms to Sell Suburban Homes http://krcc.org/post/developers-look-farms-sell-suburban-homes <p>For decades, housing developments in the suburbs have come complete with golf courses, tennis courts, strip malls and swimming pools. But make way for the new subdivision amenity: the specialty farm.</p><p></p><p>A new model for suburban development is springing up across the country that taps into the local food movement. Farms, complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees, are serving as a way to entice potential buyers to settle in a new subdivision.</p><p></p> Fri, 13 Dec 2013 19:47:25 +0000 Luke Runyon 12622 at http://krcc.org Developers Look to Farms to Sell Suburban Homes Prison Dairy Serves Up Buffalo Milk http://krcc.org/post/prison-dairy-serves-buffalo-milk <p></p><p>Past the razor-wire fences, beyond huge metal gates, behind thick walls, you’ll find one of the most unique dairies in the country. The Four Mile Correctional Center in Cañon City, Colo., is home to what could very well be the country’s largest herd of domesticated water buffalo – buffalo milked for their rich, frothy milk.</p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>At the Four Mile dairy, inmates run the milking parlor, not a farmer in overalls. And it’s not black and white cows dotting the landscape, instead it’s water buffalo with big, curved horns.</p> Fri, 25 Oct 2013 13:33:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 10474 at http://krcc.org Prison Dairy Serves Up Buffalo Milk Ranchers Wonder If U.S. Sheep Industry Has Bottomed Out http://krcc.org/post/ranchers-worry-demand-sheep-declines Over the last 20 years, the number of sheep in the U.S. has plummeted by half. The sheep industry has actually been declining since the late 1940s, when it hit its peak.<p>The sharp drop in production has left ranchers to wonder, "When are we going to hit the bottom?"<p>Some sheep are raised for their wool, others primarily for food. Consumption of both products — lamb meat and wool — have been declining in the U.S.<p>If you look at the tags on clothes in your closet, chances are quite a few pieces will be blended with synthetic fibers: nylon, rayon and polyester. Mon, 21 Oct 2013 09:03:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 10264 at http://krcc.org Ranchers Wonder If U.S. Sheep Industry Has Bottomed Out Can Millet Take On Quinoa? First, It'll Need A Makeover http://krcc.org/post/can-millet-take-quinoa-first-itll-need-makeover Walk through a health food store and you'll find amaranth, sorghum, quinoa — heritage grains that have been staples around the world for generations. Americans are just discovering them.<p>There's another age-old grain that grows right here on the Great Plains: millet.<p>The millet plant is drought-tolerant, and nutritionally it competes with quinoa, the protein-rich South American grain that American farmers <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/11/29/166155875/quinoa-craze-inspires-north-america-to-start-growing-its-own">are clamoring</a> to grow. Wed, 02 Oct 2013 07:23:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 9444 at http://krcc.org Can Millet Take On Quinoa? First, It'll Need A Makeover Heavy Rains Help Ease Drought http://krcc.org/post/heavy-rains-help-ease-drought <p></p><p>Recent flood waters have left behind plenty of damage, but there is one silver lining. Rains recharged the soil, which the 2012 drought left bone dry. KUNC’s Luke Runyon has more…</p><p></p><p>While there are still pockets of dry areas in the state, the drought has been almost completely wiped out in the foothills and northeastern plains of Colorado. State climatologist Nolan Doesken says these types of weather extremes happen. Colorado may have been drenched in rain, but Doesken says that can change in a matter of months.</p> Fri, 20 Sep 2013 13:05:00 +0000 Luke Runyon & Andrea Chalfin 8896 at http://krcc.org Heavy Rains Help Ease Drought Road Repairs From Flooding Could Top Half A Billion Dollars http://krcc.org/post/road-repairs-flooding-could-top-half-billion-dollars <span style="line-height: 1.5;">As the remaining flood survivors continue to be airlifted out of towns cut off by flooding, the focus is beginning to shift to recovery. Specifically on the very reason they have to be airlifted: roads.</span><p> Tue, 17 Sep 2013 14:15:42 +0000 Luke Runyon 8743 at http://krcc.org Road Repairs From Flooding Could Top Half A Billion Dollars Young Farmers Break The Bank Before They Get To The Field http://krcc.org/post/young-farmers-break-bank-they-get-field As the average age of the American farmer has crept up to 60, fewer young people are filling in the ranks behind them. That's prompted some to ask if young people even want to farm anymore.<p>The quick answer is yes, just not in the same numbers as they used to. Wed, 21 Aug 2013 07:05:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 7437 at http://krcc.org Young Farmers Break The Bank Before They Get To The Field Colorado Vault Is Fort Knox For The World's Seeds http://krcc.org/post/colorado-seed-vault-fort-knox-worlds-seeds When unapproved genetically modified wheat was found growing in Oregon earlier this year, it didn't take long for accusations to start flying. A flurry of initial finger-pointing cast potential blame on a federal seed vault in Fort Collins, Colo., which housed the same strain of wheat, developed by Monsanto Corp., for about seven years up until late 2011.<p>The facility has been cleared of wrongdoing since then. A U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman says all of Monsanto's 1,500 pounds of wheat seeds held at the vault were incinerated a year and a half ago at the corporation's request. Tue, 13 Aug 2013 07:02:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 7067 at http://krcc.org Colorado Vault Is Fort Knox For The World's Seeds Ecologists Turn To Planned Grazing To Revive Grassland Soil http://krcc.org/post/ecologists-turn-planned-grazing-revive-grassland-soil The world's soil is in trouble. Ecologists say without dramatic changes to how we manage land, vast swathes of grassland are at risk of turning into hard-packed desert. To make sure that doesn't happen, researchers are testing out innovative ways to keep moisture in the soil.<p>In eastern Colorado, one way could be in the plodding hooves of cattle.<p>Conventional wisdom tells you that if ranchland ground has less grass, the problem is too many cows. But that's not always the case. It depends on how you manage them, if you make sure they keep moving.<p>"Plants actually respond to grazing. Mon, 05 Aug 2013 07:27:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 6642 at http://krcc.org Ecologists Turn To Planned Grazing To Revive Grassland Soil The 'Fort Knox' of Seeds: How Safe is It? http://krcc.org/post/fort-knox-seeds-how-safe-it <p></p><p></p><p>When genetically modified wheat was found growing in Oregon earlier this year, it didn’t take long for accusations to start flying. No one knew how the unapproved wheat ended up in the ground. A flurry of finger-pointing cast potential blame on a federal seed vault in Colorado, which housed the same strain of wheat. The facility's been cleared of wrongdoing since then, but the investigation brings up questions of how secure these seed vaults actually are. KUNC and Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon took a tour of the Colorado vault, and has this report.</p><p></p> Wed, 31 Jul 2013 22:49:51 +0000 Luke Runyon 6474 at http://krcc.org The 'Fort Knox' of Seeds: How Safe is It? Young Farmers and the Obstacles They Face http://krcc.org/post/young-farmers-and-obstacles-they-face <p></p><p style="margin-bottom: 12px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font: inherit; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif; line-height: 15px; ">&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>The American farmer is getting older. Most recent census data shows the average age is 57. And while that tells us who is farming now, it also shows who’s not. While the farming community continues to age, fewer young people are filling the ranks. Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon asks the question: Do young people even want to farm anymore?</p><p></p><p></p> Tue, 23 Jul 2013 13:35:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 6027 at http://krcc.org Young Farmers and the Obstacles They Face Why You'll Be Paying More For Beef All This Year http://krcc.org/post/why-youll-be-paying-more-beef-all-year If you've experienced sticker shock shopping for ground beef or steak recently, be prepared for an entire summer of high beef prices.<p><a href="http://www.harvestpublicmedia.org/blog/1556/field-notes-drought-will-continue-haunt-beef-industry/5#.UbVNVZz9XTg">Multi-year droughts in states</a> that produce most of the country's beef cattle have driven up costs to historic highs. Last year, ranchers culled deep into their herds — some even liquidated all their cattle — which pushed the U.S. Wed, 12 Jun 2013 08:41:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 4009 at http://krcc.org Why You'll Be Paying More For Beef All This Year