5.20.2012

The Farmer of the Future


Photo Courtesy of Russ Seidel
Harvest Public Media - This we know: You can’t feed the growing world population without farmers. But there are serious questions today about who will take on the job a few decades from now.  This five part series explores how technological, cultural, and political forces are bringing immense change to people who commit to building their lives around the land.

Sioux County, IA
Blending of Cultures May be Blue Print for Growth, Part 1: While some of the rural Midwest is hollowing out, regions like Sioux County, Iowa, are actually growing, thanks largely to immigrant populations moving in to take jobs that employers otherwise cannot fill. Kathleen Masterson reports melding cultures is never easy, but in communities like Sioux County, Latinos are slowly making the Midwest their home. Click here to listen to part 1

Manhattan, KS
Take Me to Your Fields: Robots on the Farm, Part 2: With automation already popular on many farms, how far will technology go? Jeremy Bernfeld reports on whether the farmer of the future will be human at all. Click here to listen to part 2





Lincoln, NE
The Sustainable Hand, Part 3: It seems every farming operation today professes to be "sustainable." We may not know if that’s true until decades from now, but Jessica Naudziunas reports farmers' choices today well may provide a game plan for tomorrow. Click here to listen to part 3
 
Loose Creek, MO
Who are You Calling a Corporate Farmer? Part 4: Agriculture is a big business fueled by big businesses. And although farmers themselves still come in many sizes, Peggy Lowe reports the distinction between corporate ownership and family farmer is blurring. Click here to listen to part 4

Freeman, MO
A Plot in the Middle, Part 5: The number of very small farms and very large farms have increased dramatically in the last few years, U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics show, at the expense of medium-sized, self-sustaining  family farms. So does that mean the Farmer of the Future will be either the benefactor of an enormous family operation, or the owner of a marginal hobby, or life-style operation? Frank Morris reports a few people are actually finding ways to break into mid-level production agriculture. Click here to listen to part 5

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