farmers

Veterans Day
7:33 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Texas Veterans Stepping Up to Fill Boots of Aging Agricultural Workers

Yvonne Martinez-Higgins and her husband William have put together a business plan and a logo for their family farm. But they admit they've found the process slow and difficult.
William Higgins and Yvonne Martinez-Higgins

Agriculture is big business in Texas. Statewide, it has a $100 billion dollar economic impact.

But the industry may be at risk. The average age of a Texas farmer or rancher is 59. And fewer young people are taking over the labor-intensive work.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has set up a program to assist aging agricultural workers in Texas. They’ve also identified a population that may be well-suited for taking over the work – veterans.

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Supreme Court
10:28 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Supreme Court Rules For Monsanto In Case Against Farmer

Vernon Hugh Bowman, who took his case to the Supreme Court, lives outside the small town of Sandborn, Ind.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 9:50 am

A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Monday that an Indiana farmer infringed on Monsanto's patent when he planted soybeans that had been genetically modified by Monsanto without buying them from the agribusiness giant.

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Food
5:33 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

A Permanent Farmers Market, and 5 Other Ways Austin Can Become A Foodie Capital

City of Austin officials visited Pike Place Market in Seattle to see how a permanent farmer's market might operate.
flickr.com/stilli00

The City of Austin is thinking about helping to create a permanent farmers' market that would operate seven days a week. It was the first recommendation in a recent report produced for the city by Texas Perspectives, a local economic analysis and consulting firm. 

"Permanent food markets and food hubs could well speak to all the major findings of this report," TXP wrote, "as they offer the possibility of enhancing the Austin food sector in a way that appeals to both tourists and locals." 

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Arts and Culture
12:39 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

'God Made A Farmer' And The Super Bowl Made Him A Star

A still from the Super Bowl ad, "God Made a Farmer"
Youtube

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:14 pm

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Health
4:42 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Is Buying Organic Worth It?

A study argues organic produce doesn't have higher vitamin content over non-organic foods. Detractors argue the study's missing the point.
KUT News

A Stanford University study published today doubting the health benefits of organic fruits, vegetables and meats has some Texas farmers raising questions.

The study, authored by Dena Bravata, MD, MS, was published in today’s issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. It found no consistent differences in the vitamin content of organic food versus the cost-cutting, conventionally grown alternative.

“That study doesn’t really look at a lot of very important factors,” says Judith McGeary, founder of the Texas-based Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance. “Vitamin content isn’t the only issue, even for adults. One issue is the exposure to pesticides, which are to be blunt, poison. And the study did show that there was significantly less exposure to pesticides from organic produce than from conventional."

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Texas
10:59 am
Fri July 20, 2012

How the Midwest Drought is Affecting Texas Farmers

Texas corn suffered from drought in 2011, but conditions have eased somewhat in 2012.
Robert Burns for Texas AgriLife Extension Service

While Texas has partially recovered from drought conditions thanks to heavy rain, the Midwest is going through one its worst drought years in decades. And conditions may impact some  – but not all  – Texas farmers’ pocketbooks.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the nation is going through the worst agricultural drought since 1988. For corn and soybean growers it’s been especially harmful, since more than three-quarters of those crops are considered to be in a drought area. But that could actually prove to be beneficial for Texas.

“With the Midwest suffering from drought, that’s driving prices up," says Bob Rose, chief meteorologist with the Lower Colorado River Authority. "So that means the market price for the corn, for many of the farmers in Texas and our area, is going to be very good."

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First Person
2:58 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

First Person: Young Organic Farmer

First Person is an ongoing series from KUT News where Central Texans tell their own stories, in their own words.

KUT News freelancer Jeff Heimsath filmed Marissa Lankes, an organic farmer at Austin’s Boggy Creek Farms. While passionate about her work, Lankes dispels the romanticism of farming, and argues that interest in artisan fields like organic farming may be a product of dimming career prospects for young citizens and recent college graduates. 

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Environment
9:22 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Studies Show Why Insecticides Are Bad News For Bees

One class of insecticides makes an entire corn plant poisonous to many insects that feed on it, including bees.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 4:33 pm

The search for the killer of America's bees is a little bit like an Agatha Christie novel.

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Environment
2:07 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

How Homegrown Charcoal May Get Your Garden Through A Drought

Scientists say biochar can help dry, sandy soils, like the one pictured here, retain water and nutrients.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 3:07 pm

You've probably heard of compost – that thick chocolate-colored stuff that's an organic gardener's best friend and supplies plants with all kinds of succulent nutrients.

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Health
5:25 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

There's More To Fixing Food Deserts Than Building Grocery Stores

Concepsion Alcantar-Alvarez looks through her cart in the check-out line at a Food 4 Less store in Chicago.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 2:54 pm

There has been a lot of talk about what's wrong with food deserts. First lady Michelle Obama, for one, says far too many people can't access the fruits and vegetables they need to be healthy.

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Health
4:51 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Farmers’ Market Doubles Purchasing Power for Needy Families

Sustainable Food Center, which operates three farmers’ markets, is opening a fourth in Northeast Austin.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/cbroders

A new farmers’ market opens on Austin's eastside tomorrow. And aside from offering fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses, the market offers a special incentive for families needing food assistance.  

The market, located at the YMCA East Communities Branch will be run by the Sustainable Food Center (SFC). It’s the fourth farmer’s market the SFC operated in Austin.

But SFC community relations director Susan Leibrock notes that this center is different: shoppers using a SNAP, Lone Star or WIC benefits card will have their fruit and vegetable purchases matched, up to $10 each week, by the market.

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food
2:51 pm
Mon July 25, 2011

Help Drought Stricken Farmers: Eat Their Food

courtesy flickr.com/photos/46523905@N00/

Three-quarters of Texas is experiencing “exceptional drought”, the worst category used by the US Drought Monitor. The effect on farmers and ranchers has been profound. But a state program launching today aims to give city folk a way to help farmers and ranchers by enjoying the fruits – and meats – of their labor.

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Texas
4:46 pm
Wed May 11, 2011

Farmers Sound Alarm On Drought Disaster

Photo by Whatknot http://www.flickr.com/photos/whatknot/

Historically dry conditions have brought the the Texas agriculture industry to its knees, according to the Texas Farm Bureau's board of directors. The board met for its quarterly meeting in Waco today and released this statement.

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Texas
11:32 am
Thu December 9, 2010

Drought Conditions Threaten Texas

A dry lakebed near Dallas in 2005. Latest weather data indicates most of Texas is "abnormally dry" right now.
Image courtesy Whatknot http://www.flickr.com/photos/whatknot/

The latest US Drought Monitor Map, released this morning, shows 85 percent of Texas is "abnormally dry."

Eighty Texas counties currently have burn bans in effect, according to a Texas Parks and Wildlife map. Travis County is not currently under a burn ban but the neighboring counties of Williamson, Lee, Burnet, and Blanco are.

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