Learn about the people, processes, and policies that shape how food is produced today, from the latest agricultural innovations to the day-to-day challenges of running a viable business growing vegetables and grazing cattle. Host Lisa Elaine Held is an experienced journalist who covers food, agriculture, and the environment for Civil Eats, The Guardian, and many other publications. On The Farm Report, she engages in conversations with farmers, farmworkers and the people who work alongside them—like chefs, researchers, activists, and investors. Expect from-the-field insights paired with real-world context as guests explore how producing fresh, delicious food relates to environmental and community sustainability, equality and justice, politics and policy, and better health.
Why Cover Crops Are Unlikely to Deliver Climate Benefits Anytime Soon
Cover crops are good for soil health, water quality, and climate resilience, and while more farmers are planting them compared to a decade ago, the number of covered acres is still miniscule compared to the amount of cropland that goes bare each winter. Now, a new analysis from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that in crucial Midwest states, increases in cover crop planting might be plateauing. In this episode, EWG director of spatial analysis Soren Rundquist joins host Lisa Held to talk about the report, its significance, and how spatial data can contribute to our broader understanding of agricultural climate solutions.
A Local Food App Created For and by Farmers
Lindsey Lusher Shute began working on the concept for GrownBy during her time at the National Young Farmers Coalition, because young farmers expressed a need for better technology that could help them sell their food. Now, after testing the platform during the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic on her own farm in the Hudson Valley and several others, the app is up and running with 160 farms around the country. In this episode, Lusher Shute talks to host Lisa Held about how GrownBy works, a cooperative model that means farmers retain power and profits, and the digital future of the local food marketplace.
Urban Farming in St. Louis
After observing how much the quality and variety of produce sold in grocery stores differed in neighborhoods across St. Louis, Tyrean Lewis started Heru Urban Farming to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to food apartheid communities. In this episode, he talks to host Lisa Held about growing the farm to four different plots in the city, how his family’s history in agriculture inspires and guides him, and bringing local young people onto the farm for job training and healing.
Fighting for Black Farmers’ Land
The American agricultural system was built based on the enslavement of African people, and since emancipation, systematic discrimination against Black people within agriculture has persisted. In 1920, close to 1 million Black farmers made up about 14 percent of America’s farmers. In 2017, less than 50,000 Black farmers remained, making up just over 1 percent. In this episode, Dania Davy joins host Lisa Held to talk about the impacts of land loss, her work helping Black farmers and families keep their homes and land, and whether new policies in Washington will have a meaningful impact on the ground. Davy recently joined the Federation of Southern Cooperatives as the director of land retention and advocacy.
Small Farms and the Post-Pandemic Unknown
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people began buying more local food directly from small farms in their communities, and some farmers scrambled to meet increased demand. A year later, as planting kicks off for the 2021 season, they’re asking: What now? Will customers keep coming back? Will they go back to old grocery habits? In this episode, host Lisa Held talks to farmer Becky Fullam—of Old Ford Farm in New York’s Hudson Valley—about what the past year has been like and why she’s hoping customers continue to support small farms like hers long after the pandemic is behind us.
Untold Stories of Urban Farming
From massive venture capital-funded vertical farms and rooftop CSA operations to community gardens and windowsill pots, what does growing food in cities look like? And, more importantly, why are people doing it? That’s the focus of Fields, a new podcast on Heritage Radio Network. In this episode, Lisa Held interviews Melissa Metrick and Wythe Marschall, the hosts of Fields, about how they got interested in urban agriculture and the kinds of stories they’re digging into as they explore urban farming’s broad, evolving landscape.
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Solid and thought-provoking
I’ve been listening to The Farm Report for a few years now, with good reason. Solid, thought-provoking two-way dialog about sustainable agriculture and the good food movement, with compelling sources and a knowledgeable host. Something to think about every time.
Informative & Interesting!
This podcast has great information about the growing sustainable food industry, with really interesting guests doing a lot to improve our food in the world!
At the forefront of urban farms
The Farm Report is clearly THE source for the future of framing in NYC!