These are the stories of where our food comes from, the people who make it, and how one law could change everything. Join Grant Gerlock as he serves up the Farm Bill in delectable audio morsels that explain how all this will affect your life.
Episode 12: Connecting to the Future
For most of us, having a good broadband connection is almost as important as having lights and running water. But in many rural areas, a fast, affordable connection is still hard to come by.
In this episode of NET’s On The Table, we hear what happens when a small town is stuck with a slow internet connection and why money from the farm bill and other federal broadband programs is not always making it to the places that need it most.
Jonathan Ahl’s reporting about broadband access in Swiss, Missouri: http://www.harvestpublicmedia.org/post/rural-businesses-need-better-internet-access-expand-solutions-aren-t-so-easy
Roberto Gallardo’s 2016 TedX talk about the rural digital divide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30tFztBdXZM
Census report on broadband and poverty: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2018/2013-2017-acs-5year.html
FCC broadband map: https://broadbandmap.fcc.gov/#/
Episode 11: Finally, A Farm Bill!
After months of negotiation and after withstanding a last minute political maneuver, the 2018 Farm Bill was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump. The law spends $867 billion over 10 years on everything from food assistance, to crop insurance, to forestry and much more. In this episode of On The Table, NET’s Grant Gerlock discusses what made it in the final bill, and what was left out, with Ellyn Ferguson of CQ Roll Call and Catherine Boudreau of Politico.
Ellyn Ferguson’s article on the farm bill headed to President Trump,
Catherine Boudreau’s story about the farm bill passed by Congress,
Episode 10: The Fight Over Forest Fires
You may have never thought of them this way, but forests are a lot like crops. With wildfires and other ecological concerns rising, what does this mean for how we think about our forests? Well, we may find some answers in the Farm Bill. In this episode of NET’s On The Table, we’re talking about what the Farm Bill means to one of our most important resources.
Nicky Ouellet, Montana Public Radio;
Fourth National Climate Assessment Executive Summary;
National Interagency Fire Center, fire information;
Episode 9: A New Hope for Hemp
Industrial hemp is not a new crop, but some farmers are hoping it could bring new life to their businesses. The 2018 Farm Bill could make it legal to grow again across the U.S. In this episode of NET’s On The Table, Grant Gerlock talks to Harvest Public Media’s Esther Honig about confusion between federal and state laws over hemp production and a California farmer explains why he sees hemp as a lucrative alternative to the lettuce and cauliflower he grows now.
Esther Honig’s coverage on hemp farming,
Congressional Research Service report on hemp as a potential cash crop
Episode 8: The Misfits
Most of the money in the farm bill spent to support farmers goes to people growing large-scale commodity crops like corn, soybeans and cotton. Very little goes to urban farmers or small vegetable producers. In this episode of NET’s On The Table, farmers who don’t fit the traditional mold talk about surviving without a safety net.
Growing Home, http://growinghomeinc.org/
Robinette Farms, https://www.robinettefarms.com/
Alex McKiernan’s podcast, Science for the Rest of Us, https://www.scienceforus.org/
Episode 7: Bill Past Due
The farm bill is late. On September, 30th the current law expired and Congress is not close to passing a new version. In this episode, NET's Grant Gerlock talks with reporters Ellyn Ferguson (CQ Roll Call) and Madelyn Beck (Harvest Public Media) for a brief update on the consequences for people who depend on farm and rural programs. And if Congress couldn’t pass a farm bill by now, when will it happen?
Ellyn Ferguson’s coverage of the farm bill here, https://www.rollcall.com/author/efergusoncq-com
Madelyn Beck’s story about the farm bill expiring,
Glad Somebody Finally Made This Podcast
This podcast series takes a topic that is typically filed under “Boring But Important” (the Farm Bill) and makes it interesting without losing the import. I especially like how each episode is anchored in some type of historical context. This podcast is less about breaking news and more about truly educating you on the issues at stake.
learning new things!
Interesting new show! Learning a lot.
If you’re into shows like Planet Money and Hidden Brain that breakdown seemingly boring topics into relevant fun audio bites. You’re going to love this show!