farming

The sun hasn't been up long in Kingfisher, Okla., but it already feels like it's burning. Trucks are moving wheat as people try to get their work done early. It looks like business as usual for a hot summer day an hour northwest of Oklahoma City.

Henry Senn, Jim Willms and Bill Stolz come to CHS Plains Partners, the local grain elevator, just about every day to share stories from the good old days and talk about wheat prices.

LeCows Dairy, Facebook

LeCows Dairy in Paducah is the last dairy farm in McCracken County. Passed down over generations, the family farm is now a women-owned business, with co-ownership between Ellie Gore Waggoner and her mother Lesa Elliott Clark. Ellie will be among the farmers in the Q&A session after the screening of the documentary "Farmland" at Maiden Alley Cinema on Friday, July 31, hosted by The Kentucky Soybean Board and CommonGround of Kentucky. The latter is an organization of Kentucky women offering conversations between women who grow food and women who buy it. On Sounds Good, Kate Lochte speaks with Waggoner about her experience in farming and the upcoming film.

Don't kiss your chickens!

That's the message from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is blaming a salmonella outbreak on backyard chicken owners being overly affectionate with their flocks.

The CDC says more than 180 people have come down with salmonella across the U.S. this year from contact with backyard poultry. Thirty-three of them became so sick they required hospitalization.

Rearranging veggie genes is big business, and we're not even talking about biotechnology. Private companies and university researchers spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year breeding better genetic varieties of food crops.

But organic farmers say those programs have a big blind spot when it comes to figuring out which new varieties are truly better. Few companies or researchers test those varieties under organic conditions.

Tennessee General Assembly / http://www.capitol.tn.gov/

A Nashville television station is alleging Tennessee State Rep. Andy Holt has committed violations and contaminated a creek while farming hogs in Weakley County. But state regulators haven’t taken any action against him.

You're in the supermarket gathering ingredients for eggnog and a Christmas Bundt cake, and you're staring at a wall of egg cartons. They're plastered with terms that all sound pretty wonderful: All-Natural, Cage-Free, Free-Range, Farm Fresh, Organic, No Hormones, Omega-3. And so on.

And yet the longer you stare at them, the more confused you become. You are tired and hungry, so you just grab the cheapest one — or the one with the most adorable chicken illustration — and head for the checkout line.

The average American farmer is a white man in his late 50s. Or at least, that's who's in charge of the farm, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But the number of female-run farms has tripled since the 1970s, to nearly 14 percent in 2012. And if you dig a little deeper, you'll find women are showing up in new roles. But because of the way farm businesses are structured, women's work often isn't included in those USDA counts.

'Tis the season to get out the coats, scarves, earmuffs and warm socks. But maybe those socks made from sheep's wool just aren't warm enough? Introducing alpaca fiber or "the fiber of the gods" as the Incans called it. It's a luxury fiber similar to cashmere, but has a hollow core that gives it an extra insulating property, which makes it lighter and warmer. On Sounds Good, we meet Kathy Tinkham of Red Roof Ranch Alpacas in Trigg County and learn how she got into raising alpacas and some of the items in her store that will keep you warm this winter season.

U.S. farmers are bringing in what's expected to be a record-breaking harvest for both corn and soybeans. But for many farmers, that may be too much of a good thing.

Farmers will haul in 4 billion bushels of soybeans and 14.5 billion bushels of corn, according to USDA estimates. The problem? Demand can't keep up with that monster harvest. Corn and soybean prices have been falling for months. A bushel of corn is now worth under $4 — about half what it was two years ago.

Frank Hennenfent is a typical Illinois farmer. At this time of year, he spends countless hours in an air-conditioned, GPS-equipped combine – an enormous machine that can harvest as many as 12 rows of corn at a time.

But in late September, Hennenfent was going back to the basics. He was a top competitor at the 34th annual Illinois State Corn Husking Competition.

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