For immediate release
September 25, 2000
Jessamyn Sarmiento, NPR
202-414-2304
jsarmiento@npr.org

From Rustic to High-Tech: NPR News Reveals a Rural Readiness for the E-Revolution

Saline County, MO-From Wall Street to rural America, technology has both increased our productivity and changed the way we conduct business. To stay afloat in today's competing global economy, corporations, small business owners and even farmers are facing the challenges associated with adapting their business operations to new technology.

As a part of the NPR News Series The Changing Face of America, technology reporter John McChesney returns to his family roots in Saline County, MO to examine the adaptation of technology in the agriculturally rich, central Missouri River Valley. McChesney reflects on the past 50 years in that region and remembers that in his childhood there was no electricity or running water. Now farmers use Global Positioning Satellites, computers to plant and harvest, and automated breading to raise hogs. Technology has been both a curse and a blessing to these farmers. They can increase their yields, but that brings prices down. Additionally, the industrialization of animal husbandry has raised moral questions about the confinement of livestock.

Tune in to NPR's All Things Considered on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 as McChesney takes a closer look at how farmers are adjusting to the digital revolution. For station information and broadcast times, please visit NPR's Web site at www.npr.org.

The Changing Face of America is an 18-month-long series that tells the stories of regular, everyday Americans and the issues they face at a time of dramatic and rapid change. NPR News correspondents explore and report on such diverse issues as immigration, inter-generational conflict, economic development, urban growth, education, technology and leisure, all within the context of a changing America. Feature segments of The Changing Face of America appear on Morning Edition® with Bob Edwards and All Things Considered®. As part of this series, NPR's midday call-in program, Talk of the Nation,® is traveling to cities and towns across America for monthly broadcast forums before live audiences.

The series is supported by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts. The Pew Charitable Trusts invest in ideas that fuel timely action and results. It is focusing a significant portion of its resources on supporting programs that stimulate participation in civic affairs. These include initiatives that foster a citizenry more engaged in local, regional and national public issues and that provide information resources for the media, the public and policymakers.

Renowned for its journalistic excellence and standard-setting news, information and cultural programming, NPR serves a growing audience of nearly 15 million Americans each week via more than 644 public radio stations. NPR also distributes programming to listeners in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa via NPR Worldwidesm to military installations overseas via American Forces Network, and throughout Japan via cable.