Business Beat

Business Beat

From KBIA

A weekly look at business issues important to mid-Missouri.More from Business Beat »

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Business Beat - Local Businesswoman Expands Online Start-up into Fulton Store

Beth Snyder turned her hobby of printmaking into a career when she started 1canoe2, a print and illustration studio. Her passion for creating prints began when her husband, then-fiancé, bought her a press for about $700 on eBay, for Christmas in 2007. She had wanted to print her wedding invitations using a traditional method.

Business Beat - Local Businesswoman Expands Online Start-up into Fulton Store

Business Beat - As Veterans Become Entrepreneurs, SBA Looks to Lend a Hand

Senior Airman Drew Forster joined the military as a way to pay for college. He returned from active duty in 2014 and says his time in the Air Force taught him skills he still uses today, like resilience, working under pressure — and something a little unexpected.

Business Beat - As Veterans Become Entrepreneurs, SBA Looks to Lend a Hand

Business Beat - Why You Should Care About 'Big Ag' Companies Getting Bigger

Five of the six biggest companies that produce and sell seeds and chemicals to the world's farmers are pursuing deals that could leave a market dominated by just three giant, global companies. They say getting bigger means bringing more sophisticated and innovative solutions to farmers faster, but opponents say consolidation has irreversible downsides.

Business Beat - Why You Should Care About 'Big Ag' Companies Getting Bigger

Business Beat - Eat or Be Eaten: How 'Big Ag' Came to Be

The massive industry that supplies farmers with the tools to raise crops is on the brink of a watershed moment. High-profile deals that would see some of the largest global agri-chemical companies combine are in the works and could have ripple effects from farm fields to dinner tables across the globe. Six companies currently dominate the marketplace for agricultural seeds and farm chemicals, like fertilizer and pesticides: BASF, Bayer, DuPont, Dow, Monsanto and Syngenta. Of those, only BASF is not currently in discussions to merge. Dow and DuPont want to join forces and then spin off three separate companies, one of them dedicated to agriculture. Monsanto, currently the world's largest seed company, has accepted an offer from Bayer. And China National Chemical Company, known as ChemChina, wants to purchase Syngenta. In some ways, the growth and consolidation of the agriculture industry is a common story of American business: growth snowballed until small companies become part of

Business Beat - Farmers, Antitrust Activists Are Worried That Big Ag Is Only Getting Bigger

Like most farmers, Mark Nelson, who grows corn, soybeans and wheat near Louisburg, Kan., is getting squeezed. He's paying three times more for seed than he used to, while his corn sells for less than half what it brought four years ago. "It's a – that's a challenge," Nelson says. "You're not going to be in the black, let's put it that way." Low commodity prices are rippling up and down the farm-economy food chain — from the farm to the boardroom — and it has many of the huge companies that control farm inputs looking to a new future. Most of the seeds and chemicals used to grow the world's crops come from just a handful of big companies, and the largest of those multinational companies — Monsanto, Bayer, Dow, DuPont, and Syngenta — are trying to get even bigger. The prospect of fewer, larger companies controlling so much of the basic food supply is giving some farmers and antitrust advocates heartburn. With massive supplies of the world's most important crops, like corn and soybeans,

Business Beat - Farmers, Antitrust Activists Are Worried That Big Ag Is Only Getting Bigger

Business Beat - Katy Trail Expands Towards Kansas City

After a decade of planning and development, the Katy Trail extension towards Kansas City is set to open. The trail will be open to the public this October and it's news not only for cyclists, but also for business owners.The Missouri State Parks Department says the Katy Trail supports 367 jobs and generates about $18.5 million in economic impact a year, which could grow. Over 47 miles will be added to the Katy Trail, expanding it from Windsor to Pleasant Hill. This means more land will be available for potential business to cater to the visitors to the soon-to-be largest railroad trail in the country. "[The expansion] could double my revenue. Visitors can plan a day trip from Pleasant Hill to Cabooses," said Damon Cruce, the owner of Cruce's Cabooses—a bed and breakfast along the Katy Trail. Cruce says he's mostly excited about the Katy Trail expansion and confident his business will improve with the increase in cyclists along the trail. "Everybody will benefit. That's guaranteed,"

Business Beat - Bringing Up Business Week Connects Entrepreneurs

This week is the first Bringing Up Business Week in Columbia. It's an opportunity for entrepreneurs to pitch new ideas, learn business skills and network with each other. KBIA's Michaela Tucker talked with Steve Wyatt, the Vice Provost of Economic Development at the University and an organizer of the week, about how the university is engaging with the entrepreneurial community in Mid-Missouri. Columbia's a great city and if you look a lot the rankings we generally rank very high an entrepreneurship support. it's a great place for young people to start their companies. And we have a lot of events throughout the entire year. and what we realized is that it would be great if we had a week long celebration. we took some of those events that were scattered throughout the year and we begin to kind of compress them during this week long celebration, and then we added some new events that we hadn't recently had. So it's our attempt to bring those events together and give people an opportunity

Farmers Look to Chickens and Bugs as Natural Pesticides

In an effort to turn away from chemical pesticides, which have the potential to damage the environment, some farmers are looking in a new direction in the age-old, quiet struggle on farm fields of farmers versus pests. They're warding off intruding insects and noxious weeds with bugs and chickens. Gary Wenig and his wife bought 40 acres in central Missouri to grow organic vegetables. The land was full of weeds and insects, he says, and going organic meant the Wenigs couldn't use conventional pesticides like the ubiquitous Round-Up or Atrazine. Organic farmers can use natural pesticides, but they're expensive and still can be dangerous. Wenig decided to experiment. He planted what are known as "trap crops," sacrificial plants not raised for harvest but that are extra tasty for pesky insects like squash bugs. Trap crops like Blue Hubbard squash attract the harmful bugs, leaving his zucchinis largely untouched. "The bugs will move in and they'll stop at that point and eat those plants,"

Business Beat - At Fair Time, Chainsaws Create a Buzz

Sandy Songer of Broken Bow, Oklahoma, has a bit of advice for anyone who wants to watch chainsaw artists in action. "If you're going to stay around us very long, you need to put some earplugs in," she says with a laugh, as chainsaws revved and roared behind her like race cars, drowning out everything else in the background. From carnival barkers, to Ferris wheels humming, to snorts and moos of livestock shows, late-summer state and county fairs are noisy, chaotic affairs. Add to the din this season: chainsaws buzzing. At the Adams (Illinois) County Fair at the end of July, a group of carvers brought their saws and their ear plugs to compete in chainsaw carving competition. Each artist turned a block of wood into a sculpture – an animal, a wizard, a dragon – and the artist whose work brought in the most money at auction was declared the winner. Songer demonstrated her sculpting skills at the fair with her husband, Stevie. She said they've been carving for 16 years. "He was a chainsaw

Summer Camp Counselors Are Disappearing...Though Not How You Might Think

When the first busload of campers arrived at Camp Sabra in Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks this summer, they were greeted by more than one hundred cheering, dancing and hugging counselors. For the first time in four years, Sydney Aaranson was not one of those counselors.

Summer Camp Counselors Are Disappearing...Though Not How You Might Think

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