On The Table 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.
On The Table

On The Table

From Nebraska Public Media

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.

Most Recent Episodes

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, https://www.rollcall.com/news/policy/trump-sign-farm-bill-minus-food-stamp-changes Catherine Boudreau's story about the farm bill passed by Congress, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/12/house-passes-farm-bill-1060916

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; http://www.mtpr.org/people/nicky-ouellet Fourth National Climate Assessment Executive Summary; https://science2017.globalchange.gov/chapter/executive-summary/ National Interagency Fire Center, fire information; https://www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/fireInfo_main.html

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, https://www.harvestpublicmedia.org/post/hemp-farmers-show-excitement-and-concern-over-possible-federal-legalization https://www.harvestpublicmedia.org/post/cannabis-derived-drug-gains-full-federal-approval-some-cbd-reclassified Congressional Research Service report on hemp as a potential cash crop https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32725.pdf

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, https://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, https://www.harvestpublicmedia.org/post/farm-bill-deadline-pass-without-extension-against-wishes-influential-groups

Episode 6: Paying Nature's Debt

As the nation finds itself recovering from yet another record-setting and devastating hurricane, NET's "On the Table" looks at how farmers and ranchers receive federal disaster relief. Whether it's a plantain plantation demolished by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico or a wheatfield destroyed by wildfire in Oregon—the Farm Bill sets aside funds to offset losses for damage to crops and livestock. FERN, the Food and Environment Reporting Network, https://thefern.org/ Allison Keyes, @allisonradio iCyclone footage from Hurricane Maria, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae96xf293Dc

Episode 5: Deal or No Deal

In this episode of NET's "On the Table," we grapple with the shift toward polarization in American politics. For years, the farm bill was built around compromise between urban and rural interests in Congress. But today's political landscape is marked by partisan ideology and the farm bill is no exception. Check out Christopher Bosso's book covering farm bill politics in 2014: https://kansaspress.ku.edu/978-0-7006-2420-1.html Look at Ellyn Ferguson's coverage of the farm bill here: https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/senate-agrees-conference-house-farm-bill-compromise Music by Blue Dot Sessions: freemusicarchive.org/music/Blue_Dot_Sessions/

Episode 4: Growing Organic

Sales of organic food have been growing fast and show no signs of slowing down. But what do consumers think they're buying? In this episode of NET's "On The Table," we look at what organic means and how the 2018 farm bill could change the course of the industry. Show notes: FERN, The Food and Environment Reporting Network: https://thefern.org/ Barry Yeoman: https://barryyeoman.com/ Organic sales trends from the Organic Trade Association: https://ota.com/resources/organic-industry-survey Music by Blue Dot Sessions: https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Blue_Dot_Sessions/

Episode 3: Heart and Soil

In this episode of NET's "On the Table," NPR's Dan Charles introduces us to a group of farmers with their noses in the dirt and explains why food companies could soon start labelling their products as soil friendly. And host Grant Gerlock digs into a program that pays farmers to be conservation-minded. It's popular, but could be cut in the 2018 farm bill. Show Notes To watch the The Plow that Broke the Plains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQCwhjWNcH8 For an even more in-depth history of soil conservation in the U.S. check out: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/about/history/?cid=nrcs143_021392 Music by Blue Dot Sessions: https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Blue_Dot_Sessions/