WYSO

Agriculture

Oakview Farm Meats host gatherings at the farm where diners can sample the collaboration of Hippie and the Farmer.
Renee Wilde / WYSO

Pam Bowshier and Mark Runyan run the Champaign County Virtual Farmers Market together, but they also have working partnership, which they call Hippie and the Farmer. She is Hippie, the free-spirited baker; he's the conservative, 4th generation farmer. Together they've created a unique farm to table business. 

Pam Bowshier was selling her baked goods at the local farmers markets when she paired up with Mark Runyan, creating a breakfast sandwich from her bread and his sausage that people loved. 

Pam Bowsheir and Mike Runyan run Champaign Locally Grown.
Renee Wilde / WYSO

The first American farmers' market opened in Boston in 1634. They were the center of many communities until advances in modern refrigeration spawned the birth of the supermarket. In the 1970’s, Americans became more health conscious and the concept of buying fresh, locally grown produce straight from the farm caused a renaissance for farmers' markets.

Today, farmer’s markets are everywhere - even online.

The state is giving farmers another opportunity to apply for loans as they deal with severe weather and flooding that has kept many farmers from planting their crops. 

Ohio’s agriculture director is asking the federal government to help the state’s farmers, many of whom have been unable to plant crops because of rainy weather. 

American soil.

Those are two words that are commonly used to stir up patriotic feelings. They are also words that can't be taken for granted, because today nearly 30 million acres of U.S. farmland are held by foreign investors. That number has doubled in the past two decades, which is raising alarm bells in farming communities.

During a recent training session, a group of urban farmers in Mansfield, Ohio, huddled around a small raised bed of radishes, examining the crop’s growth after a cold spring week.

They aren't on your typical farm. Dozens of small beds of greens are lined up under tunnels in this “micro farm” on the Ohio State University Mansfield campus, which is built on top of a parking lot.

Codee Reed and Luke Wilson
courtesy of Jean Anders

As part of our series County Lines, Community Voices producer Anna Lurie went to rural Northeastern High School to talk to students in FFA about their lives.  In this story, two sophomore friends at Northeastern, Luke Wilson and Cody Reed, discuss the pressures and successes they experience raising and showing livestock. 

Transcript:

Luke Wilson: Okay, my name is Luke Wilson and I’m from Northeastern High School, I’m a sophomore and I’m 16 years old.

Graci Leonard and Gracie McHenry
courtesy of Jean Anders

As part of our series County Lines, Community Voices producer Anna Lurie went to rural Northeastern High School in Clark County, to talk to students in FFA about their lives.  Two sophomore friends at Northeastern, Graci Leonard and Gracie McHenry, discuss how they manage the demands of raising and showing animals, especially when life doesn’t go according to plan.

Transcript:

Graci Leonard: So what does a normal day for you look like?  I know it can be pretty hectic so how do you handle it?

Northeastern High School FFA students
courtesy of Jean Anders

Future Farmers of America was founded in 1928 in Kansas City, Missouri as way to educate the next generation of farmers. Today, FFA is a national organization for young people interested in leadership and agriculture.  There are over a dozen local FFA chapters in the Miami Valley - including one at Northeastern High School in rural Clark County.

As part of our series called County Lines, producer Anna Lurie went to Northeastern last fall to learn about FFA and to teach the students a little bit about radio.

rain
Santosh Kumar / Flickr Creative Commons

It's been a wet spring here in Southwest Ohio. April showers dropped above-average rainfall amounts, and more rain is in the forecast for the rest of the week. Drive along the county roads in this region and you can see a lot of muddy fields and standing water, and so we wanted to know: if you're a farmer, are you worried about too much rain?

In Greene County, the birds are singing, the chickens are clucking, and in the distance another storm is moving in. In this part of Ohio there has been above average rainfall for the past 6 months.

Pages