Century Farms

This show was inspired by Iowa's Century Farms, the Iowa Public Television documentary, which Local Talk host Paul Wierson narrated. When the planned interview with the show's producer didn't materialize, the live guests in the studio came through in amazing ways. To represent century farmers we spoke with Ben Wise, who told us how his father, and farming partner, grows organic row crops (corn, beans, barley, and sorghum) to keep the soil productive and serve a niche market. Ben, already an instructor in Ag Education, is working with Practical Farmers of Iowa to learn how to diversify for even more productive use of their acreage. Then Marsha Miller told us her memories of growing up on her grandparents' century farm (pictured at left, the original 1848 deed for 160 acres to prove it) and to tell how farmers on that land have kept it productive enough to make a living through succeeding decades. Then we had a lively discussion of the role of folk music in the social life of farmers over that past hundred and fifty years by Marty Miller who is making arrangements for the Harmaleigs' concert on March 11 at the Pantorium, and by Lance Sumpter, who was there to tell us about the music he will feature on his Friday 10:00 PM to 12:00 midnight DJ show, The Blue-collar Philosopher. Only on KHOI.

Producer: Susan Franzen

Originally broadcast 03/04/2015
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