Agriculture has been an integral part of Minnesota’s land and water for a thousand years. While crops have changed, the spirit of farming has remained constant. MPR Archive presents a selection of stories that reflect the diversity of what has been harvested, such as corn, soybeans, wild rice, and even tree fiber. This collection is also about the many hands that toil in, and care for, the soil and water…from the migrant farm worker in Red River Valley’s sugar beet fields, the Hmong immigrant planting near Homer, the Chanarambie Township farmer amidst the 1980s farm crisis, and Ojibwe members following ancient harvesting traditions.
October 16, 1972 - MPR’s Rachel Kranz reports on the growth of wild rice production in Minnesota. Kranz talks with farmers about issues and sales of rice as a farm product.
November 20, 1972 - MPR’s Mark Heistad shares a poignant childhood memory of the sights, sounds and smells on a rural farm during the harvest season.
May 27, 1973 - Part four of the MER documentary series, A Sense of Place. Program is titled “How You Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm?” and focuses on life on the farm and of the farmer.
November 22, 1974 - The Minnesota Soil Association promotes low-energy/organic farming. Energy shortage may influence farmers to take organic farming more seriously.
October 1, 1975 - MPR’s Greg Barron visits Earl Cunningham’s farm in Sleepy Eye, which has been organic since 1964. Tours come to see this revolutionary way of farming for the 20th Century. Barron interviews Cunningham, who is passionate about organic practices and talks about how it's done.
October 2, 1975 - Organic farmer Earl Cunningham equates natural soil "with the Creator" and chemically treated soil as "prostituted." He takes John Gostivitch, an agricultural economist from the University of Minnesota; and Charles Reinhardt, a citizen member of the state's pesticide task force, on a tour of his crops.
October 10, 1975 - When harvest time arrives in the northern plains farmers go into the fields to harvest the crop. This story is primarily a montage of sounds of the harvest including combines, farm machinery, and a farmer’s reflections.
October 13, 1975 - MPR’s Steve Monroe interviews Jerry Perkins, a farmer near Worthington about the corn yield this year. Perkins discusses various harvesting challenges, including weather and where do you cut down on the use of fuel at the expense of crop loss in the field?
July 11, 1977 - MPR’s John Ydstie presents sound portrait of a migrant family working the sugar beet fields of the Red River Valley.
October 22, 1977 - The following edition of The Poet's Perspective is on the subject of harvesting, food, and the environment. The program features Southwest Minnesota regional poets Joe and Nancy Paddock.