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Farmer of the Future Series - Part 1: Blending of Cultures May be Blueprint for Growth

Terry Van Maanen bought Winding Meadows Dairy from his father in the '80s and has grown it to about 600 cows. He sells milk to Land O Lakes. (Photo by Kathleen Masterson/HPM)

Who is the farmer of the future? That’s the question being posed by Harvest Public Media in a weeklong series that explores how demographic, technological and cultural forces will shape America’s food producers into the next decade and beyond. We begin with a story from Kathleen Masterson. In part one of our series, we discover that while much of the rural Midwest is hollowing out -– some small regions are actually GROWING, largely due to immigration populations taking ag-related jobs that otherwise employers cannot fill. Melding cultures is never easy, but in communities like Sioux County, Iowa… there's a mutual reliance… and slowly members of the Latino community are changing the landscape of the rural Midwest.


This is the first report in a five-part series called "Farmer of the Future" on Kansas Public Radio. The series is part of a reporting project called Harvest Public Media.  Learn more at

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