Jake Ryan

The third annual Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum happened last weekend in Montrose.

Connecting the Drops: "Buy and Dry"

Oct 18, 2013
Maeve Conran

Water has always been a source of conflict in the arid West, but in recent years the conflict between agriculture and growing cities has escalated as both entities compete for this limited resource.

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Over the last 20 years, the number of sheep in this country has been cut in half. In fact, the number has been declining since the late 1940s, when the American sheep industry hit its peak. Today, the domestic sheep herd is one-tenth the size it was during World War II.

The decline is the result of economic and cultural factors coming together. And it has left ranchers to wonder, “When are we going to hit the bottom?”

Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

The world’s soil is in trouble. Ecologists say without dramatic changes to how we manage land, vast swathes of grassland are at risk of turning into hard-packed desert. Farmers and ranchers know in a few decades they’ll have to feed a lot more people, while at the same time, keep the soil healthy and make money doing it. KUNC and Harvest Public Media reporter Luke Runyon takes us to eastern Colorado, where researchers are turning to some unexpected partners to revive the soil.