The Jefferson Exchange Team

Jefferson Exchange Team

The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. John Baxter is the senior producer, April Ehrlich is the producer and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.

To contact the producers to pitch a segment idea or make a comment about the show, email them at or call 541-552-7075.

Agricultural Research Service, Public Domain,

Agricultural operations can be very different, from each one to the next.  Just think of the variety: from orchards of fruit trees to cattle ranches and beyond. 

Dairy farmers and people in similar operations have joined forces in the Oregon Pasture Network, a program of Friends of Family Farmers.  The point is to help the growth of pasture-based farming in Oregon, and it includes a Pasture Network Pledge. 


Modern medicine can accomplish a lot, but it can't save every life.  Nor can it answer every question. 

The ethics of medicine are examined by psychiatrist and bioethicist Jacob Appel in the book Who Says You're Dead? Medical & Ethical Dilemmas for the Curious & Concerned

In the title example, who decides you are dead if you are being kept alive only by machines?  If a test determines that a man's daughter is actually NOT his daughter, who does the doctor tell? 


People learned a long time ago the beauty of human voices raised together in song.  But that doesn't mean the only good choral music is old choral music. 

Southern Oregon Repertory Singers continue to prove that in the first concert of their new season, this weekend (October 26-27).  "She Walks in Beauty" is the title and featured piece, a contemporary work by Paul Mealor composed from Byron poem. 

The concert also features modern works by Eric Whitacre and Eriks Ešenvalds, plus some vintage pieces.

About a sixth of the U.S. population is living with mental illness. 

In a typical year, almost as many people get diagnosed with mental illness as break a bone.  The broken bone gets quick attention; we're still working on the efficacy of mental health treatment. 

The "clubhouse model" brings people with persistent mental illness together in a shared space.  In Medford, that is Southern Oregon Compass House

Once a month, one of its members joins us to talk about her or his experience with mental illness, in a segment we call Compass Radio.  Michael visits this month, to talk about trauma and dissociation.


"Be careful, God is watching."  A warning to keep your behavior within moral boundaries... IF you believe in God. 

But if you don't, or at least have doubts, you have to look somewhere else for hour moral underpinnings.  And that's been an argument for much of history: whether you can be sufficiently moral without religion. 

Of course, says sociologist Phil Zuckerman.  He teaches and writes about secular vs religious morality. 


Autumn rains have arrived, and the streams are up.  It's no accident that this is the week Lomakatsi Restoration Project chose for its annual streamside restoration week. 

Crews from the Ashland-based nonprofit have several projects going on, involving streams and students on both sides of the state line. 

We catch up on the variety of projects and people in a studio chat. 

Canadian Medical Association Journal

There are some diseases and pathogens we just don't expect to be present in our part of the world.  Malaria, for example; it's tropical, and so far has stayed in the tropics. 

The fungus cryptococcus gattii is supposed to be tropical, too.  But it's present in the region, and exposure to it can be fatal, and has been, at least a dozen times in the last 15 years in Oregon. 

Now researchers theorize that oceangoing ships, the 1964 tsunami, and a subsequent flood may all have helped push cryptococcus into the region. 


People with cancer are able to live longer than they used to, thanks to modern treatments.  But it's debatable whether we are gaining any ground in the war against cancer, and Azra Raza is ready to have that debate. 

She is an oncologist, so she treats people with cancer, including her late husband, who died of the disease.  Her view of how we treat and mis-treat cancer comes from many angles in the book The First Cell: And the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the Last

Raza questions spending $150 Billion every year on treatments that prolong life, but do not cure.

Kids don't seem to mind much what shape a piñata comes in, just as long as they can whack it with a stick and have candy come flying out. 

They might think twice (and should) about taking a swing at one of Justin Favela's inventions.  Favela is a Guatemalan-Mexican-American artist who grew up in Las Vegas. 

Much of his work is making piñatas on a human scale, and even bigger.  Favela is a visiting scholar and teacher at Southern Oregon University, installing one of his creations in SOU's Schneider Museum of Art. 

He visits the studio to talk about his inspiration and execution. 


It's not just that many children grow up in poverty in America; it's also that they tend to grow up in close quarters to one another. 

The Annie E. Casey Foundation recently released one of its "Kids Count" reports on federal census data, this one on concentrated poverty.  It shows that 57,000 Oregon kids are growing up poor, and poverty is often concentrated. 

And it is more concentrated for non-white children.  Children First for Oregon works to alleviate such situations. 


Think oppression, and you're generally thinking in terms of an "archy;" patriarchy, oligarchy, thearchy, and more.  To these, psychologist Melanie Joy wants to add "powerarchy." 

It takes in the overall system of power wielded to oppress people, and it is the title of her book: Powerarchy: Understanding the Psychology of Oppression for Social Transformation

Among the trends she explores: why people who value freedom and democracy occasionally vote to limit them. 


Every year, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranks all the states for their energy efficiency.  California did very well, placing second, right behind Massachusetts. 

But Oregon also made the top ten, coming in at number nine (nipping on the heels of Minnesota).  The state Department of Energy plays a role in the ranking.

Not so long ago, Wesley Hamilton did not exercise and ate some truly awful foods.  Then a bullet damaged his spinal cord and paralyzed him from the waist down. 

Rather than give in to his new reality, he began exercising and eating better, lost 100 pounds, and started a nonprofit, Disabled But Not Really.  DBNR offers programs in fitness and mental and physical health, and its rising profile landed Wesley Hamilton a "make-better" (not a makeover) on the Netflix series "Queer Eye." 


Anyone who was rusty on the term "whistleblower" got a hearty refresher of late, with a whistleblower taking news of White House activities to Congress. 

The recent occurrences are only the latest chapters in a story as long as the republic.  It's a story political scientist/economist Allison Stanger tells in a new book, Whistleblowers: Honesty in America from Washington to Trump

It reveals details like one of the first whistleblowing cases, a decade before the Constitution.

Plow it up, plant it, fertilize it, reap it.  That's the gist of conventional agriculture, and a growing number of farmers eschew the old practices for even older ones. 

Not tilling the soil is one of the key features of regenerative agriculture, which aims to capture soil in the ground and in plants, rather than releasing it to the atmosphere; it's for the health of the farm and the planet. 

Ray Archuleta is one of many people who spread the gospel of regenerative farming.  He and others work with states on legislation to incentive regenerative practices.

Somehow, we've reached a point in history where we can talk and joke about sex--a lot--and yet never talk about menstruation.  Shallan Ramsay not only talked about it, she devised a product to help women deal with periods. 

Thus was born MaskIT, a compostable product that allows women to dispose of pads and tampons in public restrooms without risk of exposure to blood-borne pathogens.  And the product is not all business; there are also messages of encouragement to women in the packaging. 

How did Shallan Ramsay decide to make MaskIT?  That's one of the first questions in this month's edition of The Ground Floor, our business/entrepreneur segment. 


Are you an epicurean?  Would you know how to be? 

The term has taken some twisting over the years, connoting to some people something between a snob and a gout sufferer.  Neither is correct, says philosopher Catherine Wilson. 

In fact, epicureanism is about living a good life in harmony with nature.  She writes of this and much more in the book How to Be an Epicurean: The Ancient Art of Living Well


Kids who started kindergarten this fall will graduate from high school after the year 2030.  How different will the world be, especially the occupations of that world?  And how can educators get students ready for those occupations? 

Those are among the questions at a seminar next week (October 22-23) at Southern Oregon University called "Seamless and Future-Ready Education."  The education think tank Knowledge Works will play a central role in the discussions. 

William Smith

A region known for its fruit is bound to consume some of its own wares. So pears and apples should be in abundance this time of year, now that the fruits have come off the trees. 

Our food segment, Savor, focuses on apples and pears in this month's edition.  Food stylist Will Smith, our partner, offers up another recipe maximizing the flavor of the fruit. 

Donar Reiskoffer, CC BY-SA 3.0,

In some cases, the controls came too late, but humans finally figured out that they were taking too many fish out of the ocean.  So they put catch limits in place, selectively closed down some fisheries, and instituted catch shares.  Catch shares? 

Yep, that's the name for a system in which companies and people fishing effectively buy a share of the market.  It's not a monopoly, but it can be very hard to get into. 

Investigative journalist Lee van der Voo examined the system in the book The Fish Market: Inside the Big-Money Battle for the Ocean and Your Dinner Plate