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Loving A Tough Job: "This Blessed Earth"

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Mary Anne Andrei
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Harvesting corn on the Hammond family farm.

Running a farm is like running a factory, except you're not quite sure how much you'll produce until the season is over. 

That's just one of many challenges in agriculture, and there are many more, especially for smaller family farmers.  Agri-giant businesses have economies of scale that the small farms lack. 

But plenty of people are still dedicated to growing crops and a livelihood with them, just on a smaller scale. 

Ted Genoways follows a farm family in Nebraska in his took This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm.  Through the author, we meet the Hammond family as the fifth generation prepares to hand off to the sixth.  
 

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Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for more than 35 years, working in both television and radio.
John Baxter's history at JPR reaches back three decades.  John was the JPR program director who was the architect of "the split" when JPR grew from a single program stream to three separate streams. We coaxed him out of retirement and he's now a co-producer of the Jefferson Exchange.
April Ehrlich is an editor and reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Previously, she was a news host and reporter at Jefferson Public Radio.