Planet Forward in Nebraska

In mid-September 2017, nine students from seven universities traveled to the middle of the country and met in Lincoln, Nebraska, to begin the journey to the southwestern corner of the state. We were seeking stories about the environment, science, technology — and the people who produce our food — in America's Heartland.

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Hub Content

Digital Media Producer, Planet Forward
The Ogallala Aquifer is the life source for farming in the High Plains of the United States, but its water levels are in a dangerous state

Farmer Roric Paulman talks with students about the challenges facing the aquifer, about 90 feet beneath their feet. (Planet Forward staff)

University of Missouri
In the face of a changing climate, the agriculture industry is increasingly figuring out how to produce more and use less.
McPheeters family
George Washington University
The popular imagination may think of agriculture as Mom and Dad with a pitchfork, but today’s Nebraskan corn farm is probably the furthest thing from the average arm-chair-futurist’s daydreams of farming reality.
George Washington University
On a Planet Forward storytelling trip this fall to Nebraska, I was inspired by the women we met — women not all in roles you'd expect to find on family farms and in the agriculture industry. 
The McPheeters Farm

A hilltop on the McPheeters farm in Gothenburg, Nebraska, offers a great vantage point to survey the family's land. (Planet Forward staff)

Arizona State University
“I know that we (farmers) are an integral part of the ecosystem of the Earth,” Nebraska farmer Scott McPheeters said. “We need to make it sustainable for everybody. We have to do it well and do it right.”
McPheeters Farm

The McPheeters family primarily farms corn, which is sold to Frito-Lay and used to make ethanol. (Laura Whaling/GWU)

Planet Forward Podcast
On this podcast, follow me on my journey to southwestern Nebraska to the McPheeters family farm to learn about their relationship with their land.
NET Nebraska group picture

Our first stop in Nebraska is in Lincoln: NET Nebraska, the headquarters for the state's network of public radio and television stations. Here the group met with experienced storytellers to learn more about environmental challenges that have been covered and the people the reporters met. From left: Dan Reed, Chad Davis, Eleanor Hasenbeck, Ilana Creinin, Laura Waxman, Topanga McBride, Diana Marcum, Laura Whaling, Will Lennon, Sydney Greene, Zack Smith and Kim Ossi.

University of Nebraska - Lincoln
In mid-September, nine students from universities across the country met in one of America's agricultural epicenters: Nebraska. We were here to tell some of the environmental stories found in our country's heartland.