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Seg. 1: Farmers' Real Plight. Seg. 2: Digital Age Reading.

As long as food is on the table, many don't recognize the crisis in the farming industry that has lead to growing financial and mental health struggles among farmers.

Segment 1: Policymakers have yet to grasp the depth of the recession in farm country.

Farmers are slowly losing their livelihood as the input costs of farming rise and the price of commodoties sink. We talked with Paul Johnson, a grower and policy analyst, about the crisis in farm country. "There's not much, if any, of a debate of a farm and food discussion that we need in Kansas," Johnson said.

Segment 2, beginning at 23:48: Digital devices have created a society of skimmers not readers.

Reading print on paper allows the brain more time for cognitive processes like critical thinking.  "When you skim you are not utilizing, at the same level, the more sophisticated processes," like empathy  Maryanne Wolf said.

Maryanne Wolf presents “The Challenges of Reading in the Digital Age” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 4, at Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library, 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64112.  RSVP at kclibrary.org


When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.