Neil Sullivan stands at the counter of his deli, The St. Vrain Market in Lyons, Colo.
Credit Grace Hood / KUNC
It’s been six months since heavy rain flooded 24 Colorado counties, damaging businesses, homes, roads and ending 10 lives. An estimated 28,000 residents were impacted and nearly 1,000 businesses were damaged or destroyed.
When it comes to business, the small towns of Lyons and Estes Park have faced a particularly steep road to recovery.
Robbie Maass shows his mother, Leah, the Commodity Challenge game that is helping him understand market tools. Leah Maass says her farm could benefit from better use of the tools and she’s hoping Robbie will be able to learn how to put them to work for the family.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media
On a frigid winter day, Chad Hart tries to warm his economics students at Iowa State University to the idea of managing some of the risk of farming using the commodity markets. Because, as he told them on the first day of class, farmers don’t make money planting or harvesting crops; they make money selling them. And Hart knows that marketing—managing those sales for the best profit—can be intimidating.
Donnie Davidson turns off the lights in his dairy parlor. His family has been producing grade A milk in Holden, Mo., since the 1930s.
Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media
Donnie Davidson’s family has been producing bottled milk in Holden, Mo., since the 1930s. But the 63-year-old farmer decided to sell his herd of 50 milking cows in November after the roof on one of his barns collapsed from last winter’s snow.
Financial instutitions have been reluctant to open accounts with marijuana businesses for fear of racketeering or money laundering charges. That could change soon.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media
The “Cash Only” signs that are ubiquitous in Colorado’s marijuana businesses, medicinal or recreational, could soon be on the way out. Attorney General Eric Holder says the U.S. Department of Justice will soon issue guidelines meant to put skittish financial institutions at ease about dealing in the burgeoning marijuana industry.
A Del’s Popcorn shop employee in Decatur, Ill., starts the vintage popcorn popper. Del’s relies heavily on holiday sales, but is struggling with the high price of popcorn.
Credit Peter Gray / Harvest Public Media
U.S. popcorn sellers took a big hit from the 2012 drought, which caused one of the worst popcorn harvests in recent memory. Crops not irrigated were decimated and low supplies continue to force local candy shops and giant movie theater chains alike to pay high prices for the golden grain, biting into their profit margin.