Esther Honig

Reporter, Harvest Public Media

As a reporter for Harvest Public Media, I travel throughout northern Colorado, and parts of Wyoming and Nebraska to cover agriculture and rural issues.

I’m originally from Colorado and moved back after a nine year hiatus to work for KUNC. Previously, I spent two years reporting on the opioid epidemic in rural Ohio for the NPR affiliate in Columbus.

I got my start in radio journalism while attending college in Bay Area, where I earned a degree in Spanish, Latin American Studies.

After 10 years of consistent gains, the number of immigrant families enrolled in SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, fell by 10 percent in 2018.

New, preliminary research presented this month at the American Public Health Association conference showed the drop was highest for for families who had been in the U.S for fewer than five years. It’s a reflection of what Harvest Public Media and other outlets reported earlier this year: that some families are choosing not to participate in federal benefit programs out of fear it could impact their immigration status.

Eating crickets might improve the microbiome — the good bacteria found in the gut that wards off illness, according to a recent six-week study at Colorado State University.

A new poll suggests 72 percent of voters, regardless of party affiliation, believe Congress and federal regulators “need to do more” to bring high-speed internet to rural Americans.

On the campaign trail, President Donald Trump promised to revitalize rural America, specifically through increased investment in infrastructure. And his ag secretary, Sonny Perdue, wants to modernize the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

One rural bank representative said there’s a key piece to doing that: Fixing an outdated and burdensome loan application process to make it easier to access capital.

Employers can force workers to settle disputes outside of court, the U.S. Supreme Court said this week, which could negatively affect agricultural workers and employees who earn low wages.

Esther Honig / Harvest Public Media

The farm bill traditionally is a bipartisan effort, but House Republicans have proposed changes to the main federal food-aid program in this year’s version that has struck a nerve. To move it through efficiently, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says he’ll appeal to President Donald Trump.

“Well, obviously, he’s a big person to rely on, and when he puts his shoulder to the grind there in Congress, then typically things happen,” Perdue said Friday in Denver at a symposium on water conservation.

Esther Honig

At his booth for the 5th annual NoCo Hemp Exposition in Loveland, Colorado, Scott Leshman, founder of Cannabinoid Creations, pours samples of his signature soda flavor, Cartoon Cereal Crunch. It’s an ode to the popular breakfast cereal, Cap'n Crunch CrunchBerries, with a twist: It contains cannabidiol, also known as CBD oil.

“Most people are used to having a soda or a drink of some sort and this is just a nice and easy delivery method,” Leshman says.

U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall's Office

Held up over disagreements over federal food stamps, the first draft of the 2018 farm bill arrived Thursday, bearing 35 changes to that program, including starting a national database of participants.

The current farm bill expires Sept. 30; in the past, Congress has had to extend their work beyond deadlines. The bill — released on Thursday — came from the House Agriculture Committee, which is headed by Texas Republican Rep. Mike Conaway.

Esther Honig / Harvest Public Media

After crossing the border from Mexico, tens of thousands of unaccompanied child immigrants were resettled in the U.S. while they await immigration proceedings.

While many young immigrants now live in big cities like Houston and Los Angeles, thousands were placed in rural towns. Reporting for Harvest Public Media, Esther Honig traveled to a rural community in western Kansas, where she found young immigrants struggling for security.