Episode 803 – America’s Heartland

Episode 803 – America’s Heartland


“America’s Heartland
is made possible by…”   The American Farm Bureau
Foundation for Agriculture. Dedicated to building
greater awareness and understanding of agriculture
through education and engagement. More information at:
agfoundation.org.   Farm Credit – Financing
agriculture and rural America since 1916. Farm Credit is cooperatively
owned by America’s farmers and ranchers. Learn more at farmcredit.com.   The United Soybean Board
whose Common Ground program creates conversations to
help consumers get the facts about farming and food. There’s more at: findourcommonground.com.   The Fund for Agriculture
Education – A fund created by KVIE to support America’s
Heartland programming. Contributors include
the following –   Hi, I’m Sarah Gardner, We’re heading to the Buckeye
State to introduce you to a farm family whose focus in
agriculture goes far beyond providing food that lands
on your dinner table. Their farm, here in Ohio,
takes a more global approach to providing feed
and livestock. Hi I’m Jason Shoultz. Coming up I’ll take you to one
of our nation’s busiest seaports to see what’s being
done to protect American Agriculture. You may have seen it in the
produce section and said, “What do I do with that?” I’m Sharon Vaknin. Stick around, we’ll tell
you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about endive I’m Rob Stewart. We’ll head south for a
seafood special in Cajun country. We’ll take you to Louisiana
to a farm bringing in the harvest of colorful
and tasty crawfish. It’s all coming up on
America’s Heartland   ♪ You can see it in the eyes
  of every woman and man ♪   ♪ in America’s Heartland
  living close to the land. ♪   ♪ There’s a love
  for the country ♪   ♪ and a pride in the brand ♪   ♪ in America’s Heartland
  living close, ♪   ♪close to the land ♪ ♪ We’re in Louisiana where
crawfish is king right now. Harvest is in full swing. And we’re taking you out
on the water to see how it’s done. ♪ On any day between
October and June, you’re likely to find
multiple members of the Benoit family working the
fields on their Louisiana farm….hauling in a catch
of red swamp crawfish.   Crawfish really is a way of
life here in Louisiana isn’t it? It’s a big part of our life. What would you
do without it? I don’t know. I’ve been doing it
over in 30 years.. Crawfish have been harvested
in the Bayou State since the 1880’s, but real production
didn’t begin until the 1960’s when farmers began
re-flooding rice fields to encourage a
crawfish habitat. We enjoy it, my
wife enjoys it. She runs ponds. You can see my grandkids
they enjoy it. My sons in it and hopefully
even my younger grandkids are going to get into it.   Hurricanes Katrina and
Rita in 2005 affected both crawfish production
and demand. Yields have rebounded in
recent years…cementing Louisiana’s position as
the number one producer of crawfish in the
United States. Using a boat powered
by a hydraulic wheel, the Benoits farm
a thousand acres, about three hours
west of New Orleans. The crawfish are captured in
baited pyramid traps then transferred to
30 pound sacks. On a good day the family
will harvest 4 to six hundred pounds of crawfish. So here’s your
harvest Donald, that’s a lot of
work out there. It sure is but we enjoy it. Like to get here early in
the morning before the sun gets up and try to get
through before it gets too hot. The amount of crawfish they
catch depends in part on how much rain falls because
the pregnant females bury themselves beneath the soil
and only reemerge with their young when the rice fields
are re-flooded in the Fall and Winter months. They’re going to come back
at the end of September, November with young
ones under the tails. Hopefully they can drill
down deep enough to have adequate water supply, where
they can stay in state through a dormancy till
we get the right rain in September and
October to come up. It’s not a perfect crop
mainly because the hard part is you can’t see it. It’s not like putting the
rice seed out there or soy bean seed where you can go
right there and check on it. But you find what works for
you and you just kind of stick with it. Hopefully do well enough
to keep everything going. It may be hard work, but the
fishing business has already lured Donald’s grandson
to become a third generation farmer. So tell me about what you
hope to bring to this farming operation. I just plan to do what my
grandpa does and maybe expand a little bit. Just try to make a career
out of crawfish farm. When you say expand
what do you mean? I mean, maybe appeal more. Try to get more business. You know it’s always
good to make more money. And have you, you know
you’re going to college but you have really
learned so much. Oh yeah, I’ve been around
the farm all my life. I’ve been doing this. I can’t see myself
doing anything else Even younger brother, Gavin,
who’s been doing much of the heavy lifting
on this harvest, finds the job to be fun. I enjoy this because you
really get to hang out with your family and friends and
it just means a lot to me. The Benoits also rotate
crops by planting rice in some of their fields
since the flat, flooded areas work well
for both crawfish and rice production. And because rice fields must
first be flooded and then drained for harvest, this
mimics the cycles of natural watersheds where
crawfish thrive. A lot of crawfish ponds
are rotated behind rice. We do rice then you come
in with the crawfish. This is a permanent pond,
which there’s going to be no rice planted for harvest. We gonna clean it up,
maybe throw a little green rice in there. I mean by green rice is rice
you plant in August and September, rice
just for crawfish, it’s not for harvesting. After the crop is harvested,
it’s trucked to a processing plant where the crawfish
are ready to be prepared for market.   First they’re weighed… …and then steamed… …and peeled. Hundreds of pounds of
crawfish tail meat are prepared each day in
this one plant alone. In 2010, farmers in
the state raised more than a hundred million pounds of crawfish…worth
168 million dollars. The finished product is then
sealed into one-pound bags where it’s shipped
to supermarkets, restaurants and
sold to customers. I need three crawfish
etouffee to go. Locally, the crop becomes
the “catch-of-the-day” at Johnny’s Drive-In, where
it’s served over a bed of rice with a side of fried
catfish and all the fixin’s. Alright everybody,
let’s eat. ♪ You can call them Crawfish,
crayfish or mud bugs. There are some 350 varieties
of crawfish in the United States. And how’s this
for patriotic? Crawfish come not only in
a red species but also white and even blue?   Many farming operations
today are diversified. That’s the reality for
turning a profit when you’re turning the soil. For some, it’s a combination
of crops and livestock. For the Surber family
farm, here in Ohio, it’s a more global approach
to providing feed and livestock. ♪ Agricultural roots run deep
in the Surber family – seven generations on
this Ohio land. Since 1802 when Jacob Surber
first settled the land, and we’ve had a farm Surber
on this farm ever since and including today. I’m here at my father’s
house who’s 92. My uncle’s behind us
baling hay, and he’s 89.- Raising crops has been a way
of life for the Surbers for more than two hundred years. But some twenty
years ago the family began to
diversify- involving themselves in other
agricultural enterprises.   A natural offshoot was the
purchase of a feed company for which John Surber
had long been a sales representative. We buy corn from
local farmers. And we grind it. We mix it with the
vitamins and minerals. And then we haul it to
the different farms. And you looked to see which
ones were hog farms and which ones were dairies? Shawn Surber is the
logistics manager at Premier. Coming behind you Jeff. Shawn supervises the
movement of 350 tons of feed each day. This is a computer that
makes all of our feed here. It’ll draw up
each ingredient, dump it into a scale hopper
where it is weighed, and then it goes
down into our mixer. After that it’s ready
to be loaded on a truck. Premier also makes
food for pigs. That came in handy when
the Surbers decided to add livestock to the mix.   Eleven years ago when we
bought the business and we were looking for
ways to expand, the opportunity to build a
pig barn came up and it just seemed like it would be a
good fit because that’s what we done. We made feed for animals.   The family’s pork production
operation has grown dramatically. Today….totaling some
60,000 pigs a year.   From 14 pound piglets, these
hogs will grow to 270 pound animals over a
six month period. It’s a pork production
operation that involves almost everyone — including
Shawn’s daughter Brooklin. They’re really cute and you
gotta to work with them to make them not scared so
they’ll be good mommas with their babies.   And in 2010, the family
expanded their livestock efforts- becoming certified
to export animals overseas. It’s a project they
call “Feed the World.” Feed the World is really an
offshoot from ultimately what we do is help farmers
each and every day, whether it be on our
businesses from the feed side, the grain side, or
now with raising livestock. So you know, this is a way
that we can not only touch things going on here in Ohio
and surrounding states, but now we can actually
reach out to the world. Connie, tell me about
the isolation facility. This hoop structure is
part of our Feed the World exports that where
we’ll bring cattle in, and they are required by the
country that they will be traveling to, to stay here
for a certain amount of days. In this case these cattle
were traveling to Turkey. And Turkey is required for
the animals stay here for 20 days. And they’re quarantined. And you say 20
days for Turkey, but depending
on the country, it could be any
number of days. Yes. And at any one time you
could have anywhere from 77 or less to you
said up to 300. 300 could stay under this. “Feed the World” currently
moves livestock by road, rail and ship. The creation of an airport
inspection station nearby will ultimately allow the
Surbers to fly animals to locations around the globe. Efficiency is
one side of it. It’s more the speed. Whenever you’re going
to Turkey or Russia, it’s going to take 21 to 28
days by boat…we can do it in 12 to 16 hours. All of these agricultural
enterprises provide the Surbers with the opportunity
to continue a farming tradition that’s already
two centuries old. From an opportunity
standpoint, from a satisfaction
standpoint I don’t know of any other industry in the
world that could be better. And that’s really what we
all love about what we do each and every day. And I’d like to say, for
most people they get up, they go to work, It’s their job.
They come home from work. It’s not our job,
It’s our life. And, we love our life. ♪ Hogs make the list as one
of the top five agriculture commodities in
Ohio alongside soybeans, corn, dairy
products and eggs. A male hog called a
boar, can grow to weigh 500 pounds. And watch what you
say about pigs! Unlike some humans, pigs
don’t overeat, they stop when they’re full. ♪ I’m Jason Shoultz. Still ahead, what’s being done
done in our nation’s ports to protect our food supply. I’m Sharon Vaknin. Still ahead, it’s a
vegetable you may not have ever tried. But we’ll show you some
great ways to enjoy endive ♪ Long grain, white, brown,
Jasmine, sticky, zesty, Asian, heat & serve
… there’s lots of different options in your
rice aisle these days. And for many folks
all around the world, rice is the most important
food on their plate. And the difference between
white rice and brown rice…it’s just a
matter of milling! ♪ There are many different
varieties of rice but that’s not what determines if the
rice is white or brown. After the rice is harvested
it ends up getting milled. Less milling…well,
you’ve got brown rice. Mill and polish the grain
more to get white rice. Finely polished rice is
used for things like the alcoholic beverage saki! The milling process does
remove vitamins and nutrients found on the outer
edges of the rice grain but many of those are added
back to white rice. That’s what “enriched”
means right there on the package. One difference that you
might not be aware of – white rice has a
longer shelf life. Brown rice will
last about 6 months, but one study found that
white rice could last from 25 to 30 years if
properly stored! And because rice is a
gluten-free product you’ll find its popularity on the
rise in all parts of your grocery store. Things like brown rice
pasta, rice milk, rice wine…lots of
different rice products to take off the shelf. ♪ You might have seen endive
or endive at the grocery store or farmers market. It’s that cabbage like
vegetable that comes in this green and red variety. Well what is it,
how do you cook it, and is it just for salads? I’m here with Richard
Collins for CVS California Vegetable Specialties in
Rio Vista, California.   Tell me about your farm. Well we produce
endive not endive. Endive is the second
growth of a chicory root. The first growth of this
chicory root here takes place in the
field from seed. Takes about 5 months, we
harvest that from the fields, we bring it inside
and grow it again in the dark, just like in a
mushroom type environment. And this root then which
has the bud on top grows in those dark conditions with
mild temperatures and high humidity to produce the
actual endive itself. And once we pull the
root from cold storage, that clock starts ticking
and it’s about a 4-week time frame from day one until
harvest of the endive itself. So you can grow
endive year round. We never stop. ♪ All this talk about endive
is making me so hungry and today I’m making creamy
smoked salmon endive boats and a tangy sautéed
endive salad. What will you be making? You said endive. Is that wrong? Yes. What is the difference
between endive and endive? You’ve got to say endive
because endive is a green head of curly lettuce also
in the chicory family. But we don’t grow
endive, we grow endive, endive is really versatile
in that it can be used not only for fresh preparations
but it can be cooked. So we’re going to put a
little bit of olive oil in this pan and we’re just
going to give the endive a quick pan fry after we
simply cut it in half. All right. OK we’re going to braise
some endive now under a medium high heat. We’re going to
let them brown up, caramelize a little
bit on the cut surface. Then were going to turn them
over let them cook a little bit more and then we’re
going the braising liquid, in this case chicken stock. Endive has lots
and lots of fiber, so it does not fall
apart once its cooked. It just softens up, sugars
break down a little bit, it sweetens up a little bit
from the caramelization of those sugars… So it’s going to cook
now low and slow. You can do it here
just with the cover on.   All right the endive
is on the stove. How long are we going
to keep it there? A good 25-30 minutes. OK, that’s perfect because
we are making a quick appetizer: creamy smoked
salmon endive boats. And to make the boats, we’re
just going to remove the leaves from the endive core. Let’s get started on the
creamy part of this dish. We are going to take
half an avocado.   Just scoop out that half
directly into a food processor. All right now we’re going to
add about 8 ounces of crème fraiche. I’m going to add about a
tablespoon of lemon and I’m also going to use the
zest from the lemon. Salt and pepper and an herb
that goes great with crème fraiche and avocado…dill.   Ok and now we are ready
to assemble the boats. And all we have to do is
dollop a little bit of the filling onto the
endive leaves. Then we’re going to garnish
it using smoked salmon, capers and red onion.   And now for our last dish a
tangy sautéed endive salad. So to get started let’s
slice up some endive while I slice the garlic.   All right Rich, if you take
that back there and sauté it for just a few minutes over
a medium heat high heat, I’ll start making
the dressing.   The dressing is very simple.
So here’s how you do it. We start with a basic
base for a vinaigrette, which is just olive oil
and balsamic vinaigrette. Now we’ll add a quarter
cup of juice from a can of mandarins. We need about a tablespoon
of Dijon mustard, a tablespoon of honey and
of course salt and pepper.   All right you ready
with that Rich? Yeah it’s all ready to go. We’ve got the warm
endive, fresh arugula… Now we’re going to add in
the extra ingredients. So we have dried
cranberries. Some chopped pistachios,
just adding a few tablespoons of each. And finally my favorite
ingredient today mandarin oranges. All right now go ahead and
toss the salad and we’re all set. ♪ All right here comes my
favorite part after all that hard work, we
can finally eat. Let’s do it. So we’ve got our lovely
salad of sautéed endive, dried cranberries,
pistachio, and of course
our endive boats, Amazingly an endive leaf
has only one calorie. So it’s not only
beautiful and elegant, but it’s quite healthy. Ok, I’m going to serve you
some of the braised endive and we’ve grated a
little bit of parmesan.   Ooh…the endive
sautéed is amazing. This endive is so good. ♪ Endive or Witloof as it’s
known in Flemish is an “accidental” vegetable. The story goes that…back
in 1830…a Belgian farmer forgot some chicory roots
that he had stored in his cellar. The roots had sprouted white
leaves which turned out to be pretty tasty.   Visit any shoreline across
the United States and you really get a taste of just
how global our economy is. Cargo ships lumbering
across the water. But on those cargo ships
a threat could exist. A threat to
American Agriculture. ♪ Every day, foreign invaders
are trying to make entry into the United States. By air… …and even by sea.   What you got Ross? And working hard to stop
them is Officer Ross. And his handler from
US Customs and Border Protection,
Marguerita Stetson.   At this nondescript
warehouse in the Port of Oakland, California they
aren’t looking for bad guys. No, Ross is on the
hunt for bad bugs. Nasty bugs and other
invasive pests that hitch a ride to America on
everything from shipments of bean curd to
clothes hangers. You’re looking
for what in here? We’re looking for any
agricultural item of interest. Basically we’re
looking for fruits, meats and plant material. Each year, the US imports
upwards of two trillion dollars’ worth of cargo
from countries around the world, a testament to
our truly global economy. While inspecting everything
for pests isn’t practical – random samples of cargo
and items that are deemed suspect end up getting
close attention. It’s a huge responsibility. Agriculture is one of the
things that drives America. Drives our economic engine
and we can’t afford to let a single pest come through
that could affect that. Walking through the
warehouse is like visiting a global bazaar. You’ve got Pakistani rice. Mushrooms from China and
even Tulip bulbs from New Zealand. One thing Customs and
Border Protection knows, is pests can hitch a
ride on any of them. In addition to our
enforcement role, we also have to make sure
that legitimate trade and travel moves
through our ports, borders and ports
of entry quickly. So we look at a lot of
different factors in deciding which shipments to
actually physically inspect. Among the most feared pests
is something called the Kahpra Beetle. This nasty little bug is
considered one of the biggest dangers
to agriculture. It’s highly destructive
to stored grain. When it first arrived on US
soil in California in 1953, it took 15 million dollars
and 13 years to eradicate it. Recently the beetle has been
found again at other entry points. And that has
officials concerned. Inspectors here at the Port
of Oakland know that the beetle likes to hide in
cracks…so they search these cargo containers
top to bottom. You find one or two
Kahpra Beetles in these pallets what happens? This is all going back. It would all go back? All going back. It’s immediately resealed
in the container and the importer, broker is notified
and they schedule it out to back to the origin.   Even pieces of furniture
get a close look. When this inspector
discovers the inside of this pillow is stuffed with rice
straw – it gets flagged. After all – the Kahpra
Beetle could be inside that straw!   Preventing pests from
entering our country also happens at our airports! You’ll find the beagle
brigade nosing around luggage at Miami
International looking for food items that can’t be
brought into the United States GOOD BOY.
THAT WAS REALLY GOOD! Back at that warehouse
in California, Ross has found something. While he’ll never know just
how important he is to agriculture, the pooch with
a nose for nuisances it earning his treats today. GOOD BOY.   That’s going to do it for
this edition of America’s Heartland. Thanks for travelling
the country with us. We’re always pleased to
introduce you to such interesting
people and places. And don’t forget, that you
can stay in touch with us 24/7. We make it easy on you. You’ll can find us on some
of your favorite sites. You can also find all of our
stories and video on our website:
AmericasHeartland.org. We’ll see you on the next
… America’s Heartland. You can purchase a DVD
or Blu Ray copy of this program. Here’s the cost:   To order, just visit us online
or call 888-814-3923.     ♪ You can see it in the eyes
  of every woman and man ♪   ♪ in America’s Heartland
  living close to the land. ♪   ♪ There’s a love
  for the country ♪   ♪ and a pride in the brand ♪   ♪ in America’s Heartland
  living close, ♪ ♪ close to the land. ♪   “America’s Heartland
is made possible by…”   The American Farm Bureau
Foundation for Agriculture. Dedicated to building
greater awareness and understanding of agriculture
through education and engagement. More information at:
agfoundation.org.   Farm Credit – Financing
agriculture and rural America since 1916. Farm Credit is cooperatively
owned by America’s farmers and ranchers. Learn more at farmcredit.com.   The United Soybean Board
whose Common Ground program creates conversations to
help consumers get the facts about farming and food. There’s more at: findourcommonground.com.   The Fund for Agriculture
Education – A fund created by KVIE to support America’s
Heartland programming. Contributors include
the following – ♪  

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