FOX 9 documentary 'The Last Harvest' wins Regional Murrow Award

A FOX 9 documentary, ‘The Last Harvest,’ is the winner of a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for best documentary, it was announced Tuesday.

The hour-long documentary, broadcast last Thanksgiving on FOX 9, was the culmination of eight months of reporting on the emerging farm crisis in Minnesota.  

Minnesota farmers will remember the harvest of 2019 for its perfect storm of politics, economics, and weather. 

A trade war with China, and a fuselage of Presidential tweets, created a roller coaster of commodity prices, while Minnesota’s wettest year on record brought historically low yields and renewed fears of climate change.  

The documentary also explored how farmers continue to struggle with deeper economic trends that encourage small farm operations to get bigger, while going deeper into debt. 

In April of 2019, FOX 9 saw the storm clouds on the horizon and dedicated our investigative team to follow the story of small farmers all the way through to the harvest in late November. We talked to farmers in every corner of the state.  

The documentary was produced by KMSP-TV’s long-form unit, The FOX 9 Investigators.  The program was written and reported by Tom Lyden, the principal photographer/editor was Brad Swagger, additional photography and graphics from Tyler Ryan, and it was produced by John Michael.  

FOX 9 continues to follow the troubles of small farmers and how the coronavirus pandemic is effecting the dairy industry, hog producers, and creating problems for the nation’s food supply chain.  

The documentary will now compete with others around the country for a National Murrow Award.