Adam grew up on a cherry farm in northern Michigan. He holds a BA in economics from Kalamazoo College. Adam's radio career began in 2003 at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. He went on to cut his teeth filing stories for Maine Public Radio. Before coming to St. Louis Public Radio in 2006, Adam was was an international journalism fellow at Deutsche Welle in Bonn, Germany. He has regularly filed features for various shows and networks including NPR, PRI, Marketplace and the BBC. He received a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship for the 2011-2012 academic year.
The market for locally-grown food has seen dramatic growth over the last decade. Despite this boost in sales and popularity, evidence suggests that the economics behind the movement still don't favor the farmer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has new programs to try to prop up small-scale operations, but many local farms only survive because they scrape by on below-market wages, or by doing without things like insurance. Many economists say despite the charm of local food, there are relatively few benefits in terms of energy efficiency, quality or cost. They say that we shouldn't knock our system of region specialization and distribution, and that farmers markets, fun though they are, are not good economic models.