Home Ground

Sunday 11:10 AM -11:40 AM

Home Ground Radio with Brian Kahn

Home Ground Radio is a half-hour public affairs program with topics that range from the environment to the politics of Montana and the rural west. In each program, host Brian Kahn conducts one or two in-depth interviews.

What is the connection between 16th century European history, writing, editing, and translating, and Waldorf education? Meet writer, historian and teacher, Jann Gates.

(Broadcast: Home Ground Radio, 7/29/14)

Finding Peace Between People And Elephants

Jul 24, 2014
David Western

Dr. Jonah Western, chairman of the African Conservation Centre, Nairobi, Kenya Western is a scientist studying conflict and co-existence between wildlife and humans. In community-based conservation, Western has discovered a model that could be useful not just in Kenya, but in Montana.

In our Clip of the Week he explains how two different  elephant encounters heavily influenced his view of wildlife and wildlife-human conflict.

Patrick Nouhailler

The natural world ignores many of the artificial barriers that humans designate, including the political one created by the U.S.'s embargo of Cuba. Daniel Whittle, of the Environmental Defense Fund, knows well that birds, fish and even oil spills connect the two countries. Whittle directs the EDF's marine and coastal conservation projects in Cuba, working on fisheries, coral reef conservation, and sustainable coastal development in Cuba and the region.

Dr. Jonah Western

Jul 14, 2014
David Western

7/15/14: This week on Home Ground Radio: Dr. Jonah Western grew up in the 1950s on the "elephant trail" of southern Tanzania, where elephants, their habitat, their hunters - and their protectors - enjoyed a last bastion. Western became a scientist, studying conflict and co-existence between wildlife and humans.

Montana DPHHS

7/8/14: This week on "Home Ground Radio:" Montana's largest stage agency employs 3,100 people, overseeing 2,500 contracts and 150 programs. What it is?  Who runs it? Meet Richard Opper, Director of Montana's Department of Public Health and Human Services.

Dr. Les Purce is the president of The Evergreen State College. The family photos on his wall are an American account of slavery, Indians, westward migration, hard luck and hard work.

In our Clip of the Week, Dr. Purce recounts a childhood experience with segregation.

Listen to the entire interview with Dr. Purce, or hear more episodes of Home Ground Radio online, via podcast or on the air on Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m.

Flickr user Eric Zabinsky

7/1/14: This week on "Home Ground Radio:" Host Brian Kahn takes a tour of the recent 2014 Montana Special Olympics in Billings, speaking with president and CEO Boby Norbie and various staff, volunteers and competitors in the games.


Jun 23, 2014
Montana Outdoors

6/24/14: This week on "Home Ground:" Brucellosis is showing up among bison, elk, and domestic cattle near Yellowstone National Park, and ranchers, hunters and conservationists are upset. Biologists with Montana's Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks hope that their research will help lead to common ground among these groups.


6/17/14: This week on "Home Ground Radio:" If second chances are rare, it's even rarer to have a chance to buy back something valuable that you sold. Montana's electricity-generating dams are for sale.  Should we buy them back? NorthWestern Energy's Bob Rowe and John Hines think so. 

Jason DeShaw

Jun 9, 2014
Eliza Wiley / Helena Independent Record

6/10/14: This week on "Home Ground Radio:" As a child, music got hold of you. As a young man, you wrote songs, began to perform, and started to enjoy success as a working musician. But on tour, at night you'd feel sky-high, imagining wild things. The next morning, you'd plunge into deep despair.  What was happening to you?  Meet singer/songwriter Jason DeShaw.

6/3/14: This week on "Home Ground:" For decades, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition has fought to protect grizzly bears. With numbers rebounding dramatically in and around Yellowstone Park, can the G.Y.C. shift gears and work cooperatively with the public agencies and private landowners it once fought?

Dr. Les Purce

May 26, 2014

5/27/14: This week on "Home Ground:" The family photos on the wall are an American account of slavery, Indians, westward migration, hard luck and hard work. The fascinating story of Les Purce's family.

5/20/14: This week on "Home Ground:" Evergreen State College was founded to offer integrated, flexible and reasonably-priced education. Its academic approach is unorthodox; instead of following pre-programmed curricula, students design their own programs of studies. Outgoing president Les Purce answers the question: in an age of specialization, how is Evergreen doing?

Brian D'Ambrosio, Huffington Post

5/13/14: This week on "Home Ground:" Merriam Webster's dictionary defines "poem" as "a composition in verse, especially a highly developed, imaginative one." Poetry enjoys great popularity in some cultures, but not in the U.S. Does this matter? Can something be done about it? Tami Haaland, raised on a farm on the Hi-Line, thinks it does and it can. She's Montana's poet laureate.

Montana's Division of Criminal Investigation

Apr 29, 2014

4/29/14: This week on "Home Ground:" The trail of a murder case in rural Montana is four years old when arrests are finally made, and prosecution will be difficult. The professionals at the Montana Attorney General’s Division of Criminal Investigations can help a young county attorney make the case.

Montana Supreme Court Justice Beth Baker

Apr 22, 2014

4/22/14: This week on "Homeground:" Nearly all of us are grateful for our Constitutional rights, but most of us would have trouble naming exactly what they are. And what happens when individual and public rights seem to contradict one another? Montana Supreme Court Justice Beth Baker’s job is to know those rights, and, when they come into conflict, to make the call.

Access To Success

Apr 14, 2014

4/15/14: This week on "Homeground Radio:" Nearly one-third of American kids fail to graduate from high school, and many end up in dead-end jobs or in prison. “Alternative" high schools offer an answer. One,  Helena College's Access to Success program, turns lives around. Really.

Adverse Childhood Experience Study

Apr 1, 2014

4/1/14: This week on "Homeground Radio:" Suppose we had a tool that could predict people's future problems: alcoholism, depression, diabetes, heart disease. In fact, we may have that tool. It's the Adverse Childhood Experiences test, or A.C.E. So now, what do we do with it? Dr.

3/25/14: This week on "Home Ground:" Last year, Robert Bonnie was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Department of Agriculture's Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment. The job matters; Bonnie oversees the U.S. Forest Service. Hear what this Kentucky farm boy has to say on climate change, forest fires, and on finding common ground.

Royce Engstrom

Mar 18, 2014

3/18/14: This week on "Home Ground Radio:" As the changes in knowledge, technology, and economic systems accelerate, does higher education still matter? Can it help us all? University of Montana president Royce Engstrom says "yes." 

The Intelligence of Animals: Ravens & Wolves

Mar 11, 2014
George Bumann

For 200,000 years, humans have lived intimately with wild animals. We have been captivated by their beauty, intelligence and power. The technology of the last two hundred years - 1,000th of our time on earth - has separated us.  Does it matter? Sculptor and naturalist George Bumann thinks so.

Helena College - University of Montana

Mar 4, 2014

3/4/14: This week on "Home Ground Radio:"  Helena College - University of Montana

When we think of “higher education”, we tend to overlook two-year colleges, which offer important technical training as well as a path to personal confidence and accomplishment.

Betty Medsger

Feb 24, 2014

2/25/14: This week on "Home Ground Radio:" Betty Medsger, author of "The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI."

Edward Snowden has broken the law to reveal what he believes is government abuse.  In 1971, eight Americans did the same, burglarizing an FBI office, then sending the documents they found to the press.  In the process, they changed our nation’s history.

Cooper Hibbard

Feb 14, 2014

"Home Ground Radio," February 18th, 2014: You grew up the fifth generation in a ranching family, and decided by age twelve your life would be to manage the ranch – the grass, the water, the livestock, the wildlife.  Now you’re 29.   Are you ready?  Meet Cooper Hibbard.

Small Business Administration

Feb 11, 2014

"Homeground Radio," February 11th, 2014: The Small Business Administration was created to aid, counsel and protect the interests of small businesses; to preserve free competitive enterprise; and to maintain and strengthen the economy of our nation. In a competitive world, that's not a simple mission.


Jan 31, 2014

02/04/2014: As owner of a small business, Bill Simmons sometimes finds some of his employees are just coasting. Instead of reading the riot act, he reaches out to them.  "Homeground Radio,"

Bryce Andrews

Jan 24, 2014

01/28/2014 - An earnest, Seattle-raised youth takes a job as a Montana ranch hand, tending cattle in wolf country. Bryce Andrews's new book describes with full honesty the hard work and hard choices on "the ragged edge of the West."  Homeground Radio,

Holly Luck

Jan 17, 2014

"Homeground Radio," January 21st, 2014: When bureaucracy stumps us, what do we do? Often, we call the office of an elected official, hoping that the person who picks up the phone can make something good happen. Holly Luck does just that.

Adam Winkler

Jan 10, 2014

"Homeground Radio," January 14th, 2014: Gun rights are a hot and polarizing topic in America.  Adam Winkler's history of gun rights, Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America, contains surprises for readers in every aspect of the issue.

Pope Francis

Jan 3, 2014

"Homeground Radio," January 7th, 2014: The new pope, Francis, is Time magazine's "Person of the Year." He has rejected traditional formality, criticized church hierarchy, and called for a more humble and engaged priesthood. Recently, Pope Francis issued a scathing critique of the global corporate economy. What's going on? Montana Bishop George Thomas has some thoughts.