Some of the best agriculture podcasts

One of my favorite things to do while working in the office, taking a long drive or cooking dinner is to listen to the latest podcasts. People and news outlets use podcasts to share relevant information, ideas and interesting stories. Luckily, that has transcended into the agriculture industry as well! Recently, I went on a mission to find some of the best agriculture-friendly podcasts. Throw on your headphones and check them out…

Future of AgricultureFuture of Agriculture

This podcast, run by Tim Hammerich from AgGrad, looks into diversity related to agriculture and agribusiness. With over 100 episodes, the podcast covers all avenues of agriculture, from nutrient management to urban agriculture to grassfed beef. If that’s not enough to make you want to tune in, episode 48 features Alliance Vice President of Communications, Hannah Thompson-Weeman!

What the Cluck!What the Cluck

This is a brand new podcast developed by the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and the Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota. Host, Steve Olson, brings on farmers and others engaged with the industry. They discuss what it looks like to raise healthy poultry and get them from the barn to the table. You can find the first episode of the podcast here.

Story of AgThe Story of Agriculture

As an Ohio native, I love this podcast because it is run by fellow Ohioans, B.J. and Marlene Eick and their company Herdmark Media. The podcast interviews people engaged in different facets of the agriculture industry. Episodes feature food scientists, communication directors, farm broadcasters, college professors and more! Side Note: I’d suggest checking out episode 20, which features also our own Hannah Thompson-Weeman! (She’s a podcast celebrity!)

POPagriculturePOPagriculture

If you only have 20 minutes to spare, then tune into POPagriculture! In partnership with the CropLife Foundation, this podcast was launched in 2017 by plant pathologist Steve Savage. Savage combines an interest in pop culture and his more than 35 years of experience in the agriculture industry to discuss today’s agricultural systems in 15-minute episodes.

FarmHerShining Bright

This podcast is great for young women, like myself, who are interested in entering the industry because it shines a light on women who are excelling in agriculture. Hosted by FarmHer Founder, Marji Guyler-Alaniz, episodes of the podcast feature women ranchers, entrepreneurs, communicators and agricultural leaders. The FarmHer mission is to “update the image of agriculture to include women.”

Beltway BeefBeltway Beef

Similiar to POPagriculture, this podcast is great if you only have a few minutes to spare. Beltway Beef is hosted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and touches on policy changes and legislation that impacts the beef industry. The podcast features ranchers, policy directors, NCBA staff and others. As a beef enthusiast, I enjoy these short episodes because they keep me up to date each week on what is impacting the industry!

modern acreThe Modern Acre

If you enjoy learning about new innovations and technology related to agriculture than this is the podcast for you! Hosted by brothers, Tyler and Tim Nuss, the podcast kicked off in February 2018. Episodes feature students, farmers, entrepreneurs and others who are working to build a strong agricultural business. The goal of the podcast is to share value-added insight for anyone involved with agriculture.

Tune into even more podcasts!

Since I didn’t go into depth about every agriculture-friendly podcast I enjoy, below are a few more you may want to check out! These can all be found in the podcast app and/or on iTunes.

Shark Farmer: hosted by Rob Sharkey.

Agriculture Proud: hosted by Ryan Goodman.

Farm to Table Talk: hosted by Rodger Wasson.

Beef Pros: hosted by Ben Spitzer and Garrett Thomas.

Poultry Health Today: sponsored by Zoetis.

Ag News Daily: hosted by Mike Pearson and Delaney Howell.

Keeping Animals Cool in the Summer

Growing up in the Midwest meant experiencing some pretty cold winters and hot summers. Raising livestock in the Midwest meant quickly learning how to ensure my animals were safe and comfortable no matter the temperature. I’m not a big fan of super hot weather and neither are livestock. Luckily, farmers and ranchers are dedicated to the health and well-being of their animals. So when the weather gets hot and humid, they take many steps to ensure their livestock are happy and healthy! Here are four ways that farmers help animals keep cool during the summer:

1. Water, Water, Water!UEP-Cage-Free-Brown-Hen-close-up

I’ll be honest; I do a pretty bad job of drinking the recommended water intake of half a gallon a day. I prefer an iced coffee or the occasional soda. But I know that in order to be productive and healthy I need water. Just like humans, animals need plenty of water to stay hydrated during hot summer days. Farmers provide access to water by having water troughs in fields and barns, using automated water systems and allowing animals to access natural water streams in fields. The amount of water an animal needs a day depends on species and size. Farmers work hand-in-hand with their veterinarians to ensure their animals are receiving enough hydration!

003IMG_9639 2. Good Nutrition

I’m my happiest after I’ve eaten a good, healthy meal and livestock are no different. During the hot summer months, animals tend to eat less so farmers pay close attention to how much they feed and what type of feed they use. Farmers will feed their animals earlier in the morning and later in the day (when it’s cooler) because the animals will be more likely to eat. When animals sweat, they lose key nutrients such as potassium or sodium. Farmers provide their animals with mineral and salt supplements to replenish their nutrient levels. Just like people, happy animals have good nutrition!

3. Shade and Shelter diane-spisak_ks_dog.jpg

Whenever I go to an event or a new place in the summer, the first thing I do is locate the shade areas. I know that if I stay in direct sunlight too long I’ll wake up the next day looking like a ripe tomato, no matter how much SPF50 I lather on. Whether it’s access to shade trees or a barn, farmers also make sure their animals can escape from the hot summer sun when needed. Some farmers use misters and water pools to cool down animals – yes, even livestock get to have pool parties! Like humans, animals can internally regulate their body heat. For example, when animals pant they are self-regulating their body heat through water evaporation. Animals will also sweat or shed some hair in order to cool down in the summer heat. Of course, farmers will also use fans inside barns to keep airflow going.

4. Low Stress = Good Health

bull-calf-heifer-ko-162240.jpegThere’s nothing worse than stressing over your mile-long to-do list while it’s sweltering hot outside. Heat and stress don’t combine well! That’s why farmers work hard to ensure that animals experience low stress during the summer months. If a farmer needs to move or transport an animal during the summer they aim to do that in the early hours of the day, when it’s the coolest outside. Heat stress can lead to decreased growth rate and fertility. That’s why farmers also work closely with their veterinarians to ensure their animals don’t experience heat stress during the summer. The healthiest animals are also the calmest!

If you want to learn more about keeping animals safe and healthy during summer months, check out these great resources:

Water Intake Charts: omafra.gov.on.ca

Livestock and Poultry Care: animalagalliance.org

Dairy Cattle Care: dairygood.org

Pig Care: porkcares.org

Chicken Care: chickencheck.in

Hen Care: unitedegg.org

Agriculture Films Worth the Watch

With the creation of anti-agriculture documentaries and films on the rise, I often find myself wondering, “where are all the positive and pro-agriculture films?” So after some research, I took a dive into a few films and videos that showcase the story of agriculture… and I wasn’t disappointed! Whether you’re looking for a movie to watch after a day on the farm or you want to showcase a positive light on agriculture in your classroom or with friends, I strongly recommend the following films.

Farmland

leighton

Photo credit: Farmland Film website

Farmland takes a look at six young farmers and ranchers working in different sectors of agriculture. The film looks at why these individuals have chosen to farm and the everyday decisions they make to be successful and profitable. Farmland makes you feel connected to the farmers and their stories because it shows how relatable they each are. The passion these families have for agriculture is easy to see and will make you thankful for farmers and ranchers across the country. Grab some friends and go check out Farmland!

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, iTunes, YouTube, PlayStation, Xbox and Vudu.

License to Farm

Capture License to Farm

Photo credit: License to Farm website

This 30-minute film features Canadian farmers and researchers discussing the growth of genetics, technology and communication within the agriculture industry. The question “Where does my food come from?” and consumer push-back inspired the film. Three concerns held by consumers are touched on: GMOs, pesticide use and the thought that farmers have no control over their production practices. The science behind food production is shared to debunk these concerns. The film also urges farmers to share their stories to help educate consumers in their communities. Check out License to Farm if you want to learn more about positive trends in agricultural technology and food production!

License to Farm can be viewed at licensetofarm.com.

Food Evolution

Photo credit: Food Evolution website

If you like science, then Food Evolution is a great film to check out! The film tackles food myths and misconceptions, especially around GMOs. Food Evolution looks at science and research to back the safety of GMOs and seed production. Science terminology isn’t always the easiest to understand and Food Evolution does a great job at explaining biotechnology and science related to agriculture, in simple and relatable ways. The film looks at the positive impact genetic modification has on preventing disease and insect damage to crops. I would highly recommend watching Food Evolution to grow your understanding of science and agriculture.

Where to watch: Amazon Video, iTunes, YouTube, Hulu and Google Play.

Why I Farm

Photo credit: Why I Farm website

While the Why I Farm video series might not be actual “films,” they’re still well worth the watch! These short videos were developed by Beck’s Hybrids and highlight Midwest farmers and their families. The focus of the videos is as the title suggests: why these farmers have chosen to pursue and remain in the agriculture industry. Each video features the unique story and journey of a farmer, told in their words. If you don’t have time to watch an entire movie, I suggest checking out these short films – you won’t be disappointed!

This series can be viewed at  whyifarm.com.

Maryland Farm & Harvest

Capture MD Farm & Harvest

Photo credit: Maryland Public Television website

Maryland Farm & Harvest is another series that features the faces of farming around the state. The 30-minute videos focus on current technology used in agriculture, challenges that farmers face and what different areas of agriculture look like. This series aims to connect viewers to the people who raise their food in a positive and informative way. Maryland Farm & Harvest features everything from bees to cow pedometers to oyster farming. Even if you’re not from Maryland, these videos are great to watch if you desire to learn about all segments of agriculture!

Maryland Public Television presents this series on their channel, but the latest episodes can also be viewed here.

Before the Plate

Before the Plate debuted in February 2019. The movie aims to close the gap between urban consumers and farmers in Canada. The movie follows chef John Horne to different farms throughout Canada to see how food is produced, including a beef and dairy farm.

These films and videos were great to watch and helped me grow my understanding of food production and agriculture. So grab some popcorn and go check them out!