Plowing Through the Manure Online
Hi, I’m Jennifer Campbell, aka @plowwife, the farmer third of Girls Talk Ag Podcast! I live in Central Indiana on a grain and livestock farm with my husband and three kids. I work full time on the farm and spend just about as much time on social media sharing what happens day to day on our farm - the good, the bad and all the dirty boots in between.
Podcasts are becoming more popular in agriculture, much like a verse from E-I-E-I-O: “Here’s a podcast/there’s a podcast/every where’s a podcast!” It seems to be the buzz word of 2017.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know what a podcast was until July of 2016 when a friend asked me to be on his. I said ‘sure, but what is it and who listens to those’? After my crash course into them, I’m now somewhat of an ag podcast junkie. While I have yet to venture past ag, I’m pretty sure there is something for everyone out there!
I like to describe podcasts as a combination of blogs and talk radio. They allow you to listen while you work or drive, you're able to start and stop when you need to, and they take out the time constraint of reading blogs.
Behind the Scenes / Casting Call
My partners in controversial conversation are Karen Corrigan, aka @weedgirl24, and Angie Setzer, aka @GoddessofGrain. Karen is an independent agronomist with McGillicuddy Corrigan Agronomics living in Illinois with her husband and two daughters. Angie is a cash grain trader and Vice President of Grain for Citizens LLC; she lives in Iowa with her husband and son.
People often ask what made us decide to start this adventure, and just like most everything else in my life, it was a spur of the moment decision! What started as a harebrained idea in a group chat on a Wednesday, ended in a recording on Friday, with a planned release on Monday. We actually got so excited about we released it early! That tends to happen to us, we get so excited over a topic or a title to a show and can’t wait until Monday to make it live!
We are 12 podcasts deep into this adventure, and I think my favorite topic is always the current one. There isn’t a whole lot about the industry of agriculture that doesn’t peak a little interest with me; so each week when we toss around ideas, there is always one that gets a thumbs up from all 3 of us. In full disclosure, I usually have a moment of panic every week thinking I don’t know enough about a subject to carry my share of the conversation. I tend to have more questions than answers, but it’s the conversation and the combination of our backgrounds, our knowledge and our willingness to admit when we don’t always know the answer that helps move that conversation along.
Sound Check, 1, 2…
Every adventure has hurdles. Currently our biggest challenge is finding a good time that works for all three of us to sit down and record. Being that we live in three different states and each have full time jobs, kids, husbands and homes to take care of, it’s a shot in the dark each week when we will record. Luckily technology makes the distance easy, and our flexible work schedules help too. We use Zencastor to record, and Angie is our editor. She takes two hours or so each week after we record to edit out most of our ‘squirrel’ moments (we leave a few of those in for entertainment purposes) and the occasional fumble of words. We talked in the beginning about how often to release a new episode. We wanted to be very timely on issues but not run out of topics or overwhelm our listeners. Once a week works well for us; it seems to keep issues timely, and we have the flexibility to release early if we want or feel we need to.
We also started a supplemental release entitled Hot Mess Mom’s in Ag. We opted for this to be in addition to our regular weekly recording so as not to lose a lot of our audience, which we felt were male. Turns out, talking about how we mess up as parents is a subject all can relate to! We’ve released the introduction to this with the three of us sharing some of our not so shining moments as Moms. Make yourself feel better about your parenting skills, laugh at us, take pity on us- any or all of these, just listen!
We have been asked once or twice what our ‘goals’ are with this podcast, and I always giggle a little. In all honesty, we went into this flying by the seat of our pants and haven't had time since to stop and contemplate a goal. Are we ‘agvocating', are we ‘preaching to the choir’, are we targeting a specific group, do we want the consumers’ attention? I personally think that changes and possibly combines these audiences with each podcast that we record. We all felt like there was a need for discussion, not only within agriculture, but as a population to understand and discuss all the layers of food production in an open honest manner. We love it when our podcast is referred to as a conversation. “It’s not a job to listen to a podcast.” I love this quote from Karen during our Podcasts on Podcasts. It shouldn’t be hard to listen to a podcast, it should be entertaining as well as informative.
It seems there is a new ag podcast popping up every day! There are so many choices even within agriculture for all types of listeners. I am an avid listener of The Shark Farmer Podcast weekly. I love that it is a one-on-one conversation between farmers and agvocates, people who love the industry and work hard.
A few of my other favorites are listed below. Reach out to me on Twitter @plowwife with any new podcast suggestions, or catch up with me on my blog Farmwife Feeds!