Podcast Episode 47: Drone Farming?

Aerial Influence

One of the more popular technological advancements over the past few years has been drones.  Once huge and expensive machines can now be easily bought on Amazon for just a few dollars and require very little training to become an ace drone pilot.  Maybe you have a drone for recreational use and haven’t crashed it yet.  Or perhaps more realistically, you’re a common drone pilot that crashes into windows, doors, and fences.  Drone technology is here to stay and make our lives a bit easier in some areas.  Many industries, like agriculture, are taking advantage of this emerging technology to solve problems like applying pesticides, surveying irrigation equipment and land, to even delivering beneficial insects to crops.

Our guests today are David Plummer and Michael Ferguson from Illinois based Aerial Influence focused on drone technology.  David and Michael will both explain how drone technology has changed in recent years, the many uses of drones in the agriculture industry, and what regulations drone pilots must follow.  They will also tell us how police and fire departments are starting to use drones by aiding in search and rescue operations and even drones being used in delivery services.

Connect with Aerial Influence:

Aerial Influence Website

Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • David and Michael’s start in the drone world
  • Drone Technology
  • How drones have become more user-friendly
  • DJ Mavic Mini
  • GoPro Karma Drone
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations for drone use
  • How farmers use drone technology
  • Drones used to survey fields
  • Drones used to spray pesticides
  • Agricultural Education Programs offering drone classes
  • How Aerial Influence got started in the agriculture space
  • Police and Firefighters drone uses
  • The future of drone technology


Podcast Episode 46: Going Once, Going Twice, SOLD to BigIron Auctions

BigIron Auctions

When you hear auctions you might think small-town auctions, charity auctions, or even the nationally televised car auctions Barret-Jackson.  The agriculture industry has its share of auctioning resources where farmers can buy or sell farm equipment at auctions held across the nation.  Our guest today is Mark Stock, who along with his brother Ron, co-founded BigIron Auctions, which focuses on large equipment auctions and offers both weekly onsite and online auctions.  Mark will explain the journey he and his brother took from growing up on a farm to becoming successful entrepreneurs and how their auctions take advantage of the internet to bring potential buyers equipment from all over the country.  Mark will also explain the advice he gives to farmers on making additional income like leasing hunting land on farms, and how to get the best deal in an auction.  And of course, Mark will give us a taste of that famous auctioneer voice.

Connect with BigIron Auctions:

BigIron Website

Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • Mark Stock starting BigIron Auctions
  • Auction Schools
  • Starting with Salt and Pepper Sales
  • Best time to sell
  • Online Auctions
  • How to win bids
  • The “Barret-Jackson” equipment auctions
  • How to get a good deal on an auction
  • $350,000 for a combine
  • What to do if a farm goes under
  • How to sell land
  • Managing farmland
  • How to use farmland for hunting
  • Benefit auctions
  • Online Auctions


Podcast Episode 45: Beef and Ellen Degeneres?


In our digital age, going viral can lead to some pretty neat opportunities like going on talk shows or even just having your message reach millions of people.  Our guest today went viral just a few months ago (Sept 2019) in an attempt to fight some popular false claims about the agriculture industry.  Amanda Radke is an Agriculture Speaker, Beef Blogger, and pretty much a jack of all trades.  Amanda has a background in Ag Communications, writes for BEEF Magazine, and working with beef cattle.  She currently runs her website (amandaradke.com),  advocates for agriculture as a guest speaker, and writes a Beef newsletter.  You might remember Amanda from a few months ago when she went viral for a post in which she asked Ellen for a chance to come on her show to talk about beef production and some false claims the media continues to share regarding agriculture.  Today on the show, Amanda will talk about her speaking background, beef facts and misinformation, and how going viral helped get her message out there.

Connect with Amanda:

Amanda’s Website

Amanda on Instagram

The Article Calling Out Ellen

Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • Amanda Radke’s background
  • Public Speaking in FFA
  • FFA National Convention
  • Walking out of Carrie Underwood concert
  • Going viral
  • Getting on the Ellen Degeneres show
  • Dealing with misinformation on beef
  • Beef and the environment
  • Methane and Carbon Dioxide
  • Professional speaking
  • Advocating Agriculture
  • The Impossible Burger
  • Beef Labeling
  • Business Strategies
  • Fighting Activists


Podcast Ep. 44: Saltwater Tomatoes in Saudi Arabia

Ryan Large post



The future of sustainable agriculture is looking brighter each and every day thanks to technological advancements around the world.  One such example is our guest today that has pioneered a hydroponic method that allows growing of tomatoes in saltwater.  Ryan Lefers is the co-founder of Red Sea Farms located in Saudi Arabia.  Ryan grew up on a farm in South Dakota and pursed an agricultural engineering degree.  He is now putting his experience to work by doing his part to help develop technologies that help feed the world.  In our interview today, Ryan will explain the process of growing plants in saltwater and what the farmer/consumer relationship is like in Saudi Arabia.


Connect with Ryan and Redsea Farms:

Red Sea Farms Website

Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • Ryan’s background and growing up in South Dakota
  • Starting Red Sea Farms with Prof. Mark Tester
  • Feeding the world in challenging environments
  • King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia
  • Growing tomatoes in saltwater
  • Using water for cooling in greenhouses
  • Irrigation systems
  • Salinity tolerant crops
  • Plants adapting to saltwater
  • Agricultural Engineering
  • The agriculture industry in Saudi Arabia
  • The future of sustainable Agriculture
  • The farmer/consumer relationship in Saudi Arabia


Podcast Ep. 43: Making Row Crops More Sustainable with the Field Work Podcast

As you might be able to tell, lately, we have had several other podcasts on the show.  The podcast industry is certainly booming, and the agriculture sector is taking advantage of that boom by creating numerous agriculture-related podcasts.  One such podcast is Field Work, a podcast centered around row crops and how they can play a part in sustainable agriculture.  Hosted by Zach Johnson and Mitchell Hora, Field Work talks about successes, failures, and tips and tricks the row crop sector face. Today, we are joined by Mitchell as he explains how they started the show, what some common themes are, and much more!

Be sure to check out their podcast below!


Photo courtesy of VENN Media.

Connect with Mitchell and the Field Work Podcast:

Field Work Website

Field Work on iTunes

Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • Agronomy
  • Farm consulting
  • Soil health and its importance
  • Mitchell Hora’s background
  • Field Work podcast
  • Sustainable Row Crops
  • Diversity of farms
  • Carbon Credits
  • Tillage
  • Goals of Sustainable Agriculture
  • How land has changed
  • Soil Microbes
  • Organic Farms
  • Providing food for the world
  • Wind and Solar Energy
  • Thoughts on farmer/consumer relationship


Podcast Ep. 42: Inspector by day, Podcaster by Night – Nate of Everybody Has a Story



Our guest today is a quality assurance representative in the potato industry by day and a podcaster by night.  His name is Nate and his podcast is called Everyone Has a Story.  Nate works in the potato capital of the U.S. and will explain what his job entails as well as the inspiration behind his podcast, Everyone Has a Story.  His podcast is all about bringing to light all the unique stories and experiences we all have and develop during our lives.  Nate’s podcast is a great show so be sure to check it out!

Connect with Nate and his podcast:

iTunes – Everyone Has a Story

Spotify – Everyone Has a Story

Nate’s Website


Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • Nate’s day job as potato inspector
  • Life in Idaho
  • Idaho potato industry
  • Potato Warehouses
  • Classifications of potatoes
  • Process Grade Potato
  • US #1 Potatoes
  • Russet Potato
  • Potato growing season
  • Rejecting potatoes
  • Everybody Has a Story podcast
  • Equipment for podcasting
  • How Nate got into podcasting
  • Experience with interviewing
  • Sharing stories
  • Cows under palm trees

Podcast Ep. 41: How and Why Farmers Need “Off-Farm Income” with Matt Brechwald


Our guest today is Matt Brechwald.  Some of you might know him as the man behind podcasts like Off Farm Income and the new podcast, Microphone Money. In our interview today, Matt will talk about the many reasons farmers might need some off-farm income, entrepreneurship advice he gives his listeners, and how he has turned podcasting into a successful career.


Connect with Matt:

Off-Farm Income Website

Off-Farm Income on iTunes

Microphone Money on iTunes

Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • Matt’s entrepreneurial background
  • Off-Farm Income Podcast
  • Learning about money entrepreneurship in FFA with Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE)
  • Finding your passion
  • Why farmers need some extra income
  • Cash flow on farms
  • Fasting growing region in the United States
  • How Matt got started podcasting
  • Talking about successful corn seasons
  • Getting started podcasting
  • Microphone Money Podcast
  • Thoughts on the farmer/consumer relationship

Podcast Ep. 40: Getting Fit with Dairy – Emily Shaw


It’s the beginning of a new year!  Most of us might have made some goals to better ourselves in the new year in ways like eating better, exercising more, basically getting in shape like The Rock.  Our guest today is Emily Shaw, better known on Instagram as Dairy Girl Fitness.  Emily has created a platform on motivating people to get fit and as she puts it, “Help women build confidence, feel strong & eat the foods they love.”  Emily will share her knowledge on planning your workouts, best practices on diets and supplements, and how she advocates for the dairy industry.  This is a super informative podcast if you are interested in fitness and getting in shape this year!  Be sure to follow Emily on her Instagram page for more fitness advice!

Connect with Emily:

Emily on Instagram

Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • Emily’s background
  • How to watching what you eat
  • Prioritizing workouts
  • Women’s fitness
  • Misconceptions with dairy
  •  Sharing the story of animal Ag
  • Animal based protein vs plant based protein
  • Tracking Macro-nutrients
  • Understanding supplements

Farm Traveler’s 2020 Goals

I’ve read articles that tell you to NEVER tell people your goals.  I’ve also read articles that say you should tell EVERYONE your goals.  So, I’m kinda confused as to what to do.  However, I believe that by telling people your goals, you’re held accountable to those goals.   Setting goals and telling people about those goals gives you both an expectation as to what you’re going to do.  Of course, the chance of reaching those goals is greatly improved by laying out a plan of how you are going to accomplish them.  But, if you’ve ever planned a party or even a marriage proposal, you probably know that plans sometimes don’t work out as expected.  Former President and General, Dwight D. Eisenhower had some pretty factual thoughts on laying out plans, “Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Basically, plans often fall apart because of new circumstances that we don’t take into account, but plans are important in helping us set a direction.

For the direction of Farm Traveler, I have a clear direction I want the podcast and the brand to go.  And to further go towards that direction, I’m planning on 2020 being a big year.  I have two simple, yet challenging, goals for Farm Traveler:

  1. Grow the podcast

  2.  Create more online content

Grow the podcast

The podcast is the bread and butter of Farm Traveler.  It’s so fun to interview people and learn more about where our food comes from.  I plan on continuing to produce podcast episodes as well as making more Ag 101 episodes.  So definitely look for more podcast episodes in 2020.  We will be searching for more guests, so if you or if you know someone that should come on the show, send us an email (farmtravelerseries@gmail.com)!

Create more online content

We all have different learning modalities, whether that is auditory, kinesthetic (hands-on), or visually.  There is no doubt that videos are super popular now thanks to Facebook and YouTube.  People love watching how to cook, fix something, or even seeing some epic fail videos.  This year, I plan to start working on a pilot episode of a Farm Traveler video series.  The premise is visiting farms and ranches and going hands on with agriculture.  HOPEFULLY, that pilot will lead to monthly episodes of Farm Traveler videos on places like Facebook, YouTube, etc.

Here is where you come in!

I need your help: Keep Farm Traveler accountable!  I believe most of us truly want to learn where our food comes from.  We want to see the faces behind our food and see how they do it and why.  I want to share those stories and educate people on the importance and scale of the agriculture industry.  Help keep us accountable by making sure we follow through on these goals.  Just ask, “Hey!  Where are the episodes?!” or “When are you starting the series?!”  This engagement will help light the fire if it happens to get burnt out along the way.

I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store.  And I can’t wait to bring you along the way.

Thanks for an AMAZING 2019.  We had over 23,000 downloads this year with the podcast, which isn’t bad at all for a first year podcast.  Maybe we can break 100,000 in 2020.

I will continue to keep you posted in the new year.  And don’t forget to share Farm Traveler will all your friends and family.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

– Trevor

Podcast Ep. 39: Food Bullying and How to Avoid Buying B.S. with Michele Payn



Did you know there is something like 200,000 misleading marketing labels at grocery stores? Our guest today is the author of several books including, Food Bullying: How to Avoid Buying B.S. and Food Truths: From Farm to Table. In her books, Michele covers all the misleading claims that confuse consumers at the grocery store, explanations behind nutrition labels, and steps on how you can not fall victim to crazy labeling techniques. In our interview, we will talk about Michele’s background, motivation behind writing the books, how to understand “Food Bullying” and much more!  Be sure to check out Michele’s work at the links below.

Connect with Michele:

Michele’s Website

Food Bullying Podcast

Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • Food Bullying: How to Avoid Buying B.S.
  • Food Truths: From Farm to Table
  • No More Food Fights
  • Michele’s background
  • Public speaking experience
  • What is food bullying?
  • How to avoid misinformation
  • 200,000 + false claims on food labels
  • Technologies in Food
  • Labels targeting consumers’ interests
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • Understanding food labels
  • The Food Bullying Podcast
  • Farmer/Consumer Relationship

Podcast Ep. 38: The science and art of butchery with Jake Levin



I’ve always been fascinated with the art of butchery.  The skill and knowledge to breakdown an animal carcass into countless cuts of meat that can be turned into delicious steaks, stews, roasts, and so on.  And also to treat the animal with such respect that very little goes to waste.  My first real impression of a butcher was an old guy on my favorite childhood TV show, Hey Arnold  Although very little was explained by the characters quick appearances, it still seemed like a cool gig.  The history and techniques of butchery work is something you don’t hear or see very much of anymore as the neighborhood butcher becomes a thing of the past.  Well today, we will learn a thing or two about the art and science behind butchery work.  Our guest today is Jake Levin.  Jake travels to farms, chefs, and homesteaders and processes whole animals. Jake also does workshops to showcase his process and most recently released his book, Smokehouse Handbook. His book focuses on the history, techniques, and some recipes for smoking meats.

Connect with Jake:

The Roving Butcher Website

Smokehouse Handbook

Smokehouse Handbook on Amazon

Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • Jake’s start as a butcher/Roving butcher
  • Different cuts of meat on an animal
  •  Difference in meat quality with grain feed/grass fed
  • Jake’s favorite cuts of meat
  • Underrated cuts of meat
  • Basics of lamb
  • Process of aged meats
  • Animal welfare and protesters
  • Jake’s educational work with workshops and demonstrations
  • Jake’s book: Smokehouse Handbook
  • What inspired Smokehouse Handbook
  • Jake’s advice on smoking meats
  • Thoughts on the farmer/consumer relationship

Podcast Ep. 37: Advocating for agriculture with David Hafner


Learning about all that goes on in the agriculture industry is a life long experience.  Touring farms and advocating for agriculture to state legislatures are just a few tasks our guests today has taken upon himself to better the industry.  David Hafner is a farmer and rancher from Martin County, Florida.  David is passionate about agriculture and advocating for agriculture in the sunshine state.  Today, David will tell us about his background, agrotourism experiences he has had, his farming operation, and more!

Connect with David:

David on Instagram

David on Facebook

David on Twitter

Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • Martin County Cattlemen’s Association
  • American Farm Bureau Partners in Advocacy Leadership (PAL) Program
  • Florida Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Program
  • Agrotourism
  • Advocating for Agriculture
  • Mexico Dumping Produce in the United States
  • Diversity of Florida agriculture
  • Growing your farm
  • Farmer/Consumer relationship

Podcast Ep. 36: Butterball – A Thanksgiving Special


There is a HIGH chance that you will be eating some turkey on Thanksgiving day.  And there is also a pretty high chance that turkey is produced from our guest today, Butterball!  Today we have the pleasure of interviewing two people that work at Butterball, Rebecca Welch, the senior brand manager, as well as Wellie Jackson, a Butterball contract grower.  Rebecca will talk to us about the history of Butterball, the Turkey Talk-Line and much more.  Wellie will explain what it’s like to be a contract grower, the process of raising turkeys, misconceptions, and some great Thanksgiving cooking advice.

Thanks to Butterball for being on this Thanksgiving episode!  And THANK YOU to all our listeners, we are so glad you’re here and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!


Connect with Butterball:

Butterball Website

Turkey Talk-Line: 1-800-Butterball

Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • History of Butterball
  • Preparing for the Thanksgiving rush of Turkey
  • Funny stories from the 1-800-Butterball Turkey Talk-Line
  • Contract growers for Butterball
  • Growing environments for turkeys
  • Turkey meat facts
  • Misconceptions
  • Cooking advice for Thanksgiving
  • Thoughts on the farmer/consumer relationship

Podcast Ep. 35: Former Director of Millennial Engagement at Monsanto – Vance Crowe

Vance Crowe.png

Our guest today is a fellow podcaster and agriculture enthusiast, not to mention a jack of all trades.  Vance Crowe has served as the Director of Millennial Engagement for Monsanto, a Communications Strategist for the World Bank Group, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, Communications Coordinator at NPR, and much more!  Now, Vance spends his time as a communications consultant, podcasting, and offering talks with companies about technology and communicating with  critics and stakeholders.  Be sure to check out his podcast, the Vance Crowe Podcast!  Support fellow podcaster making great content!

Connect with Vance:

Vance’e Website

Vance Crowe Podcast

Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • Vance’s background
  • Starting work as the Director of Millennial Engagement at Monsanto
  • Educating and engaging millennials about agriculture and technology
  • Working with Monsanto
  • Learning from scientists at Monsanto
  • History of GMOs
  • Common Monsanto misconceptions
  • Vance Crowe Podcast
  • Getting started podcasting
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Interviewing retired Monsanto Scientist Fred Perlak
  • Dr. Kevin Folta
  • Keynote speaking engagements
  • Thoughts on farmer/consumer relationship

Podcast Ep. 34: Bridging the gap between farm and fork – Animal Ag Alliance

Copy of Vine.png

Animal agriculture is a vital part of the industry that is receiving a ton of media attention with debates on plant based meats, carbon emissions, and much more.  Our guest today is Casey Kinler with Animal Agriculture Alliance.  Animal Ag Alliance is all about keeping everyone in animal agriculture on the same page as well as bridging the gap between farm and fork.  Casey will explain the mission of Animal Ag Alliance, tips they give to livestock farmers, information on their Primed and Prepared Summit, and more.


Connect with Animal Ag Alliance:

Animal Ag Alliance

Facebook page


Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • Animal Agriculture Alliance
  • Animal activists
  • Farm and Fork
  • Primed and Prepared Animal Ag Alliance Summit
  • Educating with social media
  • Combating misinformation
  • Biggest animal agriculture misconceptions
  • Plant based meats
  • environmental stewardship of animal agriculture