Podcast Ep. 33: Supplying seeds to small scale farms – Johnny’s Selected Seeds

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Have you wondered where exactly get their seeds from?  Today our guest, Blake Thaxton, is a sales rep for Johnny’s selected seeds.  Blake will explain the importance of building relationships with customers, what Johnny’s Selected Seeds has to offer, and much more!

Connect with Blake and Johnny’s Selected Seeds:

Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Blake on Instagram

Blake on Twitter

Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • History of Johnny’s Selected Seed
  • How Blake got started
  • UF Extension
  • Selling Seeds
  • Small farms
  • Organic farms
  • Hydroponic farms
  • Challenges growers face
  • Production methods
  • Fighting pests
  • Hydroponics
  • Hydroponic Growers
  • Farmer/Consumer relationship

Podcast Ep. 32: Ranching, Farming, and Family – JaTanna and Natalie of Ranch Wives Beef Co.

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JaTanna and Natalie are the brains behind Ranch Wives Beef Company.  They also have some of the hardest jobs out there, working on a ranch and being mothers.  JaTanna and Natalie will talk to us today about their life ranching in Nebraska and Montana, using social media to educate consumers, and much more!

Connect with JaTanna and Natalie:

Ranch Wives Beef Website

Ranch Wives on Instagram

Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • Ranch Wives Beef Company
  • Life on the Ranch
  • Montana and Nebraska Ranching
  • Beef
  • Dry Aged Beef
  • Social Media Usage
  • Agriculture Advocates
  • Family life on the farm
  • #Ranchlife

Podcast Ep. 31: Dr. Kevin Folta – Discussing Genetic Engineering and the Matoke Banana to solve vitamin deficiencies

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Our guest today is THE Dr. Kevin Folta from the University of Florida.  Dr. Folta is a professor in the Horticultural Sciences Department and spends his spare time advocating for genetic engineering and bridging the gap between science and consumers.  Dr. Folta will tell us about his research, how exactly scientists make GMO crops, issues facing genetic engineering, and the dangers of misinformation with genetic engineering.  This is a GREAT episode full of valuable lessons we all should take when it comes to battling misinformation.

Connect with Dr Folta:

Talking BioTech Podcast Website

iTunes for Talking BioTech

Dr. Folta’s Blog

Dr. Folta on Twitter

Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • GMO’s
  • Genetic Engineering
  • University of Florida
  • “Frankenfoods”
  • Editing Salmon Genes
  • Advocating for Science
  • Future of Genetically Engineered Crops
  • Fighting vitamin deficiencies in Uganda
  • Matoke Banana
  • Building Trust
  • NON-GMO Label

Podcast Ep 30: Local produce delivered straight to your door – Shaun Lee of Farmhouse Delivery

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Shaun Lee is the President and Co-Founder of Farmhouse Delivery in Austin, Texas.  Farmhouse Delivery is a food delivery service that offers a wide range produce, meats, and meal kits to their customers.  Farmhouse currently focuses their efforts on the Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and Waco markets with hopes to grow across the Lone Star state.  In our interview, Shaun will talk to us about the start of Farmhouse, how they partner with local farmers, how they come up with recipes for meal kits, and much more!

Connect with Farmhouse Delivery:

Farmhouse Delivery Website

Farmhouse Instagram

Additional Episode Links:

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Show Highlights:

  • Start of Farmhouse Delivery
  • Farmhouses 3 types of deliveries
  • Making food from local farmers more accessible
  • Food Delivery Kits
  • How to ship food across the country
  • Working with local farmers
  • Maintaining food quality
  • Food standards
  • Sustainable Farming/Sustainable Agriculture
  • Organic Farming
  • Certified Organic
  • Free Range beef
  • Merging with Truckin’ Tomato

Podcast Ep 29: Dairy farming, Tillamook, and fighting internet trolls with Derrick Josi

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Our guest today is Derrick Josi, but you might know him best as tdf_honest_farming on Facebook and Instagram.  Derrick is a fourth generation dairy farmer in Tillamook County, Oregon.  Derrick is super active on social media showcasing the life of a dairy farmer and constantly fighting misinformation surrounding dairy production.  Check out our great conversation and be sure to check out Derrick’s content at the links below.

Connect with Derrick:

Derrick’s Facebook Page

Derrick on Instagram

Derrick’s website: Tillamook Dairy Farmer

AG Daily: 5 Best videos from Derrick of TDF_Honest_Farming

Additional Episode Links:

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Talking Points:

  • Oregon dairy industry
  • Current state of the U.S. dairy industry
  • Tillamook dairy
  • Tillamook County Creamery Association
  • Fighting animal rights activists on social media
  • Fighting false information in animal ag
  • Ag Industry helping farmers fight the good fight

Podcast Ep 28: Tim Hammerich of the Future of Agriculture Podcast

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Tim Hammerich is host of the popular podcast, The Future of Agriculture.  In our interview today, Tim will tell us about his guests, his Ag background and more!  Be sure to check out his podcast as well for more great interviews from Tim.

iTunes link – Future of Ag Podcast

Future of Ag Podcast Website

AG Grad

Additional Episode Links:

iTunes

Spotify

Talking Points:

  • Tim’s background in agriculture
  • Starting the Future of Agriculture podcast
  • AgGrad
  • Direct to consumers
  • Ag-Tech Careers
  • Astro-Botany
  • Farming in Space
  • Astro-nematoades
  • Farmers/Consumer relationship

Podcast Episode 27: Henry Gordon-Smith – Agritecture

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Our guest today is Henry Gordon-Smith of Agritecture.  Agritecture offers consulting services for entrepreneurs, companies, and cities, including feasibility studies, farm design, recruiting, and local food system planning.  Some topics we will discuss include how  architecture changed in the last few decades in agriculture, examples of international partners and what are their plans for urban agriculture and much more!

If you’re interested in international agriculture and urban agriculture, you’ll love this episode!

Links

Additional Episode Links:

Podcast on iTunes

Podcast on Spotify

Podcast on Waypoint

Talking Points:

  • Agriculture and Architecture
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Water Wars
  • “Grow more with less”
  • Singapore food independence
  • Saltwater Asparagus
  • Agtech Solutions
  • Locally Grown In Podcast
  • Connection to Agriculture

Podcast Episode 26: Daniel Leonard – UF Extension

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Today’s guest is another old friend, Daniel Leonard.  Daniel is an Extension Agent with the University of Florida.  He worked in Walton County, Florida as a Commercial and Residential Horticulture Extension agent and recently took the position of Extension Director in our home county of Calhoun County, FL.  Daniel will tell us about his upbringing in the Florida panhandle, the responsibilities of a horticulture extension agent, and much more!

For more of Daniels work, check out the links below.

http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/waltonco/author/dleonard/

http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/author/dleonard/

For more information on the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences:

UF IFAS Website

Additional Episode Links:

Podcast on iTunes

Podcast on Spotify

Podcast on Waypoint

Talking Points:

  • Growing up in the Florida Panhandle
  • University of Florida Extension
  • UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS)
  • Master Gardener Program
  • Florida Friendly Landscaping Program
  • Walton County IFAS
  • Calhoun County IFAS
  • Timber Industry
  • Fantasy Football

Bonus Episode: Ben Hall – Filmmaker

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Today’s episode is a little different.  When I first decided to do a podcast, I realized I needed a guinea pig to practice interviewing with.  So, I did what anyone would do, I called my brother from another mother (and father), Ben Hall, and asked if he would let me pick his brain for an hour.  He happily agreed to be a test subject…er…I mean a volunteer.

Ben Hall is a writer, director, producer, (and countless other job titles) in Hollywood, California.  Ben has worked with film legends like Own Wilson, Zach Galifiankis, Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Andrew Garfield, Tom Ford, and Sandra Bullock.  Films and television shows he has worked on include Lady Bird, Pixels, Bosch, Cosmos, Nocturnal AnimalsStraight Outta Compton, and even the new Lion King movie.  Ben has filmed two films during his time in Hollywood, The Man from Outer Space (available on Amazon) and the upcoming movie Night into Day.  Perhaps coolest of all, he has somehow been patient enough to be my best friend of 28 years.

Ben and I are going to talk all things movies in this episode and actually very little about agriculture.  So enjoy this bonus conversation and listen to some pretty cool stories Ben has to share.

Be sure to check out the trailer for his new movie, Night into Day.  Coming Soon!

 

The Man from Outer Space trailer:

(available on Amazon)

Ben Hall on IMDB.com

Talking Points:

  • Life in Hollywood
  • Life as a Director
  • Filming your own movie
  • Working in the Film Industry
  • Meeting THE Steven Spielberg
  • The Man from Outer Space
  • Night into Day
  • Hurricane Michael’s impact on North Florida

Podcast Ep. 25: Jared Regier – Vegetable Academy

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Our guest today is Jared Regier.  Jared is the creator of Vegetable Academy in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.  Vegetable Academy is designed to teach urban farming and small scale vegetable production.  We will discuss how the academy started, the impact they hope to have with sustainable agriculture, and more!

Check them out at the links below:

Vegetable Academy Website

Vegetable Academy Instagram

Additional Episode Links:

Podcast on iTunes

Podcast on Spotify

Podcast on Waypoint

Key points we will cover:

  • Start of Vegetable Academy
  • Agriculture in Canada
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • “Ah-Ha” Moments with growers
  • How to start a small scale vegetable garden
  • Tips and Tricks with Gardening

Podcast Ep. 24: Will Leonard – Forestry

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Today our guest on the podcast is an old friend, Will Leonard.  Will is a forester in North West Florida and will talk to us about what all his job encompasses, how timber is harvested and much more.  Will is also going to touch base on the impact that hurricane Michael has had on the timber industry since it made landfall back in October of 2018.

Epiosde:

Additional Episode Links:

iTunes Link

Spotify Link

Key points we will cover:

  • Prepping the land for planting timber
  • Timber Harvesting
  • Pulpwood vs Saw timber
  • Pine tree species in Florida
  • Building relationships with timber growers
  • Hurricane Michael’s impact on the Florida Timber industry

Facts mentioned in the podcast:

  • 17 million acres of timber land in Florida
  • FL Forestry producers over 30,000 jobs
  • FL Forestry provides the state with $25 Billion in revenue
  • 72 Million tons of timer were destroyed from Hurricane Micheal which equals 3.5 million log trucks

Additional information

Never compare

Ever think the grass is greener on the other side?  Yeah, me too.  Especially when it comes to other podcasts.

A few days ago, my wife and I went to a wedding rehearsal dinner and tried to mingle with some of the guests.  The first person we talked with just so happened to be a podcast creator.  What are the odds?!  Sure, more people are turning to podcasts to get various messages out there, but how crazy is it that it’s the first person you meet at a rehearsal dinner had a successful podcast!?

We quickly talked numbers and about our messages and audience.  Austin was a host of the Captains Collective, a long forum interview podcast dedicated to learning from captains, and other leaders in the fishing industry.  He stated that they’ve had around 50,000 downloads and have just gotten signed with a podcast network and various sponsors.  How cool is that?!  A new podcast that’s really gaining traction and getting a cool message out there.

As cool as it was to hear from a fellow podcaster, I certainly started to get a little envious.  They have 50,000 downloads to our modest 2,000.  They have over 600 followers on their Instagram page, to our small amount of around 270.  Okay, I was more than a little envious.  I was very much envious.

But after a good little motivational talk from Allie, the wife, and adjusting back to reality, I realized our growth has been pretty good here at the Farm Traveler Podcast.  After recording around 27 episodes as of this post (19 of which are live now), I’ve learned a ton from some awesome people who have some pretty cool lines of work.  Dairy farmers in the UK, vegetable farmers around the United States, and I’ve even been able to interview several long time friends who work in the industry.

Although the message of food production hasn’t reached as many people as I would like just yet, it has found a pretty cool audience.  Below you will see some pretty neat stats about the show like countries and cities where people have listened to the podcast.

(The below stats are for our last 5 episodes.)

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UK, Australia, Denmark, California, and Washington, just to name a few?!   Our little podcast is slowly finding an audience around the country and around the world!  How cool is that?!  I can not believe it.  We have spent exactly $0 on marketing and we already achieved a great audience.  So all I can say, is THANK YOU.  Thank you for listening.  Thank you for following our little show.  Thank you for telling your friends and sharing our posts.

I hope our show continues to grow because the stories we share need to get out there.  People need to learn about the work that farmers do and the part we can all play in food sustainability.

I hope you’ve learned a thing or two, I certainly have.  I’ve most recently learned to be content with where you are.  And no matter the size of the audience, be grateful for them.  Metrics shouldn’t matter.  The conversations are the things that matter.

Thanks for listening to our show.  We’ve got some other great episodes on the way and I can’t for you to hear them!

Piece, love, and chicken grease.

-Trevor

The farm of the future

If you’re a lover of history, you’ve probably heard of the name, Nostradamus.  Nostradamus was a 16th-century French philosopher that is most famous for making scary accurate predictions about the future.  Some of those predictions include Napoleon, the Fire of London, the French Revolution, and even the JFK assassination.  For kicks, giggles, and as a good example, allow me to put on my Nostradamus Prediction Hat.  

Be it foretold that soon will come a day where the farmland becometh scarce.  Long gone will be the days of vast fields of crops.  In their wake will be warehouses as tall as the sky, filled with metal frames and metal robots.  However, these spaces will not only be filled with metal but also with greenery.  Greenery from crops and plants and money along this metal landscape.   

Ok, off with that hat.

As cities grow and more land is developed for houses, shopping centers, and amusement parks, farmland will slowly become a rare commodity.  Especially near large cities where fewer and fewer acres will be devoted to growing crops.  A shift is currently happening that is well ahead of the curb and is supplying urban areas with fresh produce that is locally grown.  That shift is warehouse farms.  These facilities are either new or old factory buildings, shipping containers, or unused space that is converted to an indoor urban farm.  These farms are built to use vertical space efficiently in order to grow as much as possible.  Most grow their produce using hydroponic systems that save 70% more water than regular crops and LED lights that give off the light waves that are specifically needed for plant growth.  Being indoors, crops aren’t affected by outside weather or pests and can grow year round no matter where the farm is located.

Take the video below for example.  In it, Bloomberg shares the story of an urban farmer and her role in creating the future of agriculture.  The growing process is just as scientific as growing regular crops and sometimes even more so.  The upfront costs are high, but once established, the steady year-round profits are well worth the initial investment.

There will always be a place for traditional farms and traditional agriculture.  Even if one day we are 3D printing steaks from home, I guarantee there will always be a market for regular beef or regular crops that are grown out in nature.  But in order for agriculture to continue into the future, it has to evolve with technology.

So what do you think?  Are you in a city that has some operations like this?  Or do you live in a rural community and don’t want to see cities encroach on your land?  Personally, I think even rural communities can and should have operations like the one above.

Now all I’ve got to do is see if Nostradamus said anything about agriculture.  And maybe even if he said anything about the decline of Justin Bieber.

Thanks and see you next time.

– Trevor

Launch of the Farm Traveler Podcast

The Farm Traveler Podcast is now live! 

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We are so excited to bring you interviews with farmers, ranchers, extension agents, teachers, and countless other people involved in the agriculture industry.  We hope this podcast not only better informs consumers but that it also gives individuals in the ag industry a chance to share their knowledge as well as their experiences.

Starting today, you can search for the Farm Traveler Podcast in iTunesSpotify or your favorite podcast app.

                               

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You can even listen to the podcasts on our website on the Podcasts page and follow the link to the podcast player.

Each week we will bring you a new episode, rotating between production agriculturalists one week and people working in the ag industry in supporting roles the next week.  Just a few examples of upcoming episodes: vegetable farmers in South Florida, extension agents from Texas and Maryland, dairy farmers, hop farmers, honey producers, and more!

Thank you for joining us on this venture.  If you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe and rate the podcast and of course, share it!  Or if you’d like to be on an episode, please email us at farmtravelerseries@gmail.com.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Trevor

Farmers Markets in London

I’ve heard that British food isn’t all that great.  Well, after having visited England during a last trip with the wife, I can happily report that British food is pretty darn tasty.  Sorry Ireland, I can’t vouch for you though.

We were in London for four days.  We ate at a Michelin Star restaurant, several hole-in-the-wall establishments, and a bunch of little bits from other restaurants.  Not once did we have a bad meal.  Perhaps my favorite was a gourmet hotdog restaurant called “Bubbledogs” where I had a hotdog with BBQ brisket and coleslaw on top.  We even ventured to a famous market called “Borough Market” and it was a site to see.

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We love going to farmers markets and I hope you do too.  It’s a great way to not only support local agriculture and meet farmers behind your food, but it’s also a great way to eat some delicious and fresh food.  In Borough Market, we saw cheesemakers, vegetable growers, butchers, sausage makers, fisherman, and the list goes on.

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All around the market were signs displaying “Buy Local”, “Locally Grown”, etc.  It was the first time I have ever seen the buy local movement outside the United States.  It’s such a cool feeling to know that consumers in a totally different country are taking it upon themselves to buy locally grown food and support those local farmers.  Although some of those farms are outside of London, they were still all British owned and operated businesses.  The money those consumers spend on their food items will go directly to those farmers; not to processors, distributors, or retailers.  Those farmers will get a much better share of the dollar than they would by traditional means.

Moral of the story is to buy local and support local farmers.  I’m now going to do my best to find local farms markets and buy local produce as much as I can.  And I encourage you to do the same.  It’s a trend that’s catching on all over the world and once we should all get behind.

Oh, in Dublin we tried haggis.  Not great…but also not bad.  4/10.  The Guinness was much better.

-Trevor