Rural Perspectives Podcast

Advocating for Ag - Rural Perspectives Podcast

AgCountry's Rural Perspectives Podcast examines a diverse range of issues impacting agriculture and rural life.

Each episode features industry leaders, farmers and policy makers to give listeners a unique perspective. Join us as we bring you voices from rural America.


Episode 26 - Renting farmland to plant crops or graze livestock is common practice within agriculture. However, this issue gets heightened within a tough commodity environment. Extension Educator David Bau of the University of Minnesota-Extension joins the podcast to discuss how to create a fair rental agreement for both the landowner and tenant.

Episode 25 - Hormel Foods went from being a small two story building in 1891 on the Minnesota prairie to a Fortune 500 company. Being home to over 50 different brands, we speak with Jeff Grev, vice president legislative affairs at Hormel, about the food processing business and how they've been able to continue innovating for more than a century.

Episode 24 - When you think of shrimp, you probably don't think of the Upper Midwest. However, that might soon change. We talk to Robert Gervais, senior director of operations at tru Shrimp in Balaton, Minn. about their work in establishing a new industry.

Episode 23 - With fewer people living on farms, education is a critical component to teaching students about agriculture. Sue Knot, education specialist with Minnesota Ag In The Classroom, joins the program to discuss the resources available to enhance student learning.

Episode 22 - American farmers have a rich tradition of passing along their operation to the next generation when it's time to step away. However, not everyone is prepared for that moment. We chat about this topic and what retirement planning all entails with Russ Tweiten, VP succession & retirement planning at AgCountry.

Episode 21 - Sunflowers are an iconic crop. These big, yellow plants are popular among gardens, but they're also grown commercially for a host of products. Kevin Capistran, board member of the National Sunflower Association, chats with us about the sunflower industry.

Episode 20 - Biofuels contribute significantly to the state and farm economies of the upper Midwest. Tim Rudnicki, the executive director of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association, sits down with us to chat about the industry, it's impact both economically and environmentally, and what the process of refining biomass into fuels all entails.

Episode 19 - Finding a niche market within agriculture can be both challenging and rewarding. We speak with Craig Dischinger, owner of the Hot Disch Farm, about what life is like running one of the few yak operations in the upper Midwest.

Episode 18 - On this episode of the Rural Perspectives Podcast, we chat with Alise Sjostrom, cheesemaker at the Redhead Creamery in central Minnesota, about the growing movement of value-added farm operations within agriculture. 

Episode 17 - June is celebrated as Dairy Month within the U.S. Kim and Ken Heiman of Nasonville Dairy, located near Marshfield, Wisconsin, chat with us about the cheesemaking process while also discussing the pride that dairy farmers take in their work.

Episode 16 - Congressman Collin Peterson of Minnesota's 7th District stopped by to talk about the political happenings in Washington, D.C. that are impacting agriculture and rural communities. He also addresses his legacy, bipartisan approach and the work he still wants to finish.

Episode 15 - May is National Beef Month. Ashley Kohls, the executive director of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association, chats with us about the beef industry and the issues that are affecting it.

Episode 14 - As younger generations take over the farm, they're met with many challenges. One such challenge is connecting consumers long removed from the farm to those that grow & raise the food that we eat. Zach Johnson, better known as the Minnesota Millennial Farmer, shares his take on life as a young farmer & how to best connect with consumers in an interactive way.

Episode 13 - Crop insurance has become a focal point of the Farm Bill. Keith Wilson, VP Insurance with AgCountry, talks about how the program works and why it's so important to farmers, especially in a time of challenging markets. 

Episode 12 - The stress of challenging commodity markets and uncertainty within agriculture can lead to problems for the mental health of farmers. The Director of Mental Health Outreach for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Ted Matthews, joins our podcast to discuss this timely and important topic.

Episode 11 - Rural health care systems are facing mounting challenges. However, the advancement of technology is helping patients receive first-rate care. Nathan Blad, CEO of the Renville County Hospital and Clinics joins the podcast to talk about the changing environment of this industry.

Episode 10 - Elk once roamed freely across the upper Midwest. Now ranchers like Scott Groen are raising the animal commercially for meat, velvet and hard antlers, among others. Find out more about this fascinating animal as Groen walks us through the elk industry! 

Episode 9 - You may not know it, but Wisconsin is a world leader in producing high-quality ginseng. Bob Kaldunski, president of the Ginseng Board of Wisconsin, joins the Rural Perspectives Podcast to talk about what makes the state the perfect spot to grow such a fascinating crop.

Episode 8 - The end of the 2017 tax year is quickly approaching. Mike Ness, VP Tax with AgCountry Farm Credit Services joins our podcast to talk about tax options for farmers. In this episode, we also discuss the major tax reform proposal being debated by Congress and what it means for agriculture.

Episode 7 - Carl Wittenburg, chairman of the National Turkey Federation, joins our podcast to speak about the industry, the tradition of the presidential pardon and the impact of the Thanksgiving holiday. Two lucky turkeys from Carl's flock will be officially pardoned by the president.

Episode 6 - Millions of bison once roamed North America, but quickly disappeared once settlers arrived. Bison are making a comeback thanks to a combination of conservationists and ranchers. We talk all things bison with the Executive Director of the North Dakota Buffalo Association, Kevin Leier.

Episode 5 - October is Pork Month!  David Preisler, CEO of the Minnesota Pork Producers Association, joins the podcast to talk all things bacon, foreign trade and industry trends.

Episode 4 - October is Cooperative Month in the U.S. Ethan Giebel of Cooperative Network discusses the celebration along with the impact co-ops make in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Episode 3 - Natasha Mortenson of Riverview, LLP joins the podcast to discuss agriculture education and advocacy. Natasha has previously worked as an ag instructor before transitioning to a full-time ag advocate in the dairy industry.

Episode 2 - In honor of National Honey Month, Zac Browning, co-owner and operator of the Browning Honey Company, joins the podcast to talk about his beekeeping and honey production operation near Jamestown, North Dakota.

Episode 1 - Perry Aasness of the Minnesota AgriGrowth Council joins the Rural Perspectives Podcast for its very first episode. We discuss a wide range of issues such as the challenges and opportunities with agriculture; political topics, like trade and immigration; and rural workforce development.