If you asked me a year ago today what I was up to for the winter, I would have grinned and said, “feeding cows.” A few months in, and I may not have been grinning much, save for one thing: podcasts. (sorry AM/FM radio stations, our rural tractors don’t come with 30′ antennas)
Long, cold winters can be a struggle for farm families, as we well know. As romantic as the marriage of sky and ground can be in a wintery blur of white, it’s easy to long for the sun to shine, and the cows to graze on lush green grass again. Last year was particularly difficult for me, and it was far too easy to feel alone. Besides making time to meet family and friends, I also made those hours in the tractor much more comfortable by downloading audiobooks and podcasts to keep me company. I’ve always found being able to learn from the seat of the tractor incredibly rewarding, and even practiced the start of a second language while haying away the summer of ’09. But besides the interesting and informative podcasts I could find on mainstream media sites, I found it hard to learn about the very subject I was dealing with: cattle.
I don’t know what it is about the people who love livestock. Perhaps it’s their humble nature or the comfort they find in quiet, but it seems we are seldom ready to express our passion for the subjects we know so much about. I guess what I’m trying to say is, as a young farmer, I found so much of the audio media around livestock kind of…well, dull. A sad state of affairs, and perhaps more a fault of my own expressive nature than a fault of the way material is presented in agriculture.
Anyway, now that I work as a field editor for Real Agriculture, I have a shot at offering something to fill that void; something that might keep you company when you check your swath grazing, move the electric wire around your bales or take feed to the bunks; something that will both inform and entertain.
And so…. (drum roll, please?), it is with great excitement that I introduce to you: “Ruminating with RealAg” a podcast series that will nip at the heels of herd health, pasture management, trade and…well, anything livestock-related, really. Oh yes, and it’ll make you smile, mark my words.
In this first podcast, hear from Martin Unrau, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, as he discusses the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, Steve Hendrick, associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan, who will explain lungworm, and finally, yours truly, as I try to get a grip on hosting an online cabaret.
As always, we would love to hear your feedback. If there’s a subject you think should be covered, or a topic you want to address, feel free to email me at [email protected].