Podcasts have been around a very long time, but their mainstream adoption — and open-arm welcome from farmers and ranchers — is a recent phenomenon.
Will Evans, a farmer from the UK, hosts the Rock and Roll Farming podcasts from his farm in Wales, and as he approaches his third year of doing so, he sat down with RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney to share how he got started, what he hopes to achieve with the medium, and what interviews are the most memorable.
Like many, Evans’s drive to fire up an audio show stemmed from frustration over the lack of conversation and connection between consumers and farmers. Looking around, Evans identified a real lack of agriculture-themed podcasts, and reached across the pond to Shark Farmer podcast host Rob Sharkey to get going.
Since March 2017, Evans has recorded just over 130 episodes, though he admits the podcast has taken a bit of a breather in late 2019/early 2020 as last fall was equally horrendous across the pond as it was here in North America. He’s also a father of four, and sometimes life and farming takes priority.
Evans shares that the goal of the podcast from the start was to be himself, keep it conversational, and to appeal to both farm and non-farm audience members. For some, he first needed to explain what a podcast even was, but once they got the concept, even the farm neighbours have been supportive.
The experience has been very positive one, Evans says, and he’s enjoyed shining some light on some farmers’ stories that otherwise would likely remain untold. Farmers often don’t want to be in the spotlight, or be seen as bragging, but Evans wants to highlight their successes, and the struggles too, either with accidents or mental health issues.
The Rock and Roll Farming podcast has opened some other doors, as he’s been featured on BBC’s Countryfile and guest hosted many other podcasts, too. But he’d rather stick to audio than be on TV — “I like being behind the microphone asking questions,” Evans says. He’s also using the success of the podcast to bring attention to other farms and farmers doing neat things though the @EatFarmNow network.