Ag Audio: County Extension Officers Share Hot Topics on New Podcast | Mclean County


The world of agriculture in the western part of the Commonwealth has made its way to on-the-go audio.

Jay Stone, Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Extension Officer for Hopkins County, David Fourqurean, ANR Extension Officer for McLean County, and Vicki Shadrick, ANR Extension Officer for Webster County created and host “Kentucky Ag Matters”, a podcast designed to inform and educate growers and consumers on all matters pertaining to agriculture on the free podcast hosting service Podbean.

The show is brought to the public by Western Kentucky Ag Network.

Fourqurean said the idea was sparked when he, Stone and Shadrick were at a training in the fall where they met friends who serve as agents in central Kentucky and have been doing their own podcast for some time. .

“…The three of us got together and started talking, ‘You know, I would really like to do something like this. It’s a good way to spread the word,'” Fourqurean said. .. We just decided to make one by ourselves.”

The group received help from Fourqurean’s friend Alan Watts, a broadcaster on WKDZ who does an hour-long feature each morning. Watts helped them acquire equipment and helped the band with ideas and the layout of the show.

While the show typically records in a meeting room at the Webster County Extension Office, the show includes mobile equipment that allows hosts to travel to locations for interviews and even have the ability to make emissions in physical fields.

“If we can catch a specialist or someone passing by and we can somehow get to a central location, we’ll try to get them and put on (a show),” Fourqurean said.

The aim of the show is to discuss “…current topics and issues related to agriculture while providing educational information to farmers, ranchers and consumers”.

“…Spring plants are coming, so (we’re going to) do things that are focused on row crops, planting corn, or planting soybeans; or last year we had a lot of trouble with slugs in the area…and we may even have an entomologist to talk about slugs and things of that nature,” Fourqurean said.

The podcast debuted in February and explored topics ranging from bale grazing, fertilizer prices, forage, growing season, input availability and international trade related to production agriculture, to the production of tobacco transplant greenhouses, while discussing the activities that the extension does regarding tornado recovery in the affected regions. countries like Hopkins.

Previous shows have featured guests and interviews with Dr. Chris Teutsch, University of Kentucky Associate Professor of Extension and Forage Specialist, Evan Tate, Hancock County ANR Officer, Dr. Greg Halich, Associate Professor of UK extension and agricultural economist and Dr Andy Bailey, extension specialist in dark tobacco production.

Fourqurean notes that having more than one host helps provide different perspectives on the topics discussed.

“That’s the good thing about the three of us…because (we) don’t all think the same way and we all come up with different questions to ask people…” Fourqurean said. “…Our thought processes are all different and, to me, that’s what makes our show quite unique and we don’t all think the same thing…”

Fourqurean plans to have similar guests for future shows, but hopes to interview farmers and people who work in the agriculture industry “who have a story to tell”.

“It’s just kind of a conversation and that’s how we want to keep it,” Fourqurean said. “We want it to be a real casual conversation. We try to jump in when we need to…and ask questions that hopefully our listeners will think about…and provide good information to people.

Fourqurean said the reception from people who have listened to the show so far has been positive and people have engaged with the content by reaching out and seeking information on certain topics that have been discussed.

“We wanted to provide a platform where we can talk about things and if a farmer is in the tractor or if he’s in his truck on the road he can play this and he can listen to it and hopefully that may generate information or questions from him…” said Fourqurean. “…I’ve already received several calls about some of our podcasts.”

Fourqurean admits he didn’t listen to podcasts until they had the idea to start one and that he, Stone and Shadrick are still learning and working out some issues, but it’s comfortable to say they’ve come a long way.

“…If you listen to the first and listen to the last, it’s better. And we are improving,” said Fourqurean. “Hopefully we start to publicize it more and spread the word,… we’ll have more people starting to listen….”

Fourqurean looks forward to the potential increase in viewership to help assess who to contact and suggest topics they would like to learn more about.

“Hopefully we will evolve into what our hope is from an expansion perspective,” Fourqurean said. “…I think it’s kind of a new and evolving way of conveying information to people….”

To listen to podcast episodes, visit

Freddie Bourne, [email protected]


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