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Ag organization launches new podcast

Ag organization launches new podcast

Straight Talk is the North Dakota Farm Bureau’s new project

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A U.S. ag industry organization has started a new podcast to keep farmers abreast about what’s going on at the state legislature.

Staff at the North Dakota Farm Bureau (NDFB) have launched “Straight Talk with NDFB.” The podcast will run biweekly throughout the 2021 Legislative Assembly.

Two farmers and ranchers host the podcast.

Seth Estenson, a rancher from Warwick, N.D., and the organization’s northeast field representative, hosts the show. Emmery Mehlhoff, NDFB’s public policy liaison and a farmer and rancher from Spiritwood, N.D. handles the cohosting duties.

The pair discuss topics important to farmers from different perspectives.

“During the first half of the episode, Seth interviews a producer or specialist in the field,” Mehlhoff told “In the second half of the podcast, I will visit with an elected official or someone who can speak to the legislative side of the topic.”

Emmery Mehlhoff and Seth Estenson

Estenson and Mehlhoff have hosted two episodes so far.

In the first one, the hosts discussed how they think the legislative session in North Dakota is going to play out and affect the state’s ag sector.

The second episode looked at the separation of the governor’s powers, which has been a talking point among producers recently.

“Some farmers are concerned (Governor Doug Burgum) is potentially overstepping his authority,” Mehlhoff said.

The third episode of Straight Talk is scheduled for release on Wednesday.

In the new show, Mehlhoff and Estenson will discuss farmland reclamation.

“When an industry leaves farmland after harvesting resources, how do (farmers) reclaim that property and turn it back into productive farmland?” Mehlhoff said. “I’m going to be speaking with Randy Christmann, the public service commissioner who does reclamation for North Dakota. And Seth will be speaking with a businessman who works with producers to do the reclamation on their land.”

In addition to keeping farmers informed about the proceedings at the state legislature, the podcast also plays into how young producers consume their news.

Providing content in a manner that appeals to young farmers could encourage them to become more informed.

“We created the podcast in response to our group of young farmers and rancher telling us the way they consume news and information is through podcasts,” Mehlhoff said. “Politics can seem really inaccessible to young people. It’s really easy to watch from afar but providing a podcast gives young farmers an opportunity to interact with policies that affect them and see how easy it is to participate in state politics.”

Looking for more ag podcasts?

Check out our list of eight podcasts to listen to about agriculture.

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