Chris Bennett: Why I’m passionate about podcasts

Whether you are a farm manager or a farm apprentice, I bet there are times when you find yourself doing a job that doesn’t require your full concentration.

Whether it’s pulling wild oats or shifting break fences, if you want to add value to this time, I suggest you start listening to farming podcasts.

We’ve been preparing for harvest here in New Zealand, emptying and cleaning silos.

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With a painfully slow auger, this was the perfect time to stick on a podcast. This one was about virtual fencing – a new idea to me.

It turned an otherwise monotonous morning into stimulating thoughts about rotational grazing.

I initially got hooked on podcasts listening to the UK’s Rock & Roll Farming and it remains my favourite.

Worldwide podcasts

Now I listen to them from all over the world. From the US, John Kempf’s Regenerative Agriculture Podcast is great for those who are “regenerative curious”, while The Working Cows Podcast can give you new ideas for managing your cattle and demonstrates that the US isn’t all feedlots and growth hormones.

From Australasia, Head Shepherd will keep you at the cutting edge of everything to do with sheep.

As possibly the only person in New Zealand to download The Dewing Grain Podcast, it amuses me to imagine what the producers think a Kiwi is doing learning about the intricacies of Norfolk’s grain trade.

But if you want a free opinion to help your grain marketing plus a few laughs, this is for you.

One final recommendation – and I hasten to say this is an opinion formed before I became a columnist – is the Farmers Weekly Podcast.

Stay informed

Such listening allows you to stay informed of current issues and be inspired. You can learn about a variety of innovations from across the world. You may even collect some ideas to implement on your own farm.

I also suggest you invest in a set of wireless headphones. I was initially sceptical about “wasting” more than £100 on something I thought would end up falling into a water trough, however I am yet to drop them in a cowpat and they have unlocked the door on some of the cheapest further education imaginable.

Ironically, I feel more informed about British agriculture listening to podcasts now than I did without them while based in the UK.