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University of Minnesota Extension

Put something smart in your ear

Extension podcasts have become a routine yet engaging way to connect in Minnesota and beyond

Extension specialist and grad student by cornfield
Fabian Fernandez, right, is a recognized voice on Extension’s Nutrient Management podcast. Pictured in corn and soy research plots with Jessica Wayment, graduate student.

‘Podcast’ was declared word of the year in 2005 by the New Oxford American Dictionary. Since then, the platform remains a staple for people who like to listen to news, stories or talks on the run.

University of Minnesota Extension has several podcasts. Visit the Extension podcasts page to find out how to access them. The format’s attraction is easy to understand. Paul McDivitt, Nutrient Management podcast producer, says it gives his audience more in-depth information from a variety of viewpoints. It allows Extension experts to have meaningful conversations with colleagues from other agencies, universities, and even other countries. Fabian Fernandez, Extension nutrient management specialist, was once recognized at an airport by his voice from the podcast — the listener was from Canada.

Vital Connections On Air is hosted by Christy Kallevig, Extension leadership and civic engagement educator. She explores trends and topics important to Minnesota’s communities and their leaders, such as rural and urban workforce opportunities, making your community more appealing, and what it means to be an engaged citizen.

The COVID-19 crisis has inspired several special episodes, with Extension educators reflecting on webinars led and articles shared early during the pandemic, and how that information is shifting in our constantly changing reality. When Neil Linscheid, community economics educator, reflected on business recovery, he noted that business owners are being tested in ways they’ve never been tested before, and adds, “You know how that new restaurant opens and you go there the first day and buy something local and then you don’t come back for six months — and then it’s not there? That’s exactly what we have to avoid right now. We can’t act as if when things are opened up, it’s OK to leave everyone to their own devices.”

The Moos Room is one of Extension’s newest podcasts and started in November 2019 for both beef and dairy producers. Dr. Joe Armstrong, Extension veterinarian, along with Brad Heins, Extension dairy specialist, and Emily Krekelberg, Extension farm safety and health educator, cover topics from markets to disease prevention to mental health and wellbeing. They post a new episode every Monday, balancing a fun-loving atmosphere with practical, research-based information for farmers. They ask pointed questions of guests and each other.

Mary Meyer recording a radio session
Extension horticulturist Mary Meyer is a regular on WCCO’s Smart Gardens radio show, which can be listened to as a podcast.

Other Extension podcasts

Camp 8

Eli Sagor and Kyle Gill of the Cloquet Forestry Center highlight voices from the Minnesota woods, including those of foresters, wildlife managers, researchers and landowners.

Field Crops IPM

Bill Hutchison and Dave Nicolai alert growers and ag professionals about emerging pest concerns with Minnesota field crops and offer useful, research-based pest management.

Gopher Coffee Shop

Brad Carlson and Ryan Miller host conversations on crop production and related issues featuring guests from within and outside the University.

Indigenized Connections on Air

Extension’s Minnesota Indigenous Leadership Network is building relationships to support economic development in tribal communities. The podcast brings out stories from tribal leaders, featuring their resilience, how they are navigating change, and stepping up for the future of their communities.

Smart Gardens

Host Denny Long, Extension experts Julie Weisenhorn and Mary Meyer, and Master Gardener Theresa Rooney answer listeners’ questions on gardening and outdoor living on WCCO Radio. Episodes are archived and available as podcasts.

Swine podcast

Sarah Schieck Boelke, Extension swine educator, discusses the latest swine research with Extension and other University of Minnesota faculty, educators, graduate students, and industry and agency professionals.

Youth Development podcast

Youth workers discuss research, theory and best practices. Topics include youth programs, youth issues, volunteer development, cultural diversity, and social and emotional learning.

Permission is granted to news media to republish our news articles with credit to University of Minnesota Extension. Images also may be republished; please check for specific photographer credits or limited use restrictions in the photo title.

Extension podcasts

Extension has podcasts on the topics of agriculture, gardening and community, as well as podcasts for those who work with youth, and more. 

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