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Learning ropes of farm podcasting

Bow Creek Chronicles: Our new Farm Progress podcast, FP Next, has provided this old dog an opportunity to learn new things.

Curt Arens

January 9, 2024

3 Min Read
podcast on computer
LEARNING NEW THINGS: Podcasting has been one of my interests for a long time, but it wasn’t until recently that I was offered the opportunity to give it a try. Curt Arens

A couple of months ago, I celebrated what many would call a milestone birthday. The big 6-0. My children “lovingly” say that now, I truly am an “old dog,” and that my birth certificate was carved on stone tablets.

While many often say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, I am going to try to prove the naysayers wrong.

A few things on my bucket list as I passed this birthday include learning to fly a drone and becoming a licensed drone pilot. I believe this would be a useful skill, being able to bring a drone with me to field days and for farm visits, to gather great aerial imagery of farms for feature stories. So, I’m working on it.

Secondly, I want to get back to playing a little basketball with buddies someday, like we all did when we were in our 20s and 30s, but slower. I shoot around with my children when I get the chance, but I have a fear that the first time I try to run on the court again, I will break something. Still, I would like to try again on a more regular basis.

If we did play a few games in the winter, we would call it something like the old geezer league, or better yet, the ibuprofen league.

Adventures in podcasting

Finally, I have been thinking for a few years about podcasting. My predecessor at Nebraska Farmer, Tyler Harris, had a successful podcast for several years, and the whole idea intrigued me.

Related:FP Next: The future of on-farm podcasting

So, when my colleague Sarah McNaughton, who is editor of Dakota Farmer, called to ask if I would consider co-hosting a new Farm Progress podcast with her, I didn’t hesitate. I was definitely interested.

I worked years ago with a local radio station on a program that promoted local farm families. I personally know many farm broadcasters — including Sarah, who has broadcasting experience in her background — who have worked in this media.

However, podcasting is a different type of media. I have to admit that I was quite nervous speaking into the microphone for the first time as we launched our introductory FP Next podcast Jan. 2. But the butterflies subsided, thankfully, and now we are busy working on a schedule of podcasts far into the year, with some very interesting guests and topics lined up. We will be dropping in new episodes roughly every other Tuesday moving forward.

As I embark on this endeavor within my role at Nebraska Farmer, I’m grateful that Sarah asked me to be a part of this special project. I’m also grateful for the opportunity to talk even more about the farmers and ranchers we cover regularly, and to dig deeper into some of the topics that are on the minds of our readers every day.

And I’ll let you know how the basketball and drone projects proceed. Hopefully, with no injuries.

Listen to Curt and Sarah on the new Farm Progress podcast, FP Next, by visiting farmprogress.com/podcasts, or find us on your favorite podcast platform.

Questions or comments, drop me an email at [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Curt Arens

Editor, Nebraska Farmer

Curt Arens began writing about Nebraska’s farm families when he was in high school. Before joining Farm Progress as a field editor in April 2010, he had worked as a freelance farm writer for 27 years, first for newspapers and then for farm magazines, including Nebraska Farmer.

His real full-time career, however, during that same period was farming his family’s fourth generation land in northeast Nebraska. He also operated his Christmas tree farm and grew black oil sunflowers for wild birdseed. Curt continues to raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa and runs a cow-calf herd.

Curt and his wife Donna have four children, Lauren, Taylor, Zachary and Benjamin. They are active in their church and St. Rose School in Crofton, where Donna teaches and their children attend classes.

Previously, the 1986 University of Nebraska animal science graduate wrote a weekly rural life column, developed a farm radio program and wrote books about farm direct marketing and farmers markets. He received media honors from the Nebraska Forest Service, Center for Rural Affairs and Northeast Nebraska Experimental Farm Association.

He wrote about the spiritual side of farming in his 2008 book, “Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land,” garnering a Catholic Press Association award.

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