Join Rick and Elara of Backyard Green Films as we traverse the U.S on a green adventure! We travel throughout the land in our travel trailer (nicknamed Bessie), on a mission to share the stories, dedication, and wisdom of America's stewards of sustainable agriculture who've followed their own 'call of the land.' From scientists to geneticists to organic farmers and ranchers - plus a bounty of interesting folks we meet along the way, each voice is uniquely diverse, and each story compels us to uncover, discover, and share. Please become a Patreon member and help support our podcast. Copy and paste the link in your browser. https://www.patreon.com/agriCulturePodcast
Ep 181 The BIPOC Epoch
The New York State Sheep & Wool Festival was just last month, and it’s Thanksgiving already. We’ve got a podcast for you from the wild and wooly, festive and colorful event.
If you’re in a work truck or jeans ad with all of those good looking farm people tossing bales of hay around, you might get the impression that anyone who produces food or fiber in America is…well, pretty vanilla. And considering how many of our ag products are an amalgamation of cultures and peoples throughout our history (corn, beans, pigs, horses, cattle, turkey, cranberries, squash…), maybe we’d be smart to stop and think about how diversity has made us strong.
The BIPOC booth at Rhinebeck represented a slice of an underrepresented category in most of the visible ag press these days, and we were glad these delightfully different took time out from the crowd questions to answer some of ours (the gorgeous combinations of fiber and an aqua-color to (hand) dye for were developing right there in their breed barn booth. Delicious). BIPOC is an acronym that stands for Black, Indigenous and People of Color, and though some might wonder if this podcast will be politically correct – not so. We hope you hear it and do your own thinking about why representation is so important to agricultural diversity of all types. Our strength in humanity is in our many shapes sizes, and colors, and we hope you celebrate them all with us.
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Ep 180 Claire Houlihan: Madame President and the Fantastic Fiber Board
We’re (almost) all back from the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival, aka “Rhinebeck,” to those in the fiber universe. It was (largely) a success, as our Livestream event went (mostly) as planned. You can watch the workshops, shows and other snippets for yourself on our YouTube channel if you missed the lively weekend, and see the fantastic Fall colors that were on display as a backdrop for the Camelid and sheep parades and cashmere goat judging (or was the cashmere goat jumping? Nope – that was the llamas). Equipment auction? Got that, too. We hope you tune in to see a little bit of all that for yourself.
Want to volunteer for the 2023 show? Follow the links to be included in the ranks of the brave, hardworking people that have kept this thing going since 1980.
On the podcast today we have a conversation with one of the main movers and shakers of this undertaking. Claire Houlihan is President of the Board of Directors for the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Growers Association, a fantastic nonprofit that focuses on education and promotion of all things fiber. We think that there’s no better way to do that than the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival, and we hope to see you there in 2023.
(Minus the urgent care visit next time, though, if possible.)
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Ep 179 Mary (Badcock) Had A Little Fleece...
This past weekend we attended the NY State Sheep and Wool Festival, also known as Rhinebeck...which of course is in Rhinebeck, New York. It has become an annual pilgrimage for Rick and I. We love coming back to the Hudson Valley this time of year, there's a brisk in the air, the fall colors are beautiful, and the sheep people are in town...not only the sheep people, but the goats, angora rabbits, llamas, musk oxen, and alpacas too. It's just wonderful!
Today's guest is Mary Badcock. Fiber artist, handspinner, and wool judge. She is an extraordinary person, who has traveled the world in the name of fiber, and has been attending Rhinebeck for over 35 years.
If you're not familiar with this event, here's a little information about it. The first festival was held in 1972 and it's been held every October since at the Dutchess County Fair grounds. It started out with just a few people wanting buy, trade, and sale there fiber products and animals and has grown to have an annual attendance of 35,000 plus people.
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Ep 178 You May Think You’re Clean, But You’re No Cockroach
This month is the traditional time to celebrate Halloween, so we have a creepy crawly podcast for you this time around. Maia Holmes from The Bug Zoo at Colorado State University sits down to talk turkey with us. Oops – that’s next month. Maia sits down with us to talk about all things insects, what the Bug Zoo does, and why these poor critters are completely undeserving of the reputation they have and the reaction they engender. She reminds us that it’s not just the bees that can be a friend to man. After all, if you think Halloween is scary, just try thinking about life would be like without little scavengers picking up all of our crumbs. The Horror!
We would just like to note that for this one, we lasted an hour without visibly scratching in the little room of a thousand bugs. We hope you’re proud.
And thanks again, Franck. You’re a prince among men. And we're not even standing in the Weed Lab when we say that.
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Ep 177 Scott Stuart: Helping Ewe and…You to Financially Thrive
Today we’re bringing you a conversation from the exotic location of…San Diego! The American Sheep Industry Association’s annual meeting this year was held in our home city, and we managed to be at home to catch it.
Today, we’re speaking with Scott Stuart, Managing Director for the National Livestock Producers Association. He discussed how this national nonprofit organization helps its members through one of the more prickly parts of agriculture – the financial side of the equation. Their mission statement includes words like “advocacy” and “fair, competitive markets,” not to mention the “financial services” part. And who doesn’t smile when they hear something like “The Sheep & Goat Innovation Fund?” Just imagine what that might include. Small ruminants need new computers, too (Okay, maybe not, but you’ll find out when you listen).
Two quick thank you’s on this one: To Scott Stewart, for wearing that lovely vest. Wow. And to P.A. Emily, for our closing sound effects. All of you sheeple will recognize that one from the barn at 3:00 a.m. in lambing season, I’m sure.
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Ep 176 The Turkmen and the Akhal-Teke
We’re back from our trip to the San Juan Islands, which can comfortably be said to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet. It’s full of natural beauty and interesting creatures, so on the way over to geographical bliss, you’ll stand on the windswept deck of the Anacortes ferry, viewing and smelling glorious the forested stretches of Sitka spruce, western red cedar and shore pines which blanket the shoreline of the Salish Sea and the Olympic Peninsula. You’ll be amazed by the local residents – things like seals, Bald Eagles, migrating salmon, Orcas, and Akhal-Teke horses.
Wait. What? The beautifully exotic horse from Turkmenistan? Yep, they were there too. The ever-gracious Amrita Ibold set up an amazing visit, which not only included a visit to the so-friendly-they-could-be-dogs Akhal-Teke horses themselves (favorites from our last visit), but also a truly exotic interview with Gul Muhammet and his friend, representatives and leaders from the Turkmenian community in Seattle. To top it off, there were authentic costumes and tack for our cameras to capture, and a beach and forest ride featuring the amazing equines. As an experience, it will be hard to top this one in the BYGF universe.
Turkmenistan is not too far from Ukraine, another place we hear a lot about these days. As you listen to today’s podcast, we hope you might think about the people who can appreciate the current impact of all of those things we hear on the news, and write in history books. Keeping the “Culture” part of agri-Culture is what it’s all about. It’s the “living” part of our living history.
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