Author Archives: FRAN

What the Farm Podcast – Trevor McBane singing goat farmer

Trevor McBane is a goat farmer from Oklahoma but what sets him apart is how he relentlessly pursued his dreams and auditioned for American Idol. Although he didn’t win he finished in the top 25. He talks about all the unexpected doors it has opened and what he’s doing now!

Idle Chatter Podcast – Hot Rod Farmer: Buyer beware… gasoline brands are different!

What you need to know before you pull up to the pump.

Salt of the Earth Podcast – Cashel Blue Cheese

Cashel Blue is a 100% family farmhouse, blue cheese production, located near the historic town of Cashel in Co. Tipperary.  The focus is very much on quality cheese production, linked with a desire to keep the family living and working on the family farm. In this episode, Co-owner, Sarah Furno provides some background to this innovative Tipperary farming enterprise, making a range of cheese for the home and export markets.

Rock and Roll Farming Podcast – Tackling Rural Crime

Tackling Rural Crime

The NFU Mutual Rural Crime Report 2019 is out, and Will is in the Scottish Borders to talk through the findings and what’s changed in the last year. He’s joined by a number of different people on the front line of tackling rural crime and offering practical help and advice to combat the problem.

Future of Agriculture Podcast – Farming in Space with Dr Ray Wheeler of NASA

Dr. Ray Wheeler is NASA’s Plant Physiologist and the lead for Advanced Life Support Research activities in the Exploration Research and Technology Program at Kennedy Space Center. He began his career at NASA in 1988 and the bulk of his research revolved around the use of hydroponic techniques for space farming experiments. One of Ray’s goals is to allow humanity to grow safe and nutritious crops off the Earth.

Ray joins me today to discuss some of NASA’s recent developments regarding planting crops in space. He shares some of the systems and tech that have been made commercial in the ag industry and explains why it’s difficult to experiment with plants in space. Ray also describes some of the benefits of being able to grow plants on other planets.

“We’ve been trying to manipulate the environment to accommodate plants. Now we have the tools to manipulate plants to fit into the environment.” – Dr. Ray Wheeler

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • The research he’s conducted that has made it in today’s agriculture industry.
  • How NASA helped in terrestrial applications of space farming.
  • His recent projects that could be applied commercially in the future.
  • Solving the ever-increasing CO2 emissions with space farming tech.
  • Recent progress on the experimental planting chambers in space.
  • Deciding which crops show promise for space production.
  • The water content of Mars and the prospect of someday growing food there.
  • The critical benefits of being able to grow plants in space.
  • Recovering as much water as possible in space.
  • The effects of low gravity environments on plant growth.
  • His advice for people interested in space farming technology.

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Dr. Ray Wheeler:

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Shark Farmer Podcast – Ryan Valk is nuts

Ryan Valk came back to his California ranch and turned it into an almond farm. Listen to how this young farmer’s ambition is changing the way you’ll think about your nuts.

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What the Farm Podcast – Frank M. Mitloehner, All Ph.D. and no BS

Are you sick of hearing “Meatless Mondays” will save the planet? Listen as Frank Mitloehner explains the truth in a way you’ve never heard before.

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AgTech..So What Podcast – Live Q&A with Dan Harburg of IndigoAg

Our guest for the August Sydney Agtech Meetup was Dan Harburg. Dan is a Senior Director of Systems Innovation at Indigo Ag, one of agtech’s biggest startups. Born in Boston, Indigo Ag has raised over $650 million and employ over 1,000 staff. They are now expanding internationally, making their way into the European, Australian and South American markets. 

Originally from a tech background and an engineer by training, Dan was bitten by the ag bug while working in robotics. After a stint as a VC, Dan been focused on how to harness emerging technologies to improve agriculture. Dan was visiting Australia from Boston, Massachusetts to attend the National Carbon Farming Conference and we were lucky enough to steal him for a Friday night at the Meetup to chat about the IndigoAg journey and their recently launched Terraton Initiative that’s making waves across the agtech industry.

Check out this episode to hear: 

  • What IndigoAg does to achieve their missing of ‘helping farmers harness nature to sustainably feed the planet’
  • The evolutions of the IndigoAg business model, from selling a microbial seed coating, to marketing grain, to developing on-farm storage and freight and logistics offerings. 
  • Just how fast IndigoAg is growing, and the challenges that a startup faces during rapid expansion
  • What IndigoAg is doing to help growers benefit, and whether this is (or isn’t) working in Australian agriculture 
  • The Terraton Initiative, including what it is, why growers have already pledged 3 million acres, and how agtech startups can get involved
  • Dan’s view on the shift that farmers are making from focusing on driving yield, to optimizing profits

You can check out Dan Harburg on Twitter and LinkedIn and IndigoAg on Twitter.

Thank you to SproutX who sponsor the meetup and to Grow Love Project for producing this episode.

Idle Chatter Podcast – Hot Rod Farmer: Hot makes old? How can that be?

What you need to know about exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems.

Exhaust gas recirculation system with buildup

Rock and Roll Farming Podcast – Target Rich Environment

Today I travelled down to Worcestershire to talk to farmer Rob Havard, with BBC Farming Today in tow to discuss all things farming and social media!

We talked about his herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle, which he farms in a holistic planned management system, some of the different jobs he’s done over the years, and also discuss ways that all farmers can improve their grassland management. 

All this, and much, much more. 

Episode Sponsors: 

Griffith Elder – Designers & Manufacturers of rugged weighing systems for heavy industrial use 

NFU Cymru – for more information please visit

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