Author Archives: FRAN

Keeping Ag Real – You asked, we’re delivering. Food Truck Nation, Kiosks & Fresh Smoothie Machines

Have you heard of Its a wealth of knowledge for anyone interested in the multi-faceted restaurant and food sectors. The selection of topics which are covered by Fast Casual was too extensive so we asked Twitter, what they’d like to learn more about.

Food Truck Nation was an easy winner, winner, chicken dinner. Jenny had the opportunity to meet with Cherryh Cansler, Managing Editor of They talk about the ever growing food truck movement and how it could revolutionize Jenny’s smalltown baseball concession stand. Cherryh shares new technologies on the food scene (ie., Fresh Fruit/Veggie Smoothies) and the controversy behind kiosk ordering – think ATM machine meets McDonalds.

Time stamps:

  • 1:00 – What does Fast Casual mean?
  • 2:10 – How have food trucks changed the food scene? Even Arby’s has a food truck!
  • 3:03 – Making seafood sexy
  • 5:30 – Food trucks and baseball. The perfect match?
  • 6:40 – There are only so many hot dogs you can eat during a baseball season. Are you with me?
  • 7:30 – Food trucks are the new thing for wedding receptions!?
  • 7:51 – Jeremy Wolf
  • 9:04 – The Rock Stars of Social Media
  • 9:40 – New technologies for Fresh Fruit Smoothies
  • 10:55 – Great news! Food ordering kiosks are not putting people out of work
  • 12:08 – How has technology impacted mom and pop businesses?
  • 13:17 – Let’s talk about food waste – with smoothie and salad machines increase food waster?


Find additional information about today’s guest, CherryH Cansler, visit

  • @CherryhFastCas on Twitter

Keeping Ag Real – How are children in urban areas learning about agriculture?

In the agriculture community, we often hear that someone needs to be teaching children about agriculture. In this segment around community gardens and urban farms, we discover that someone is educating children about agriculture. Listen to find out more.

Time stamps:

  • 1:50-Investing in urban communities & background on Natasha Nicholes’ community garden
  • 2:33-Her husband says hits the brakes…a little.
  • 3:00-The cost of soil testing in Chicago limits
  • 3:50-Harry Connick Jr. raises the bed bar
  • 5:10-Kids motivating parents through urban farming
  • 6:10-Storytime
  • 6:45-Natasha’s seven year old begins a kid edible garden program at the famous Morton Arboretum 
  • 8:20-Morton Arboretum features childrens’ garden
  • 9:15-We Sow We Grow Facebook group
  • 10:45-Correlation between urban agriculture farms and the education children are receiving
  • 15:18-Who are the people behind urban farms?
  • 15:45-The missed opportunity

Ontario AgCast – Bridgette Readel

Rock and Roll Farming – Being a Farm Vet

Tonight I’m heading down to Gloucestershire to talk to Vet and Sheep farmer, Phillipa Page.

We discuss her early years in Lancashire in a non-farming family, and her decision at the tender age of ten to one day become a vet. We talk about the years of hard work and dedication that followed, with a degree in Animal Production science at Leeds, followed by 5 years of further study at Liverpool.

We talk abut the various jobs and experiences Phillipa had whilst studying, including the baptism of fire that was working with vets around the country during the foot and mouth crisis. She talks movingly about that difficult time, and how the farming community welcomed her, and increased her determination to become a part of that.

We talk about what being a successful vet means, and the importance of being able to work with farmers who can be under great stress. We also discuss Women vets, how sexism can still be present even now in 2018, and how they’ve proved themselves more than equal with their male counterparts.

We go into her years spent as a dairy vet in Gloucestershire, one of the hardest hit areas of the Uk for bovine TB, and how difficult it is telling farmers they have a reactor in their herd, before going on to talk about her current role working as a sheep vet at Flock Health Ltd, and what that entails.

We also discuss both her and her husband’s farming operation, the farm shop that they opened in 2015, and how they juggle it all with being the parents of two young children!

I’ve wanted to talk to a farm vet since I started the podcast, and I’ve finally got around to it now! Phillipa’s a fantastic example of just how integral they are to livestock farming, and it was a real pleasure to chat to her tonight. Check it out folks..



This episode is kindly sponsored by NFU Cymru. For more information please visit or


Future of Agriculture – The Role of Cooperative Extension in Modern Agriculture with Dr. Jason de Koff

Dr. Jason de Koff is an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at Tennessee State University. He holds a Ph.D in agronomy from Perdue University and has received numerous awards including the NACAA Achievement Award and the TAAA&S Communications Award (Learning Module Southeast Region) in 2016.

Dr. de Koff joins me on today’s episode to discuss how cooperative extension programs are helping to spread unbiased information throughout the agriculture industry to help improve the future of agriculture. He also explains how cooperative extensions are encouraging the future of careers in agriculture, how they are helping new farmers get started in the agriculture industry, and how drones can be used in agricultural production.


“Cooperative extension agents are really the unsung heroes of the extension program.” – Dr. Jason de Koff


This Week on the Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • The history of cooperative extension programs and how the organization was funded.
  • The importance of the cooperative extension providing an unbiased voice in the agriculture community.
  • Who the cooperative extension programs help on a day-to-day basis.
  • Project examples of how the cooperative extension programs work.
  • What are “needs assessments” and how they help cooperative extensions decide which projects to focus on next.
  • How cooperative extensions work with private industries.
  • How they are helping new farmers learn valuable skills in the agriculture industry.
  • How they are educating farmers and children to use drones in agriculture.
  • Evaluating project effectiveness for the USDA and stakeholders.
  • How to learn more about cooperative extension programs in your local area.


Resources Mentioned:


Connect with Dr. Jason de Koff:

Shark Farmer Podcast – Stephanie Stray Cow

Stephanie Stray Cow is the most difficult guest I’ve ever had…. but she is kinda cool. Listen as she talks about FFA changing her life and landing her in Nebraska raising cow baby mommas.

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What The Farm Podcast – Racism in Agriculture

Lesley and I tackle racism in ag. We are joined by Julius Tillery….. he’s black, so we’re legit

Rock and Roll Farming – Facetime A Farmer

Tonight I’m heading over to Haddon in Cambridgeshire to talk to arable farmer & the man behind FaceTime a Farmer, Tom Martin.

We talk about the family farm, and the various crops they’re growing, and also what Tom, as a self-confessed soil nerd is doing to improve the conditions there. We also discuss what he means by describing himself as a ‘conservation farmer.’

We go into his decision to go to Uni at 18 to study Natural Sciences, and afterwards Business Management, and how that led to various jobs including as an analyst for strategic consultancy, and later to working for Universal Pictures in London.

We then discuss what prompted him to return to the farm in his mid-30s, and how that worked in practical terms. We also talk abut some of the changes he’s made, and how good communication with his Parents has helped with this.

We talk about tom’s passion for sharing what happens ‘behind the farm gate’, and why he thinks this is important, as well as his involvement in a range of organisations from CLA, NFU, LEAF to the East of England Agricultural Society. We also discuss public speaking, how he became good at it, and how he’s now coaching others with it.

We also discuss at length the amazing initiative FACETIME A FARMER, what it is, how it came about, and how farmers, teachers, and schools can get involved, and how it has the potential to revolutionise the way children learn about food production all around the World.

All this and much, much more. Tom’s a lovely guy, a fantastic communicator, and incredibly passionate about UK agriculture, and it was a genuine pleasure to talk to him tonight.

Check it out folks..

Future of Agriculture – Final Perspectives on Blockchain with James Song and Alex Danco

James Song is the CEO and Founder of ExsulCoin, a startup based on blockchain technology that focuses on helping solve the world’s refugee crisis. A large part of this project is an app he developed called Exsul. Exsul delivers free basic education and is currently undergoing tests at a refugee camp in Bangladesh.


Alex Danco is an Associate at Social Capital, a group consisting of technologists, capitalists, and philanthropists who find and fund startups that can help change the world for the better. Alex is what you call a futurist, a person who always looks at things in a very, very long-term perspective.


In this episode, James discusses what ExsulCoin is all about and why they decided to focus on the growing refugee problem. He shares ExsulCoin’s mission, projects, and why they preferred to establish a strong foothold in Myanmar. Alex shares his thoughts on the future of cryptocurrencies. He shares his opinions on the ICO trend and why most of them are no different from Ponzi schemes. He explains why offering a big ICO can make users lose interest in a company’s projects and provides his tips to those who want to get involved in blockchain with agriculture applications in mind.


“The more serious the idea and the better the development team behind it, the less companies will need to do one of these ICOs in the first place.” – Alex Danco



This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:


  • Should we be concerned with limited transactions regarding cryptocurrency?
  • What is ExsulCoin and what is it all about?
  • What is Nanowork?
  • How does ExsulCoin commit to confidentiality?
  • What’s going on in Myanmar and why James chose to invest in that country.
  • Why most ICOs are just get rich quick schemes.
  • How to tell the difference between legitimate ICOs and those that scam others.
  • Why doing a big ICO is actually a bad marketing strategy.
  • Alex’s tips when it comes to investing in cryptocurrencies.
  • The best way to get involved in blockchain and support its growth.
  • What people who want to be involved in both agriculture and blockchain should invest in.


Resources Mentioned:


Connect with James Song:



Connect with Alex Danco



We Are a Part of a Bigger Family!

The Future of Agriculture Podcast is now part of the Farm and Rural Ag Network. Listen to more ag-related podcasts by subscribing on iTunes or on the Farm and Rural Ag Network Website today.


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Shark Farmer Podcast – Chris Koch is funnier than me

Not having arms and legs hasn’t slowed down Chris Koch.
Listen to how this active farmer maintains such a good outlook on life.

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