Author Archives: FRAN

Salt of the Earth Podcast – Mareese Keane, THRIVE Agtech Platform Director.

Mareese Keane is Platform Director with THRIVE, an AgriFood -Tech Accelerator, located at Salinas, California. In this episode, Mareese provides some background to her exciting work with THRIVE, recently acknowledged as being the, ‘Most Valuable AgriFood Tech Accelerator Programme’ in the United States by San Francisco based AgFunder.

Rock and Roll Farming Podcast – The name’s Gibson, Jock Gibson..

Tonight I headed up to the North East of Scotland to talk to farmer and butcher, Jock Gibson.

We talked about his family’s farm, his early career in engineering and the year he spent working on yachts, his decision to go back to the family business, the tragic loss of his parents and the importance of succession planning for farming families, and what he’s doing now with the butchery and farm. 

Don’t miss this one.. 

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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Rock & Roll Farming is proud to be a part of the Farm & Rural Ag Network. To find more great podcasts and vlogs, please visit 

Ontario AgCast- Jamie Waldron

Jamie Waldron is passionate about the art of butchery, and owns a ‘roaving butchery enterprise’, where he teaches the art throughout the province of Ontario.

Jamie has worked at some of the top butcher shops in Canada, helped craft menus and meat programs for restaurant groups, consulted for butcher shops, and has worked with and for abattoirs in Ontario.

In 2013, he wrote the Home Butchering Handbook. It covers all aspects of traditional meat cutting, from whole carcass to usable cuts.

Future of Agriculture Podcast – Investing in Farmland with Carter Malloy of AcreTrader

Carter Malloy is the Founder and CEO of AcreTrader, an online platform that seeks to provide a bridge that connects investors and farm sellers. Before starting his company, Carter was a successful Managing Director at Stephens Inc., a large private investment bank. His passion for conservation and agriculture was drawn from his experience growing up in an Arkansas farming family. This passion eventually led to founding AcreTrader.

Carter joins me to share what AcreTrader can do for farm owners and people seeking a long-term investment. He explains how the platform works, what a typical transaction would look like, and some of the fees involved. Carter discusses the total amount of investments in farmland and why it’s still insignificant from the perspective of the entire ag industry. He also describes some of the reasons why farm sellers should use their platform over traditional methods.

“There’s a lot of ways we can work with people who want to sell farmland. For us, it’s exciting to bring new solutions to the market.” – Carter Malloy

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • Why he left a successful career in investments to start AcreTrader.
  • The amount of private equity money invested in farmland.
  • The requirements needed to bring the right deals out to the public.
  • Motivations for sellers to use AcreTrader as a platform.
  • How their platform works to provide information in a digestible format.
  • The deal flow and access to market barriers and how they break them.
  • How he describes the ideal seller on AcreTrader.
  • What they do when a partner exits the platform and their contract.

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Carter Malloy:

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Shark Farmer Podcast – Samuel Goldberg, Silo the film

How does a guy from New York end up making a movie about grain bin entrapment? Listen as I talk to Sam Goldberg about the movie Silo

Please visit out advertiser: Ag Now Mag

Idle Chatter Podcast – Hot Rod Farmer: The key to happy motoring… HYDRAULIC MOTORING that is!

Learn how to make your hydraulic motors last a lifetime!

Future Of Agriculture Podcast – Special Episode: Introducing the Soil Sense Podcast

Ag Tech So What Podcast logo

AgTech….So What Podcast – Peter Thompson (responding to climate risk)

Peter Thompson and his wife Nicki run EchoCattle, a roughly 18,000 acre property  located 80km northeast of Roma, in southern central Queensland, Australia. They run a grass-fed beef operation and crop around 3,000 acres, depending on the season, with an additional 6,00 acres of wilderness country. 

As of this year, their house block (~10,000 acres) will have been in the Thompson family for 70 years. They’ll also celebrate their 42nd anniversary together. 

The Thompson’s have been farming regeneratively long before it was a ‘thing’. In this episode, Peter shares his hard-earned insights about:

  • Finding compromises that are truly win-win;
  • Avoiding the temptation of silver bullet solutions;
  • The long list of technologies they’ve adopted; and
  • The importance of balance. 

“I see the technology being able to give us the ability to help people understand and connect people so that they realize that it’s not me as the farmer doing whatever might be perceived as bad for the environment. It’s you and me and everyone else that eats and drinks and lives. We’re all complicit in it, so if we can virtually connect everyone and connect people back… I still believe we’ve got significant time to turn things around, if we start now”

Searching for Win-Wins and Breaking Tradeoffs

The Thompson’s property is home to forty coal seam gas wells, which are some of the first drilled in Australia. Knowing that the world needs energy, and because they loved where they lived, Peter and Nicki made the conscious decision to find a way to have the wells and still look after the land. 

They started by putting some principles in place. First, protect the land. Second, ensure the property continued to be livable for the family. And finally, make sure their operation wasn’t at risk. They also did their homework to ensure that they understood the impact these wells would have on the environment. 

Once Peter decided to have the wells, he needed to figure out a new model for compensation. The original approach from the gas company was to pay producers with “a few cartons of beer and tickets to the rugby.” That didn’t fly with the Thompsons. Instead, they worked with the gas company to develop a compensation package that took the well from being worth a few thousand dollars per year, to “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

The financial benefits of the gas wells have been a significant support, especially during dry times. Further, Peter is proud of the compromise that they reached, and that they were able to reach it without compromising the wellbeing of the land or the water. Peter’s approach was pragmatic, but grounded in a commitment to sustainability and vision that the environment and enterprise can work hand in hand.  

“We must consider humanity and the environment in everything we do”

Beware of ‘Silver Bullets’

Back in the 90’s, hormone growth promotants (HGP’s) were all the rage, enabling producers to get top dollar for glossy, muscled cattle. For Peter and Nicki, this just didn’t seem right, so they turned to grass fed production instead. Some called him mad, but he stuck to his guns. 

It turned out to be a great decision that has paid off. Just two years later, the big supermarkets were refusing to sell any beef with traces of growth promotants. And now, Peter’s grass fed beef commands a premium.  

As much as we all wish there was a silver bullet, farming- like life- just doesn’t work that way. Farming practices and technologies that take time and consideration are more often than not where producers strike gold.

Netflix and No Till

Conversations about connectivity in agriculture often focus on the potential productivity benefits from the technologies that an internet connection can enable. Peter has certainly explored these new and emerging tools, from walk over weighing to pasture mapping to water monitoring, Echo Cattle is a progressive operation in terms of technologies as well as practices. They also recently hosted a field day where, despite being “80kms from anywhere,” guests had “city style” wifi access. 

With the significant investment Peter has made into connectivity comes another benefit: Netflix. Farmers and their staff don’t farm 24/7, and so, like the rest of us, they love a chance to rewind with a movie at the end of the day. A fast internet connection also helps staff keep in touch with family and friends. Peter has seen the benefits in terms of quality of life as well as retention.

In the future? Maybe he’ll be live streaming from his drone, too.

Want to learn more about Peter and some of the technologies he’s using? Check these out:


This episode is the fourth in the theme, responding to climate risk, brought to you in partnership with Australian Farm Institute, an independent organisation conducting research into the strategic issues facing Australian farmers and the agriculture sector. Find them on social media @AustFarmInstitu an online

Shark Farmer Podcast – Tara Beaver Coronado doesn’t do sour grapes

Tara Beaver Coronado has had some major curve balls in her life. However, this grape farmer won’t let that stop her from trying to destroy agriculture stigmas.

check out this thing: Ag Now Digital Magazine

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!