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Feb. 23, 2022

The Best Rural & Regional Podcasts

The Best Rural & Regional Podcasts

A List of What to Listen To From Far and Wide

With an early job writing radio ads, I became involved in podcasting during its very first wave. I always loved audio as a format—dialogue, structure, the theatre one could create with voice and sound design. As podcasting took off, I started to help companies such as Johnson & Johnson and CIT create podcasts for their brands—and then later launched two directly.

Cidiot is rooted in the personal experience of moving from New York City to a small town in the Hudson Valley. Its themes of appreciating the land and adapting to rural life can be applied nearly anywhere there are more cows than cars, and more trees than telephone poles.

There are many more podcasts based in a particular geography, so I’m highlighting a few favorites with appeal far beyond their physical borders:

Rural Revival: One of my early favorites, Rural Revival and its host Danna Larsen interviews small business owners across the Midwest and Plains states who often move back to their hometowns to open up a business. The series is a love story of not just small towns and the joys of revitalization but, for many, the return to where you’re from. Episode 76 is one of my favorites, in which Larsen interviews one of my former colleagues and owners of Camp Wandawega. In addition to the podcast, they have launched other projects including a farm-to-table cookbook and a guide for hosting rural farm dinners where you live.

 

Kristen and Erik of the Cabincast podcast

Kristin Lenz and Erik Torgeson of the Cabincast Podcast

The Cabincast: Positioned as “Your getaway primer,” this Wisconsin-based podcast is hosted by Kristin Lenz and Erik Torgeson and focuses on the lake and woods versus the farms and pastures. As Torgeson told me, “It’s all about making the most of your time spent in your special place.” Episodes include entertaining guests, local legends, music recommendations, and spotlights on various towns.

 

Amy Dingmann at the microphone for her A Farmish Kind of Life podcast

Amy Dingmann, host of A Farmish Kind of Life


A Farmish Kind of Life: Through a mix of shorter and longer episodes, host Amy Dingmann talks about “homesteading and farming — the deep thoughts that come from it and the good, bad, and ugly.” It all takes place on her life on Clucky Dickens Farm, a small farm in Minnesota. I like her voice, quick pace, candor, and what she shares not just about the animals and garden but getting under the skin of what homesteading is like as a lifestyle. It seems very real, like you’re sitting down to have coffee with a friend who will tell you the way it really is.

 

Bev Ross and Sam Bolton of We Drink & We Farm Things podcast holding chicks
Bev Ross and Sam Bolton of We Drink & We Farm Things podcast

We Drink & We Farm Things: On the lighter side is a farm podcast that’s more of an adult happy hour for the farm community. As you can see by the sponsors, it seems intended for those who are farmers, but I love it feeling like an insider so have been listening regularly. Hosts Sam Bolton (central Michigan) and Bev Ross (southern Ohio) talk about the ups-and-downs of farming things and “give zero clucks” about not having the perfect farm life. “We don’t want anyone to feel alone in their struggles and victories on their farm,” says Ross. Fantasize about farming? Pour yourself an adult beverage and listen in.

Azure Farm: Annette and Jared host this podcast about farm, family and homesteading. Based in Georgia, they share their adventures and wisdom of running a family farm, including many mentions of their alpacas. In addition to the podcast, they have an active blog with recipes, as well as gardening and animal advice.

A FEW MORE:

The Rural Rundown: "Helping rural business owners expand their client base + meet profit goals" is the mission of this business podcast hosted by Brenna Ramsden and Rachel Aeikens.

Kohlrabi: Created by Farm Generations Cooperative and Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming, Lindsey Lusher Shute and Michelle Hughes spend each episode talking with one chef and one farmer about growing and cooking a single ingredient.

Young Farmers Podcast: Focused on the working farmers, this podcast run by the National Young Farmers Coalition (headquartered near me in Hudson, NY) gives you an insight into the business, people, and issues of modern farming.

The Yonder Report: Daily roundup of news across rural America, produced by The Daily Yonder.

Everywhere Radio: Hosted by Whitney Kimball Coe, and produced by Rural Assembly, this podcast covers the leaders and ways rural people are building a more inclusive America.

Rural Matters: Focused on education, business, health and policy, this biweekly podcast is hosted by rural strategist and speaker Michelle Rathman. Some great guests, including Dr. David Kessler, Biden Administration’s Chief Science Officer of COVID response.

Midwest Farm Wives: Whitney & Kylie are two millennials who talk about being farmers, spouses, and moms in northeast Missouri.

Rural Woman Podcast: Hosted by Katelyn Duban, in this Canadian-based podcast, she interviews rural women from all over.

Know others? Be sure to let me know in the Contact page.

Editor's note: Adapted from an article I first published on Medium.