Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced last week that podcasts showcasing Iowa agriculture along the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa route are available for download. RAGBRAI is the annual bicycle ride across the state in which thousands of bicycle riders participate. Many of them are from out of state or they are from Iowa but don't know much if anything about farming and agriculture.
This is a good idea the Iowa Department of Agriculture has come up with--it's certainly a "teachable moment" so to speak, for each day of the 7-day ride. The podcasts are available online here or through iTunes by searching for the keyword "Iowa Agcasts." This will be an effective way to help non-farm people gain a better understanding of what's going on in rural Iowa and to help explain to folks why farmers farm the way they do, and what farmers are doing to help preserve natural resources and to protect the environment.
"The beauty and fertility of Iowa's land is very evident this time of year and these podcasts will highlight the importance and diversity of Iowa agriculture as riders travel across the state," Northey says. "Agriculture is so important to our state and we hope RAGBRAI participants and others will listen to these podcasts and learn more about all that is happening on the farms across Iowa."
Interviews of farmers and others involved with agriculture and soil and water conservation are available
The Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, together with a number of partners participating in this educational effort, created one podcast for each leg of the ride. In other words, for each day of the journey. Each podcast has an interview of one or two local individuals involved in agriculture and soil and water conservation.