Young Farmers Podcast
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The internet is flooded with food photos, recipes and diet advice, partisan news, and farmer-inspired fashion, but who is listening to the farmers themselves? Farmers grow your food and manage nearly half of all land on Earth. It's time to pay attention to the policies, programs, and events that are shaping the future of agriculture.

Our host, Lindsey Lusher Shute, co-founder of the National Young Farmers Coalition, provides a fresh, farmer-centric take on food and farm policy. We talk with policy makers, experts and advocates, and, of course, farmers, about the most critical issues facing farming in the U.S. and globally.

Edited by Hannah Beal and recorded at Radio Kingston.

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    From Loss to Action Part 2 with the Washington Young Farmers Coalition, Farm Aid, and the National Farmers Union

    Warning: This episode deals with topics surrounding suicide, and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

    Suicide rates among farmers and farm workers are among the highest of any occupation in the U.S. In part two of this series on farmer mental health, we talk to members of the Washington Young Farmers Coalition about the organizing they launched in response to the loss of founding member Justin McClane in 2017. We also hear from Matt Perdue of the National Farmers Union, Joe Schroeder of Farm Aid, and journalist Debbie Weingarten, author of the pivotal Guardian piece on farmer suicide, "Why are America's farmers killing themselves?"

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    Remembering a Young Farmer: From Loss to Action with the Washington Young Farmers Coalition

    Warning: This episode deals with topics surrounding suicide, and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

    Suicide rates among farmers and farm workers are higher than in any other occupation in the United States. We start this two-part series with the story of Justin McClane, a founding member of the Washington chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition, who we lost to suicide in 2017. Our hope is that by telling Justin's story, and sharing the powerful organizing his community of young farmers launched in response to his death, we can contribute to the effort to break down the stigma around mental and behavioral health, inspire policy change, and grow support for programs addressing the farmer mental health crisis in this country.

    If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Hotline at (800) 273-TALK (8255). You can also speak with someone directly at the Farm Aid Hotline at (800) FARM-AID (327-6243. For further resources, please visit

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    Seed Matters with Clif Bar's Matthew Dillon

    This week, Lindsey talks with Matthew Dillon, Senior Director of Agriculture at Clif Bar & Company, about Seed Matters, the company's organic seed research initiative. We talk about the challenges of food labeling for consumers, the differences between organic and conventional seed breeding, genetic consolidation in the U.S. food system, and Clif Bar's ag policy efforts. Learn more about Seed Matters at

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    The Shutdown Show 2 with Secretary Tom Vilsack

    Tom Vilsack served as the 30th U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under President Barack Obama. Prior to his appointment as Secretary, Vilsack served two terms as the Governor of Iowa, in the Iowa State Senate, and as the mayor of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. We discuss what it is like to manage the USDA during a shutdown; the national economic impacts; whether farmers are really still in support of President Trump; and the immigration debate at the heart of it all.

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    The Shutdown Show with Politico's Helena Bottemiller Evich and Grain Farmer Andrew Barsness

    Will 2019 be a year without the USDA? Lindsey speaks with Andrew Barsness, a young grain farmer in Minnesota, and Helena Bottemiller Evich, a senior food and agriculture reporter for POLITICO Pro, about the government shutdown and impacts on food and agriculture.

    Text ACTION to 40649 now to join our activist network and to let your Representatives know that young farmers need USDA agencies up and running ASAP.

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    Farm Bill Politics 7: We Have a Deal! Listener Q&A and Young Farmer Wins with Andrew Bahrenburg

    After months of waiting, we have a farm bill! Just before 10pm on December 10th, the 2018 Farm Bill dropped. The next day, Senate passed it through in a landslide, and on Wednesday, the House followed suit. Andrew Bahrenburg, NYFC's National Policy Director, fields some listener questions about what it all means for young farmers and the future of ag.

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    Farming in a New Climate Reality with Mark Howden of the IPCC

    In October, the The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a stunning Special Report on Climate Change. The study found that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate we will face devastating consequences across all sectors by 2040, much earlier than previously thought. The IPCC is "the single largest science-policy experiment in history" according to Professor Mark Howden, a Vice Chair of the IPCC and Director of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University. We talk with Mark about the report's findings, the politics of climate change in the U.S., and how farmers need to adapt to a new reality.

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    Poder Hablar: The Power of Young Farmers Stories with Isabel Quiroz

    This week, we hear the powerful story of Isabel Quiroz of Tequio Community Farm in Mendocino, California. Isabel immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico four years ago, and was nervous about participating in the U.S. policy process, and about whether her experiences would be counted by Members of Congress. She shares with us about her journey to DC for our 2018 Convergence, and how becoming a young farmer advocate has helped her to gain a sense of agency as a U.S. citizen and to feel supported on her farm.

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    Farm Bill Politics 6: So, so close (+ lab-grown meat, ready to hit the shelves?)

    Teaganne Finn, agriculture reporter for Bloomberg's BNA Washington Bureau, shares the latest on farm bill negotiations. The news? Things are actually moving forward. Teaganne's also been following the regulation of cell-cultured meat. Is it the meat of the moment, or the long distant future?

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    Giving Thanks

    We're just returning from our Annual Leadership Convergence in DC, and we're especially grateful for all of the amazing young farmers in our Coalition, fighting for a bright and just future for agriculture. Listen in this week for some words of gratitude from Lindsey Lusher Shute, and an announcement on some changes ahead for the Coalition.

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