Listen to Damian's take on topics surrounding the business of food, fuel, and fiber, interviews with industry professionals, commentary, and other great original content. This podcast offers tips for success, ideas for self betterment, and mental stimulation for people who make Agriculture their Business.

Making Hay — the Business of Forage

Did you know hay and forage are the third largest use of Ag land in the U.S.? We’ve never talked about hay on the Business of Agriculture podcast but that changed after I was hired to speak for the National Hay Association. Jeff Plourd from California and Bob McDowell from Michigan are two hay professionals. Jeff’s company exports hay to Asia and the Middle East. Bob’s company produces and brokers hay from Michigan and sells it (mostly) to horse owners in Florida and the southeast. They join me to talk about the hay business and take a look to the future of Ag.


County Agent: Past, Present, and What’s the Future Look Like?

105 years ago the Smith-Lever Act created the Cooperative Extension Service. The county Agent’s role was to extend information and education from each of his or her state’s land-grant university. If you grew up in Agriculture, you probably are familiar with the concept of the county Ag agent. But a lot has changed in the Business of Agriculture in the last century. How will the county agent remain relevant? Three county agents join me to discuss just that. Henry Dorough with Auburn University, Paula Burke with University of Georgia, and Stan Moore with Michigan State. Pull up a chair, you’ll learn a lot about the history of the U.S. and the history of Agriculture.


Meat: A Conversation - with Joe Harris

Joe Harris is the CEO and President of Southwest Meat Association. His membership is mostly in Texas but spans a total of 34 states. He joins me to discuss industry trends and challenges facing the animal protein business. His role is sometimes political so we discuss the real need for an immigrant worker plan (you’ll be intrigued by his example of the billboard outside a member’s meat packing plant) and the Meatless Monday policy in New York City. Joe also delves into the story of food safety and why he objects to plant -based protein being able to call itself “burger.” Sit down and listen to this episode with a steak — just when we thought we were done, Mr. Harris brought up a few more topics!


Alberta Agriculture 101 - with Steve Cowan

Over the years I’ve spoken to a lot of Agricultural audiences in the Canadian province of Alberta. For this episode I thought it would be fun to bring in a past client to explain farming, food, and Ag in central Alberta. Steve Cowan and I discuss the history of canola, the changing dynamic of prairie crop production, how trade disputes between China and the U.S. ultimately impact Canada, and dozens of other things you may or may not have known about Alberta’s role in the Business of Agriculture.


Sugary Drinks, Plant Based “Meat,” and a Cookie for Every Diet — Food Trends

Agriculture is a consumer business that’s impacted by consumer trends. (By the way, so are ALL businesses!)

Jim Dudlicek, Editorial Director for Progressive Grocer joins me to talk about food trends. What changes are going on in food and beverage consumption? We discuss the continual decline of sweetened beverages — although not if they’re sweetened with cane sugar — that’s a growth category now. Jim tells us about other hot new beverage entrants — everything from “Smoo-bucha” to vinegar based drinks (yuck!). Then we talk meat trends. What drives people to eat plant based protein? Some of Jim’s findings will surprise you. Turns out, vegans aren’t who’s buying Beyond burgers!


> For earlier episodes click here.

You don’t need any more Ag people discussing weather or commodity prices; you have that information on your phone!
— Damian Mason