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Top five podcasts for enablers of change

While there are many podcasts for farmers, such as those from the Grains Research and Development Corporation, Meat & Livestock Australia, and Beef + Lamb New Zealand, there are not many about the practice of extension for enablers of change. In today’s post we’re going to explore the top five podcasts we reckon are worth listening to!

Sadly there were a few podcasts for extension practitioners, but they seem to have fizzled out. One of these was Working differently in extension by Bob Bertsch. It was the one that had some quirky organ music as an intro. He interviewed a range of extension professionals from the Cooperative Extension service in the US. He was formerly a radio announcer and created 124 episodes, but sadly none have appeared in the last couple of years. 

Lots of people start their podcasts but peter out after seven episodes. That’s called podfading in the industry. It’s estimated that three-quarters of all the podcasts started just podfade away. 

But Enablers of Change are still here (episode number 43 and counting!). As far as we are aware, our Enablers of change podcast is the only that offers dedicated content about the practice of extension! But all is not lost… there are some other really good podcasts that are relevant for enablers of change. 

The first that comes to mind is Choiceology with Katy Milkman. This was originally hosted by Dan Heath, author of books like Made to stick and Switch. We’ve often mentioned Dan’s work in previous episodes. This podcast is all about making good choices and explores various aspects of behavioural economics.   

Our second suggestion is Akimbo by Seth Godin, who we’ve also mentioned before. Seth talks about marketing, communication and culture. The episodes are really interesting and invariably end up challenging us, so that we walk away with something useful.

Number three is WorkLife with Adam Grant, who explores and to quote him, “the science of making work not suck”. He’s interviewed some really interesting people such as Malcolm Gladwell and Richard Branson. He’s explored topics such as the burnout myth and why we procrastinate. It’s produced by TED, the people famous for TED talks.

Coming in at number four (and John’s personal favourite) is Download this show, with Marc Fennell from the ABC. He and a panel of tech experts explore the latest trends in social media, consumer electronics and digital politics. John always finds something of interest, even if it is just to hear the latest problem with Facebook or Apple. 

OK, sit tight for a little bit of self-promotion, something we are usually not very good at! Number five is our own little podcast, Enablers of Change. We are particularly mentioning this for those of you who access our content through the blog posts or the YouTube videos. Unlike many of the ones we’ve already mentioned, we don’t have a million dollar company backing us or a team of 20 sound engineers and production managers. We are amused when listening to the end of a podcast episode, only to then hear the long list of people who helped create it. 

So that’s our short list, but let’s go a bit deeper. Podcasts are not right for every audience, so who do you think they are good for?

We reckon the ideal target audience for agricultural podcasts are those farmers who are in tractors for hours on end. Especially if they are using one of those fancy self-guided tractors. 

Perhaps another ideal demographic are the part time farmers, who hold down a job in the city through the week, and travel to their farms on the weekend. They might listen to podcasts while they travel to work each day on the bus or train. Similarly they could listen to them as they drive back to their farm each week. They might be the ones actively seeking information too.

For the end user, podcasts don’t use much data and automatically download onto your device, making it really convenient. Probably the hardest part is selecting a podcast app and then subscribing to suitable podcasts. From the creator’s perspective, podcasts are relatively easy to create, in that you just need a microphone, a recording device and some audio editing software. 

So it’s surprising that more people aren’t creating them. Maybe too many extension practitioners are caught on the Hamster wheel? They are too busy rushing around doing things, to be able to take a step back and create some useful content, whether that be a simple factsheet, a short video or in our case, a podcast. We have heard people lament the fact that at times it seems they’re saying the same thing over and over again. That is where creating a short information product could be useful. And we created an episode all about flipped learning, which is what we call that approach.

So there you go folks, you now know our top five podcasts for enablers of change. And, because we listened to your feedback in our recent survey, we then went a bit deeper and explored which audiences might prefer podcasts and how we might better use them as enablers of change. 

So you probably know the drill by now… we’ve shared our thoughts with you, and we would love to hear your thoughts. Add a comment below the blog post and tell us about the podcasts you’d add to our list and how you think we might make better use of them in our work. 

And if you found this episode useful send it to some of your colleagues, so they too can benefit. All the best until we meet again.

Further resources

Working differently in extension



Download this show

Flipped learning episode

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Aaron Meikle
Aaron Meikle
2 months ago

At least as significant as tractor-driving (and all the other tasks where ears are free but hands are not) is the audience with literacy/neuro-diversity challenges. And (in NZ at least) that’s a lot more of our rural people than we extension professionals might realise. A specialist in rural literacy explained it well: “adults who are beginning readers are not beginning thinkers”. It’s not an IQ issue. Many people who struggle with reading and writing are very fluent in speaking and listening. Podcasts (and to a lesser degree videos) work well for that reason (while complementing text for readers as well)… Read more »

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