PANHANDLE PERSPECTIVES: Podcasts provide ag producers opportunities to learn on the go

By Aaron Berger
Nebraska Beef Extension Educator

For agricultural producers committed to lifelong learning, podcasts are a good way to expand their knowledge base while using time effectively.

Most people involved in production ag spend a significant amount of time behind the wheel of a vehicle or piece of equipment. This “drive time” can be an opportunity to listen to podcasts on their smartphones.

No matter the operating system – iPhone or Android – there is a podcast app that will allow you to search out, subscribe to, and listen to podcasts. iPhones come with podcast player built in, plus others are available in the app store. Similarly, a quick search of the Google Play store will return many highly rated Android phone podcast players available for free or minimal cost.

Nebraska Extension has developed two videos that demonstrate how to install a podcast app on a smartphone using Android or how to use the iPhone podcast player. To view the videos see or

Once a podcast app is installed, you can search for the content you are interested in or the name of the podcast you are looking for and subscribe. Subscribing to a podcast allows any newly released episodes to automatically show up in your podcast subscriptions.  Podcasts can be downloaded when you have cell phone or internet service, to be listened to either at that moment or later.

Nebraska Extension’s BeefWatch podcast is the audio companion to the monthly BeefWatch electronic newsletter ( Throughout the month, interviews with newsletter article authors are released that provide additional information and insights into the topic discussed in the newsletter. There are monthly “Producer Perspectives” as well as “Cattle Market Outlook” bonus podcast interviews that provide information on a wide range of topics.

The BeefWatch podcast isn’t the only cattle-focused podcast. Here are a few other university or cattle market and news related podcasts that you might consider taking a listen to:

  • Nebraska Extension Almanac Radio
  • BCI Cattle Chat – Kansas State University
  • Cattle Current Market Update with Wes Ishmael (daily snapshot of the cattle market)
  • Beef Buzz with Ron Hays – Radio Oklahoma Network

Anyone looking to expand their knowledge base should consider listening to podcasts from perspectives outside of the beef industry. Principles and experiences from other business arenas can provide ideas and insights that could provide a breakthrough in thinking for your operation.

For many people in production agriculture, it is challenging to find time to invest in continuing education to grow their knowledge and skills. Being able to use time behind the wheel as an educational opportunity through listening to podcasts is one way to accomplish this.

Smartphones are a tremendous tool with capabilities that many ag producers are not fully aware of.  Listening to podcasts is one way to more fully employ the “smart” in your phone to use time effectively and benefit your agricultural business.