Iowans forced to 'shelter in place' and wait out COVID-19 are hungry for new ways to feed their bodies and their curiosity about food. And, while there are nearly 1-million podcasts about cooking food, there are few that connect Iowans to those who grow or raise that food.
That is the focus of the new podcast, ChopTalk. ChopTalk is being produced by the Iowa Pork Producers Association, and features host Laurie Johns traveling the state to tell those stories to Iowans.
"Fewer than 2% of Iowans call farming their full-time job, and that often leads to more misinformation than facts out there about agriculture," says Mike Paustian, IPPA president and Walcott pig farmer. "The simple truth is, there are more pigs than people in this state and that contributes to the disconnect that so many Iowans experience. We hope to change that by bringing farmers and those who support agriculture into the lives of those who are looking for new information, in the place where they are seeking it out: podcasts. It's time to use that tool to engage Iowans so they can learn about farming and the people who are called to the many challenges around being a farmer."
Podcasts are growing in popularity as a safe and personal way to both be entertained and informed. ChopTalk will look at pig farming and the many ways it impacts food choices, the environment, and even the local and state economy.
"Americans eat an average of 65 pounds of pork a year and have long relied on Iowa pig farmers to provide plentiful, affordable protein options for our family tables," says Johns, a former Des Moines TV anchor, reporter and a lifelong Iowan.
ChopTalk episodes can be found on Apple Podcasts, iHeart Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app. The first episode is now available and gives Iowans a better picture of how COVID-19 sent ripples through many sectors of the state and how agriculture responded.