Speak up! The rise of podcasts in the agricultural sector

Speak up! La montée en puissance des podcasts dans le domaine agricole

Of kess? Origins of the podcast

Podcasts have become, since the invention of the term in 2004, a real phenomenon whose listening and production have continued to grow as audio players become more modern. Coming from the contraction between iPod and broadcast ( broadcast in English), the term designates an audio file placed on a platform and intended to be listened to on a portable music player. Thanks to the advent of digital technology, podcasts can now be listened to on all platforms.

Between ease of production and simplicity of consumption, podcasting has experienced dizzying growth over the past 5 years. This is without counting the last year of the global pandemic, which contributed to the democratization of podcasts: those confined, looking for human contact but tired of screens all day long, have largely turned to audio, at least in Quebec.

Conquering the agricultural podcast

What does this have to do with agriculture, you ask? The answer is very simple. Among the recurring themes in recent years, we find politics, art, education, food… and agriculture. Quebecers seem more and more to want to know who is behind the products they buy. Driven by the “Let's eat local more than ever” movement, the enthusiasm and interest for agriculture in Quebec has been felt on our plates, and in our media!

But what are we talking about in these agricultural podcasts? We address agricultural innovation, animal welfare, sustainable development, mental health and the financial difficulties of producers. Some podcasts are even centered around social groups, like Les Agricoles , which gives a voice to women in the agricultural sector; or on a specific industry, such as Porcast , in which the two hosts share their knowledge of advancement and innovation in pork production, in a friendly manner. Entertaining and informing are the watchwords in the era of agricultural podcasts!

For some producers and independent farms, the pandemic has significantly slowed down activities, particularly due to the inability to travel. We therefore see, in the proliferation of podcast productions, a desire for actors in the agricultural and agri-food industry to share their reality or their expertise in a much less formal way than through webinars, for example. And unlike agricultural shows, whose objective is primarily commercial, podcasts have the advantage of having a more educational and entertaining aim. The icing on the sundae is that podcasts are inexpensive to produce, and often free to listen to! Result: they reach a larger audience.

A microphone to find your voice

These podcasts certainly allow farmers to discuss their practices with each other, but they also allow the general public to know a little more about this environment which is often sidelined. Indeed, due to their remoteness, farmers are still too little at the heart of public debate.
Increasingly, however, the broadcast of agricultural podcasts on traditional mass media such as Radio-Canada or The Press (two of the most widely read French-speaking media in North America), allows them to promote their place and their opinion.

Podcasts therefore hold immense potential for farmers who wish to raise awareness about their practices and their daily lives. Their ease of production, distribution and consumption allows for constant innovation. Social networks are also a very good way to disseminate them. The advent of participatory culture is expressed in part by the rise of podcasts.

What better way to create a sense of community around those who nourish us every day than to make their voices heard?

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