People In The Know

Welcome to ”People in the Know,” a podcast hosted by Ken Root. Join us on a journey where Ken, with his knack for asking pertinent questions, engages with colorful and passionate guests. Prepare for an enjoyable listening experience as we dive into the depths of the human spirit, exploring the lives of those who embrace obscurity and find joy in it. Discover inspiring stories and unique perspectives on ”People in the Know.”

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Friday Jun 28, 2024

The extreme flooding in Western Iowa and downstream has caused great difficulty in the region.  What impact does this have on farmers who haul or ship their crops to domestic and international customers?
Mike Steenhoek, Executive Director of Soy Transportation Council is Ken's guest.

Friday May 17, 2024

Dr Val Farmer has retired from an illustrious career as a clinic psychologist.  He specialized in the life struggles of those who lived in rural America.  He continues to be an outspoken advocate for the human spirit and a long time friend of mine.
We decided to try and talk about religion and politics in a civil and constructive manner.  You decide.

Friday May 10, 2024

Warnings by Weather Forecasters and Government have saved countless lives since the beginning of the 20th Century.  That is a given.  But the public is quick to blame the forecasters for their mistakes or the interruption of their favorite TV shows.
Ken talks with Mike Smith, a noted meteorologist who has forecast weather for the past fifty years.  Smith also wrote a book called "Warnings" that highlights the need for government to do its job better.
A lively discussion on tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes and the need for a National Disaster Review Board.  

Friday Apr 05, 2024

Jackie Listen's Book is titled: "A Place Called Through"
He is from Oklahoma and talks of his rural upbringing, his mentors and the struggles of being a land developer in the 1980's.
He moved to being a banker for 30 years and now is "Refired" in his determination to be a helper to others who are trying to make their way through life.

Sunday Mar 31, 2024

Orion Samuelson is known by more farmers and city dwellers than any farm broadcaster in the last one hundred years of radio and television.  He is doing well and passes this milestone with dignity and grace.  
I do not talk directly to him but a few excerpts of his voice are heard.  I mainly focus on what he has meant to the people of Chicago and all farmers and ranchers in the United States.
A few twists and turns in his career should impress you.
Also a couple of ladies in a Senior Center in Wisconsin tell what they think of this man with the golden voice.
Happy Birthday to our fellow broadcaster that we affectionately call: God".

Friday Mar 22, 2024

This could be weird but aren't we all weird for something?
Frogs and Toads make noise.  They "sing" so they can be monitored and their populations estimated if you are willing to take a clipboard and sneak around puddles and wetlands at night.  Fun, Heh?
Serious business for my guest: Stephanie Shepherd with Iowa DNR.
Yes, I made it a bit fun....make a bullfrog your friend and drink some of his wine.

Friday Mar 15, 2024

Davis Horton has fished all 99 counties of Iowa.  It was a determined three year adventure that he documented.,  In the process he caught the state record Spotted Bass on a fly rod.  He caught fifty-eight species of fish.
One deer tried to assassinate him but only killed his truck.
He made many friends and has lots of stories and tips that he is documenting in a handbook....

Friday Mar 08, 2024

Rich Balvanz and I started our farm broadcasting careers within two months of each other, back in 1974.  He spent most of his broadcasting career at WMT Radio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.   
He left broadcasting and founded a Farm Commodities Company as the new century began and later became an Ordained Lutheran Minister.  He just retired from that vocation.
We talk about the ups and downs in agriculture, our good and challenging experiences in a volatile period in American Agriculture.  Should be required listening to any student in Agricultural Economics.

Friday Mar 01, 2024

No one was hurt in the recording of this podcast.  Nothing crazy was done.
An agronomist planted a test strip of soybeans in February and a Des Moines Sweet Corn Grower speculates on planting in March.
Agriculture may be more prepared to exploit a warmer climate than you know.

Saturday Feb 17, 2024

Iowa is a very productive state.  It ranks second to California in total gross sales of agricultural products.  I spoke with Greg Thiessen, USDA State Statistician for Iowa.  We examine the number of farms, farmers, expansion of broadband, increase in use of cover crops, technology and other measures.
They all reveal that farming is big business in Iowa but conducted mostly by family units who attempt to keep the farm in the family as they move into the future.

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