Latest Podcasts and Public Service Announcements

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The Southern Plains Podcast is a source of information for agricultural producers and management professionals on how they can harden their operations to the impacts of extreme weather and climate events.  Listen now on...



Southern Plains Podcast #20-Gary O'Neil, Oklahoma NRCS State Conservationist

Apr 22, 2019

Gary O'Neil, Oklahoma NRCS State Conservationist is our guest for this episode of the Southern Plains Podcast.  Gary visits with us about the work NRCS has done in Oklahoma to help farmers and ranchers deal with natural resource challenges on the land and how conservation programs can help agriculture deal with extreme weather events.

Southern Plains Podcast #19-Scotty Herriman, Oklahoma Farmer and Soil Health Champion

Feb 28, 2019

In this edition of the Southern Plains Podcast we visit with Scotty Herriman, a farmer from North East Oklahoma and a leader in the soil health movement.  Scotty is the former President of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, a member of the Soil Health Champions Network of the National Association of Conservation Districts, and a board member of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission.

Scotty talks with us about his experience with soil health practices on his land, why he switched to these practices and what he sees as the future of soil health in Oklahoma.

Southern Plains Podcast #18--Greg Scott, Oklahoma Soil Health Specialist

Jan 25, 2019

In this episode of our podcast we visit with Greg Scott, former NRCS state soil scientist and the current soil health specialist for the Oklahoma Conservation Commission.  Greg is an expert on soil health in the Southern Plains and how soil health concepts and practices can help agriculture adapt to extreme weather events.  For most of the interview, I simply listened to the wealth of knowledge Greg has to share.  We hope you enjoy it!

Southern Plains Podcast #17--Dr Dan Sebert, National Watershed Coalition

Nov 16, 2018

In this episode of the Southern Plains Podcast we visit with Dr. Dan Sebert, Executive Director of the National Watershed Coalition, a non-profit that supports the work of the USDA watershed (upstream flood control) program.

Dan visits with us about the history of the USDA watershed program, the important role it plays in helping Ag producers and rural communities deal with extreme weather events and the role of the National Watershed Coalition in supporting the work of the program. 

­Southern Plains Podcast #16--Barth Crouch, Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition

Oct 5, 2018

In this episode of the Southern Plains Podcast we caught up with Barth Crouch, Executive Director of the Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition at the Great Plains Fire Summit.  We visit with Barth about wildfire vs. prescribed burning and the importance of managed fire as a tool to improve pasture and range health as well as well as reducing the danger from out of control wildfires.

Southern Plains Podcast #15 Shanon Phillips, Director of water quality at Oklahoma Conservation Commission

Sep 3, 2018

In this episode we visit with Shanon Phillips, the Director of the Water Quality Division of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission.  Through the work of her division in partnership with USDA NRCS, Region Six EPA, Local Conservation Districts, USDA FSA and others, Oklahoma has taken over 70 stream segments off of the EPA...

Southern Plains Podcast #14--Steve Swaffer, No-Till on the Plains

Jul 25, 2018

In this episode of the Southern Plains Podcast we visit with Steve Swaffer, Executive Director of No-Till on the Plains, a 501c3 non-profit educational organization whose mission is to provide education and networking on agricultural production systems that model nature.  Steve talks to us about his organization, the role no-till and cover crops play in helping ag producers deal with extreme weather events and how No-Till on the Plains is working to educate farmers and ranchers on the benefits of soil health.

Southern Plains Podcast #13 Nathan Hale-Texas NRCS Soil Health specialist 

Jul 14, 2018

In this episode of the Southern Plains Podcast we talk to Nathan Hale, Soil Health Specialist for USDA NRCS in the State of Texas.  Nathan talks to us about how the Natural Resources Conservation Service is working with producers to promote soil health/regenerative agriculture in Texas, how producers are responding to this work and the role soil health can play in helping farmer and ranchers adapt to extreme weather events.

Southern Plains Podcast #12---Oklahoma State Fire specialist John Weir

Jun 6, 2018

In this episode of the Southern Plains Podcast we visit with John Weir, Extension Fire Specialist at Oklahoma State University about the recent Southern Plains wildfires, the need for more prescribed fires as a means to prevent new wildfires and how the use of prescribed burning can help improve the landscape...

Southern Plains Podcast #11--Dr. Rick Haney, research soil scientist, USDA ARS Grasslands Soil and Water Reserearch Lab, Temple Texas 

May 8, 2018

In this episode, we visit with Dr. Rick Haney with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Temple, Texas.  Dr. Haney discusses his work with soil testing, the role microbial activity plays in the soil and the importance of soil health.

Southern Plains Podcast #10 --Tom Roth, Kansas NRCS State Agronomist

Mar 29, 2018

In this episode of the Southern Plains Podcast we talk to Tom Roth, Kansas State Agronomist for USDA NRCS about soil health, its roll in water and soil conservation and the work of NRCS in the state of Kansas.

Southern Plains Podcast #9--Dr. Larry Sanders, Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University

Feb 21, 2018
In this episode, we visit with Dr. Larry Sanders, Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Sanders has spent the last several years focusing on natural resource issues and the conservation title of the Farm Bill, and has conducted a study of producer attitudes toward adoption of conservation practices in targeted watersheds.

SouthernPlainsPodcast #8--Dr. Cait Rottler, Research Fellow with USDA Southern Plains Climate Hub

Feb 2, 2018
In this episode of the Southern Plains Podcast we visit with Dr. Cait Rottler, Research Fellow with the USDA Agriculture Research Service (ARS) and the USDA Southern Plains Climate Hub.  Dr. Rottler talks to us about the role of the Hub Fellows program, her ongoing research in the Southern Plains region and what she sees as challenges on the horizon for Agriculture.

Southern Plains Podcast #7--Trey Lam, Executive Director, Oklahoma Conservation Commission

Jan 5, 2018
In this episode, we visit with Trey Lam, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, about the role of the State Conservation Agency in Oklahoma, the work they do to help agriculture producers adapt to extreme weather through conservation practices on the ground, and their partnership with USDA and local conservation districts.  We also discuss the Commission's role in protecting the state from flash flooding and their work in the areas of water quality and soil health.

Southern Plains Podcast #6--Andrew Lyon with Kansas WRAPS program

Nov 27, 2017
In this episode of the Southern Plains Podcast we visit with Andrew Lyon, Technical Unit Program Manager with the Kansas Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) program.  Andrew talks with us about the importance of land treatment strategies on farm and ranch land in protecting our water.

Southern Plains Podcast #5--Dr. Sherry Hunt, Research Leader ARS Hydraulic Engineering Research Unit

Oct 13, 2017
In this episode of the Southern Plains Podcast we visit with Dr. Sherry Hunt, the Research Leader at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Hydraulic Engineering Research Unit about the research conducted at the Unit, the importance of the USDA upstream flood control program and the future needs of water infrastructure at USDA.

Southern Plains Podcast #4 -- USDA Harvey recovery

Sep 13, 2017
Farmers, ranchers and rural communities hit by the effects of Hurricane Harvey have options available to them from USDA to help with their recovery. In this episode of the Southern Plains Podcast we share information about USDA's response to the storm and tell individuals how they can start the process to see what assistance they qualify for.

Southern Plains Podcast #3 -- Oklahoma Climatologist Gary McManus

Jul 28, 2017
In this episode of the Southern Plains Podcast, we interview Gary McManus, Oklahoma State Climatologist.  Gary talks about the changes we are seeing in our weather patterns from a historical perspective, flash droughts, ice storms and what the crystal ball shows for the region's weather.

Southern Plains Podcast #2 -- Soil erosion

Jun 30, 2017
All too often farmers and ranchers think about soil erosion as a problem of the past. The Dust Bowl of the "dirty thirties" was horrible, but we beat back the tide of dust, right? In this episode we will discuss how we still are seeing high rates of soil erosion and how it is having a major impact.

Southern Plains Podcast #1 -- March Fires

Jun 19, 2017
This episode of our podcast covers information on the spring fires that plagued the Texas Panhandle, Northwest Oklahoma and Southwest Kansas in the spring of 2017.  It also contains information on help that is available to farmers and ranchers to help them deal with the effects of this disaster.


Public Service Announcements (PSA)

The Southern Plains Climate Hub, in partnership with Redlands Community College and USDA NRCS, is promoting soil health as a tool for climate change adaptation and to help producers adapt to extreme weather events. As part of this promotional effort, the Hub is developing a series of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) featuring producers from across the Southern Plains speaking on the benefits of soil health management. 


Kenneth McAlister grows cotton, corn, milo, canola, wheat, sesame, peanuts and soybeans near the Red River in Wichita County Texas.  He has been no-tilling his land since 2005 and has been utilizing cover crops for the last 4 years.


Scott Carpenter is a conservation district director and wheat producer from Nocona, Texas.  He utilizes cover crops and no-till on his land to hold on to more water and reduce erosion on his land.


A cotton, peanut, corn and wheat producer from Morton Texas, Glen Lyon rotates crops on his 7,500 acre farm to reduce erosion and increase the water holding capacity of the soil.


A Farmer and Rancher from Norton, Kansas, Rusty Miller understands the importance of controlling erosion and increasing soil moisture.  Rusty incorporates cover crops and grazing into his cropping systems to help increase the health of his soil and improve his bottom line by reducing fuel costs and increasing fertilizer efficiency.


Michael Thompson is a farmer/rancher from Almena, KS. Michael along with his father Richard and his brother Brian operate Thompson Farm & Ranch LLC. The farm is comprised of acreage in Norton County, KS, and Furnas County, NE, and grows wheat, corn, oats, barley, as well as cover crop cocktails. The ranch consists of a cow/calf operation that grazes on native range and diverse cover crops on farmland acres.


Lance Feikert is the fifth generation farmer and rancher from Bucklin, Kansas. He raises wheat, milo and soybeans on dryland and irrigated acres. He also utilizes cattle in his operation to better utilize crops and encourage better soil health.With less water available to pump each year, many of his irrigated fields are becoming more like their dryland counterparts. No-till helps him make the most of limited resources. Lance says no-till practices improve the microbial community under the soil and helps increase water infiltration.


Steve Pope is a 6th generation Western Oklahoma farmer and rancher.  He has been no-tilling for over 13 years and incorporates cover crops and grazing into his cropping systems.  Steve participates in USDA conservation programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)


Jimmy Emmons is a life-long farmer and ranchers from Leedey, Oklahoma.  A local conservation district board member and a past President of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD), Jimmy knows the importance of conserving our soil, water, air and wildlife habitats while working to protect the bottom lines of agriculture producers.


Grant Victor is a Northeast Oklahoma agriculture producer and the winner of the 2016 Outstanding Landowner Award from the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts and the Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma.   A life-long resident of Afton, Oklahoma, Grant uses soil health practices to improve productivity on his land while controlling run-off and soil erosion.