Conservation Chat Podcast Returns with New Guests and Fresh Format

Podcast series expands scope and approach to discussing conservation, water quality and the environment

January 23, 2019, 2:08 pm | Liz Juchems

AMES, Iowa – Conservation Chat is back in production with the first new episode, an interview with Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, now available from the Conservation Chat podcast site or from iTunes.

Mike Naig and Jackie Comito.According to Jacqueline Comito, host of the Conservation Chat series, the break in production enabled the team to evaluate listener feedback, challenge themselves to expand concepts, and build fresh energy for producing more top-notch sessions.

“We’re changing up the format and flow of the podcasts to improve engagement with our guests and the listening audience,” said Comito. “I will be joined at times by co-host Ingrid Gronstal Anderson, from University of Iowa, to help move from a strict Q and A format to more of a group discussion. And, there will be times that Ingrid and I will likely view things differently – which might lead to some spirited debate that we hope the audience will enjoy.”

The Conservation Chat podcast library consists of 39 episodes, with more than 7,500 downloads to date. Participants in the chats range from research scientists to working farmers to conservation specialists.

“It’s purely coincidental, but the first Conservation Chat was nearly four years ago with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, so it seems appropriate to reboot the series with the chat with current Secretary Naig,” said Comito.

New podcasts planned for early 2019 include conversations with Matt Helmers, director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and Jamie Benning, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach water quality program manager. The March edition is planned to include Adam Janke, ISU Extension and Outreach wildlife specialist, Brian Hickman, private lands coordinator at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Kelsey Fleming, farm bill wildlife biologist for Pheasants Forever in Iowa.

Learn more about Iowa Learning Farms and Conservation Learning Group outreach and education programs on the web. Find the podcast at Conservation Chat at or on iTunes.

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