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Episode 48: Cultivating Connection: A Conversation with Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg on the Evolution of Agricultural Communication

 

With shared backgrounds deeply rooted in agriculture and prominent careers as agricultural communicators, Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg, hosts of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, join host Phil Young in this podcast episode to discuss the evolution of agricultural communication and information dissemination. 

Driven by a desire to connect with Ohio’s agricultural community using emerging platforms, the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, in its early days, was a casual endeavor, recorded in person on Facebook Live.

“Honestly, when we started this, none of us even really knew what a podcast was,” Matt says. “But what started as a group of us sitting around in person at the office bantering about our week turned into us inviting guests to join us every week to talk about ag issues.” 

Then, in 2020, the pandemic forced the team to pivot to remote recordings, a shift that unexpectedly propelled the podcast into the forefront of their outreach efforts. 

Dusty highlights the podcast’s unique ability to reach the Ohio agricultural community. “We’re out on the farm, we’re busy doing what we do… and sometimes don’t have the opportunity to connect with what’s going on around the rest of the state or in the region, or even the nation. The podcast allows us to bring information a little bit more in-depth.”

The podcast highlights just one of the many ways communication in the agriculture sphere is ever-changing. As seasoned communicators, Matt and Dusty have both witnessed major transformations in communication over the years. 

Starting his career as an assistant editor, Matt reflects on, how starting out, his focus was predominantly on print journalism. However, with the advent of the internet, he found himself adapting to the demands of the web’s immediacy. Matt explains, “My emphasis just had to, by necessity, switch from print to focusing on the web because of the timeliness of the web.”

Matt highlights how this change also posed a unique challenge – the necessity for timely content. Compared to the delayed timelines for print journalism, the web became a platform where seconds and minutes mattered, and being late equated to being irrelevant. 

Dusty parallels the evolution of technology in agriculture to the impact of technology on communication. “You think about how the industry’s changed, and the communication side is just as much.” 

Today, there are a plethora of communication mediums, and with that comes the need to cater to different audiences. Matt underscores the enduring importance of traditional mediums, like radio and print, while Dusty emphasizes the importance of individual preference. “I think it really depends on the individual consumer and how they like to receive their information.”

Overall, Dusty and Matt highlight the significance of adapting to the diverse ways in which consumers seek and absorb information while continuing to focus on providing them with in-depth information about agricultural issues they need to know about. “The one thing that hasn’t changed,” Matt says, “is getting out there and talking to people, building relationships, and sharing their stories.”

Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • [01:25] Matt and Dusty introduce themselves and their backgrounds in agriculture.

  • [05:03] Matt shares how the Ohio Ag Net podcast got started.

  • [09:04] Matt and Dusty reflect on their favorite podcast topics and the guests they’ve interviewed. 

  • [12:23] When asked about how communication has changed in agriculture, Matt recalls shifting focus from print to web and the difference in immediacy.

  • [19:30] Matt and Dusty discuss different communication mediums and how consumers like to receive information. 

  • [22:22] Discussing hot topics in agriculture, Dusty and Matt reveal the biggest topics Ohio farmers are facing.

  • [25:34] Matt and Dusty discuss how they stay up-to-date on current agricultural issues.

 

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Transcription

Voiceover (00:08):Welcome to AgCredit Said It. In each episode, our hosts sit down with experts from all parts of the agriculture industry to bring you insights and must-have information on all things from farming to finances, and everything in between.

 

Phil Young (00:27):We are back for another episode of AgCredit Said It. I'm Phil Young, and today we have a doubleheader feature for this episode. We're talking with Matt Reese and Dusty Sonnenberg. They host their own podcast with the Ohio Ag Net, ingeniously named the Ohio Ag Net Podcast.

 

(00:42):Both of these guys have extensive experience in agriculture as well as in ag communications. We thought it'd be great to have them on today to talk Ohio ag and how ag communication and ag information in general is being disseminated today. Welcome, Matt and Dusty. Welcome to the podcast.

 

Matt Reese (00:58):Thanks for having us.

 

Dusty Sonnenberg (00:59):Yeah, thanks, Phil. Good to be here.

 

Matt Reese (01:01):I'm pretty sure it's Dusty behind the genius of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast name. I think he came up with that.

 

Phil Young (01:09):That makes a lot of sense. That makes a lot of sense. Long time no see here. We were guests on your guys' podcast here recently, so I think we should maybe make this a weekly thing and just hang out every week.

 

Matt Reese (01:19):I love talking to you, Phil.

 

Phil Young (01:25):Yeah, yeah. I guess what we like to do to start off is Matt, can you start and just introduce yourself for our listeners, a little bit of your background and history, and why you're here today?

 

Matt Reese (01:34):Sure. My name's Matt Reese. I grew up in Hancock County, Ohio, up there west of Findlay, and my family had a Christmas tree operation. When I was in high school, a fellow named Ed Johnson came out to shoot his Agri-Country television program at our farm. My mom made him some ice tea and some brownies and he brought his video crew out and shot a video and I thought, you know what? This guy's got a pretty good job. He gets to go around and talk to some of the best folks in the state and they feed him when he goes there.

 

(02:05):I thought this is something I could be interested in. I'd always had an interest in writing and photography as well, and did that in 4-H and was always interested in school and writing, and so went to Ohio State, got my degree in agricultural communications and a master's in agricultural education.

 

(02:23):Before I graduated undergrad, I had one quarter left the school. This was back in the quarter days for all these youthful folks out there that are in semesters now. This was back in quarters. I had one quarter left and Ed Johnson's staff called me up and asked if I would be interested to come interview and I did, and that was in 1999 and I've been here ever since. They haven't gotten rid of me yet.

 

Phil Young (02:47):Nice, nice. Good. I imagine with the Christmas tree farm, are things pretty slow right now for you guys there. I imagine there's nothing going on.

 

Matt Reese (02:55):It is amazing how early people want to get their Christmas trees and get out and get things tagged. We actually have been tagging Christmas trees with folks out on the farm since the end of September, so we are about to really ramp up and start cutting Christmas trees here pretty quick.

 

Phil Young (03:10):I bet. I bet. Good to have you, Matt. Dusty, you're a returning podcast guest and we have an AgCredit Said It punch card that I'll punch afterwards. This is your second punch I think that you're going to get, and then the punch card. Welcome back and just wanted to have maybe you just refresh listeners on who you are and your background.

 

Dusty Sonnenberg (03:28):

Sure, thanks. I was going to ask about that, Phil, I do have my card in my wallet, so I'll make sure I get that to you before we leave today. It's a distinguished group, I know. Thanks for the invite back.

 

(03:37):My name is Dusty Sonnenberg, and I also work alongside Matt Reese with Ohio Ag Net and Ohio's Country Journal serving in a role that's called Field Leader. That's a position that we sort of jointly do with the Ohio Soybean Council, but backing up, I also graduated from the Ohio State University with a degree in ag education and dairy science. Fast-forward now, and work with the Ohio Ag net and also run a dairy heifer replacement operation.

 

(04:03):In between that time, worked for OSU Extension, both as a county 4-H agent and also a county extension ag educator and taught high school ag for a little bit. Actually taught high school ag at Matt's home high school, Cory Rawson and had Matt's younger brothers in class.

 

Matt Reese (04:22):A lot of great minds come out of there, out of Cory Rawson.

 

Dusty Sonnenberg (04:22):It's amazing what's come out of Cory Rawson, we'll just leave it at that. Did that and then went into private consulting, I'm a Certified Crop Advisor, also managed a precision agriculture company, and then as the farm grew, went into farming full-time. With some changes on the farm, that opened up some opportunities to come alongside Matt and the crew at Ohio's Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net. Also do a couple of local radio programs here in northwest Ohio and have the privilege of serving as chairman of the board for AgCredit.

 

Phil Young (04:53):Awesome. He is awesome. Every time he walks through what he does, I'm like man, he does everything. He's just awesome.

 

Matt Reese (05:03):He does.

 

Phil Young (05:03):We're both podcasters and I always just like to start off with this is just how did the Ohio Ag Net podcast get started, how long you've been doing it, and then where did you guys come up with the idea?

 

Matt Reese (05:15):How long we've been doing it? I'm not exactly sure how it started, but it did get started as podcasts were becoming more popular, we thought we needed another way to connect with Ohio agriculture out there, and as podcasts were emerging, it seemed like a good thing to try.

 

(05:33):Honestly, when we started this, none of us even really knew what a podcast was. We would record it on Facebook live at our office with Bart Johnson and Dale Minyo. Ty Higgins was with us at the time too, and we would just sit around and talk about what we did through the week. We started to realize that what we do during the week is kind of interesting. We get out and about, we're at different ag events, we're talking to different agricultural experts around the state, and we would talk about what we did and then highlight some of those interviews on the podcast, and that's how it got started.

 

(06:09):We just went along doing that and then all of a sudden, 2020 hit and we had to shift everything around as everybody did. When 2020 came along, we went to remote podcasts, and all of a sudden now in the radio business, of course, remotes and getting out and about is very important, but we didn't have that outlet anymore. We discovered very quickly that the ball that had started rolling with the podcast was now our number one way to reach out to people that had no other contact with anybody else, and it all of a sudden put us in a very interesting position.

 

(06:46):Once 2020 hit and our podcast became extremely popular, we got huge responses and we switched to doing it all remotely. That changed how we've done things and we continue to do it that way for the most part. We do some in-person now, but what started as a group of us just sitting around in person at the office bantering about our week turned into us inviting a guest and joining us every week to talk about whatever ag issues they want to talk about, but we still continue that tradition of highlighting the interviews we also got throughout the week.

 

(07:21):So if Dale Minyo's out and gets a really good interview, we'll include that audio on the podcast, or if Dusty's out talking to a soybean producer and has a good interview, we'll include that in the podcast as well. We also have a guest and going remotely, we determined in 2020 when we did that, it makes it a lot easier to have a guest.

 

(07:41):Now we work on having a guest every week, and so it's evolved several times through the course of how we do things and remains a nice way to reach out and stay involved and stay connected with Ohio agriculture in a little bit of a different format.

 

Phil Young (07:58):Nice, okay. It sounds like you've been doing this for two and a half, maybe three?

 

Matt Reese (08:03):No, we were doing it a couple of years. We've done over 300 of them and we do one a week, so I don't know. Whatever that is. We were doing it a year or two before 2020 hit, and then it's evolved since then.

 

Dusty Sonnenberg (08:20):I came on board in August of 2019 and they were doing it long before I came on the team. I think, like Matt said, one of the neat things, especially through the pandemic, but even before that, a lot of times if we're out on the farm, we're busy doing what we do and in a sense, we operate in our own little bubble or our own little world of what's in the local community and sometimes don't have the opportunity to connect with what's going on around the rest of the state or in the region, or even the nation.

 

(08:47):The podcast allows us to bring information a little bit more in-depth than maybe a minute and a half radio interview to get a little bit better information, more in-depth information, and then really tell the story of agriculture from other parts of the state and just help connect people.

 

Phil Young (09:04):Do you guys have a favorite episode or a favorite person you've interviewed or a topic that you guys like to talk about or have had a couple of different favorite episodes?

 

Dusty Sonnenberg (09:13):Besides that week we did you guys with AgCredit Said It, which was probably at the top of our ratings and everything.

 

Matt Reese (09:19):It was a home run, Phil.

 

Phil Young (09:20):Well, of course. Other than that one, yeah. What's two and three maybe? List those.

 

Dusty Sonnenberg (09:27):I'm going to go first while Matt thinks. One of mine is one that I had absolutely nothing to do with, but it was actually before I came on board. If you remember back when some of the wildfires were going on out west, Matt traveled out there and they got some really neat interviews with some folks and just really the touching heart-wrenching stories that were told and the way he was able to bring that to life, that really had an impact on me and I thought was probably, if not the best, one of the best podcasts Ohio Ag Net's done.

 

Matt Reese (09:57):I didn't even think about that one, Dusty. That's good. That was quite an experience going out there and doing that. I've really enjoyed... We've had a couple, one that just stands out to me as we had Fred Yoder, a farmer from Union County who does no-till but also travels the world talking about climate change and carbon issues and sequestration and all that.

 

(10:20):We had him on at the same time as we had Brent Sohngen on, and he brings a totally different look. He works with a lot of the corporate world that's really pushing for some of this carbon stuff. Having both of those gentlemen on there at the same time, bantering back and forth, that one always just sticks out to me as a really good one because that is such an odd issue, that carbon sequestration thing.

 

(10:47):On one hand, it makes a ton of sense and it's naturally happening and working, but on the other hand, there are a lot of details in there that make it not quite a fit in a lot of ways too with the reality of what some people are pushing for. The juxtaposition of those two guys on the podcast, I thought was really fun and really interesting and it also really hit on... It was very timely. When that came out, a lot of people were talking about that. That one really stands out with me.

 

(11:13):We've touched on solar and solar is another really controversial topic, and we've done that one a few times. We've had Dale Arnold on from Farm Bureau and that gets a lot of emotions going and a lot of people get riled up about it, and it's just very contentious.

 

(11:31):Those couple stick out in my mind as I look back through the years of really good topics that we've tackled head-on, and we tackle them very honestly from both angles, and I think that's important and that's what we really can bring to the table at Ohio Ag Net as a neutral look at what's going on in Ohio agriculture with some of these big picture issues.

 

Phil Young (11:55):Something I knew going into podcasting is that I don't know everything and there's a lot of stuff I don't know about, and to be able to meet all these great people and discuss all these great topics, it's humbling. It's a lot of learning, it's a lot of just new stuff, and just widening your understanding on stuff. It's great as a podcast host to be able to do all that and be live with the people you're talking to. I totally get that.

 

(12:23):Wanted to switch gears here and just in general talk about ag communications, and ag information. You guys have both been in this space for a while. How have you seen communication change in agriculture over the years?

 

Matt Reese (12:39):I started as an assistant editor back in 1999, and to say that it's changed a lot since then is a huge understatement. It's a completely different landscape, it's a completely different role. We fill totally different niches than we did back then. It's really completely changed. Maybe the biggest change though of that is when I started in the focus of my job for the first number of years was I was a print guy, I was a writer. I did photography and I wrote. I'd drive around the state, I'd talk to farmers and I'd write about them and I'd take their picture and we'd put it in print.

 

(13:16):Well, then the website came on of course very early on, very soon after 1999, but we didn't really put a lot of emphasis in it. It was just a placeholder out there to say we're here and so forth, and we'd put stories up, but it wasn't really a big area of emphasis. I don't know what the timeline was, but before long we were putting up five posts a day and I was the guy putting them up.

 

(13:43):My emphasis just had to, by necessity, switch from print to focusing on the web because of the timeliness of the web. If I write a story for print, it comes out two or three weeks later in the print edition, so everything I write, I got to be thinking okay, I'm writing this on November 5th, but it's not going to be out until December 15th, so I got to think about where my readers are going to be then. That totally changes on the web. Now, I'm writing this now and it's going to be out there now, and so you got to really emphasize that.

 

(14:22):The other thing is if you don't emphasize that timeliness on the web, you're late. If I write a story on November 5th and it comes out November 15th for print, that's fine. That's normal. If I write a story and then I go take a nap or I go work out in the barn for two hours, I come back in and post it two hours later, sometimes that's the difference between a successful web story and not because if the competition posts that and everybody else picks up their version and shares it and it goes viral or whatever, we've missed out on all that just in two hours or sometimes it's even five minutes.

 

(14:59):The web has really shifted the entirety of the way I do things. As a result, I've got to focus on web first and then whatever then ends up as we go to print to shift, I got to focus on then print second based on what we've done on the web. It's a totally different way of doing things.

 

Dusty Sonnenberg (15:20):I think the technology is the other thing that's really advanced. I graduated just a little ahead of Matt in the mid-90s and at that time, my senior year at Ohio State, they had this new thing they were introducing to all the students called the internet. That wasn't there for the first couple of years at Ohio State. I remember my first cell phone was one of those bag phones that looked like you were calling in an airstrike from a remote location.

 

(15:42):Where the technology is at now and how it's changed, just like the agriculture industry. Back then, we didn't know what RTK technology was for guidance. Biotechnology was the new thing that was being talked about in speeches at the state and national FFA conventions. You think about how the industry's changed and the communication side is just as much. The idea of a podcast hadn't even come up yet at that time. I still have a few stations that I work with locally where I go into that station and record a weekly ag program, but everything else that we do is just like we're doing here.

 

(16:14):It's recorded online via the internet, submitted to an FTP site and uploaded, and the magic of technology that happens behind the scenes. I think the one thing that's interesting that hasn't changed, and Matt really touched on it with where he started, and that's going out and talking to people, building relationships, and sharing their story.

 

Matt Reese (16:33):One other thing too, I think that has changed and builds upon that question is not only are we seeing more immediacy in the need to do things, we are also seeing immediacy in the feedback we get from the listener, and we never had that before. When I started, we'd occasionally get a letter from a little old lady who thinks Dusty's handsome or something like that, but you don't always get that kind of feedback on stories.

 

(17:03):We would think it would just have to be okay, here's what I think people will like and hopefully they respond well to it. On the web and with the internet now, you know within 10 minutes if it's going to be a huge story or if it's not. That changes things a lot. The other tricky part of it is a lot of times, the things that people like and that are really big aren't necessarily the hard-hitting agricultural news things that we have traditionally tried to focus on.

 

(17:35):For example, if I do an in-depth story on the farm bill and all the ins and outs of that, and I take two or three days and I research it and I talk to all the expert sources and put hours and hours into the story and I put it out there, great. But if Kim Lemmon, our coworker takes a picture of her cute barn cat and puts it up there, which is going to get the most clicks online, which is going to get the most traction? Is it the farm bill story or is it the cute barn cat?

 

(18:05):You got to start thinking okay, what is our role and what should we be doing versus what generates the most clicks? In terms of advertisers, what are advertisers interested in? They're interested in the clicks too. We can put the barn cat up there and it's going to get a lot of clicks, but we also... It's our job, it's our role as the communicator in agriculture in Ohio to do those farm bill stories, even if they get five clicks, and I spent 10 hours on that and Kim's kitten gets 10,000 clicks and she spent five minutes on that.

 

(18:43):It's all part of the package and we've got to figure out how to find that balance, and it's been an interesting challenge as we navigate the changing technology and everything else.

 

Dusty Sonnenberg (18:52):I think I've learned Matt has an inferiority complex to barn cats.

 

Matt Reese (18:58):I do.

 

Phil Young (19:00):It also sounds like if you were getting handsome Dusty letters, maybe you should just post more pictures of Dusty online. That's going to drive a lot of clicks.

 

Matt Reese (19:08):I think it would. Maybe we need a calendar.

 

Dusty Sonnenberg (19:10):That was my grandma that wrote in, so that's…

 

Matt Reese (19:12):12 months of Dusty. I think we need to start a new venture, the calendar.

 

Phil Young (19:18):Yeah, there we go.

 

Matt Reese (19:20):Dusty in the barn, Dusty in the tractor.

 

Phil Young (19:22):Dusty holding a barn cat, maybe.

 

Matt Reese (19:24):Dusty holding a barn cat.

 

Phil Young (19:30):You guys have all these mediums that you guys are doing, what would you say is the most popular? Is it print media, is it podcasting, is it videos, is it online articles, blogs? What is it?

 

Matt Reese (19:45):It's really interesting. I still think it's the staples. It's the print and it's the radio, and probably the radio first, then the print. The agricultural sector is old school, and farmers still want to hold onto something and read, and farmers want to have the radio on in the farm shop. We do all these and all this stuff is bells and whistles. The podcast, it's bells and whistles compared to the reach we have on the radio and so forth.

 

(20:17):Now having said that, we would not be relevant or functional or viable if we did not have our web presence. That is absolutely necessary. In terms of the impact we're making for the people who advertise with us, I would say it's radio, then print, then web after that. Now that's changing and that's shifting, and social media has an impact there and all that, but if you could go out and we get a story online and it gets 10,000 views, that's great.

 

(20:54):Our print circulation is 20,000. So, our print is going out to 20,000 and 20,000 people are seeing that in print. If we're giving high-fives and doing cartwheels, if a story gets 10,000 views online, you see the difference.

 

(21:09):Advertisers see that number and they're like wow, 10,000 views, that's amazing. Well, our circulation is 20,000 and our radio reaches much more than that. In perspective, it really is still the old-school things. I'd be curious to see what Dusty thinks and see if he agrees with me, but that's what my opinion would be.

 

Dusty Sonnenberg (21:27):I think you're pretty close. I think it is in all of the above. I think it really depends on the individual consumer and what way they like to receive their information. We have stuff that goes out on LinkedIn occasionally, we have stuff on all the social media aspects that are out there that folks can participate in.

 

(21:44):Obviously, we've got folks that are loyal podcast listeners, we got folks that they will have that radio on, like Matt said, in the farm shop, and they will make sure they are there at that time when our midday farm program comes on to catch the markets. We have people that literally, I think for Matt's case, wait by the mailbox to see when the latest issue of the Country Journal comes out.

 

(22:03):They know when that mid-month issue's going to be there and they're expecting it and they'll read that cover to cover. I think it really is dependent on the individual, but I think they're all highly effective and I think our advertisers have found that out as well, that it really is an all of the above.

 

Phil Young (22:22):Okay. Shifting gears, any hot topics that you guys have seen this year maybe spilling into next year in ag that you guys see coming? Obviously, the farm bill's a big one. Any others?

 

Matt Reese (22:38):The one I've been hearing about the most and comes up almost every time I talk to any farmer anywhere around the state is the hazy smoggy smoke issues from the Canadian wildfires this spring. That just comes up over and over. I thought we're going through harvest here, we're seeing really good yields out there, I thought we'd move past that, but no.

 

(22:58):Every time I talk to a farmer, they're like, "I think that hazy smoke from the wildfires definitely impacted something." Nobody's quite sure what it impacted and honestly, if you look at the science, I don't know that it really did, but it certainly did generate a lot of conversation. It was an anomaly and it was unusual, and so that just really sticks in people's minds. That's one we keep talking about over and over.

 

(23:23):Other big topics, I think the number one issue facing Ohio agriculture by far is farmland preservation and keeping agriculture in Ohio. As we see this development around the state of Ohio, I can picture a future in 50, 100 years where agriculture is no longer a viable situation in Ohio because of this development in some of these areas. That, to me, is a really big concern and it's a concern for just the reality of food production, but also the structure of our society and the fabric of our culture in Ohio. I see a lot of really challenging situations in terms of farmland preservation moving forward.

 

Dusty Sonnenberg (24:08):Matt probably hit the two biggest ones right there. I'd say that folks are talking about. Obviously, you've got all the perennial issues that come out. It could be the weather, whether it's drought or rain. Markets are always something folks are talking about, geopolitical issues.

 

(24:21):Before we had the MFP, the market facilitation payments, when we had the trade issues going on with China, then we had the Ukraine War come in, and now we've got things going on in the Middle East. All those different aspects that play into the markets and markets not only for our crops, but also for livestock.

 

(24:42):We look at what are some of the recent developments going back and when we had state issue one, when that state issue one was held the animal care standards board initiative and everything. It's a constantly evolving thing, and that's probably one of the things that's exciting about this field, but also the most challenging is what's hot today may or may not be hot tomorrow, but it's still important that we have good in-depth coverage about those things, and we don't just walk away and forget about them.

 

(25:08):I think your more mainstream news cycles are very short and what's hot in the morning may not even be discussed that evening on the news or the next day, but we have to make sure that we're giving due diligence to those issues and digging a little bit deeper to see how do they impact producers so we can provide them information to make the best management decisions possible and keep their operations viable.

 

Phil Young (25:34):How do you guys stay up on what's current? How do you guys do research? Where do you guys look and what does that look like?

 

Matt Reese (25:41):I just talk to Dusty. He knows pretty much everything.

 

Phil Young (25:44):That's fair.

 

Dusty Sonnenberg (25:46):Phil, some of that does go back to your earlier question about technology and what's out there, and there are so many more ways to get information than there used to be. No different than when you go to do research. It used to be you went to the library and you went to the card catalog and you understood the Dewey Decimal system and you found the materials you need.

 

(26:03):Not that that's not still relevant and viable, but there are now so many more ways out there, and just like in the regular news and the AP and things like that, there's a lot of other good ag news sources and networking that goes on. A lot of great university research that goes on in our land grant system across the country.

 

(26:22):I also think we've done as a company, a good job tapping in on some of the independent research that's going on, and also a lot of the industry research and some top-notch industry research from some of our seed companies and nutrition companies for livestock and otherwise. Really just building that relationship network of all these different sources and knowing who to talk to about what the hot topics are, and then just following up on that. I think it's just building that network really and talking to people.

 

Matt Reese (26:54):I get, and I'm sure Dusty does too, I get hundreds of emails every day from every kind of ag organization, from every corner of the country. Those organizations do a good job. We follow the national and the state corn and soybean checkoff organizations, the livestock groups, and so forth, and those groups are all doing their own thing to cover what's going on in their industries.

 

(27:18):We organize all that and filter it and pick out the pertinent stuff for Ohio and do that, and then once a week or so, as we’re planning out what we're going to put on the website and so forth, I call it going shopping. I just go shopping and I go to all the websites of the OSU extension sites. I go to Illinois extension agriculture stuff, I look at what Nebraska's putting out, I'll go see what Penn State's putting out, and I just go shopping through all... I have a list of websites I just go check out to see what's going on, just to stay on top of what is happening out there, not just in Ohio, but around the country.

 

(27:57):A lot of times what happens around the country ends up affecting Ohio as well and has some relevance there. We get a lot of information sent to us, but then I also do go out and try and just stay on top of what's going on in other places as well.

 

Dusty Sonnenberg (28:12):Yeah, the best part and most challenging part are probably the same, the tremendous diversity that's out there and being able to sift through everything and find out what it is to be able to work for.

 

Phil Young (28:23):I appreciate you guys. Everything you guys do and the information you guys provide, it's always great just to go to your website and listen to you guys and just be up-to-date. Thank you very much for joining us today, and just thanks for your service, guys. I appreciate it.

 

Matt Reese (28:36):Thanks for having us.

 

Dusty Sonnenberg (28:37):It's a pleasure.

 

Phil Young (28:39):Hey, remember to check out the Ohio Ag Net podcast while you're looking up the next great episode of AgCredit Said It. We'll be back soon for another episode where we sit down with Brian Ricker, CEO of AgCredit, and Sandy Musgrave, Chief Human Resources Officer also at AgCredit, to discuss core values and how you can create core values in your farming operation. See you next time, guys.

 

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