Skip to main content
Fresh From The Field Podcast

Fresh From The Field Podcast

By Ken Nelson
This podcast from Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development interviews Michigan companies, farmers, and MDARD divisions about Michigan Food and Ag news. Subscribe to stay updated with the newest food and ag info.
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Currently playing episode

All About Michigan Soil

Fresh From The Field Podcast

All About Michigan Soil
World Soil Day is Dec. 5th! To celebrate the importance of soil in our everyday lives, we sat down with well-known soil scientist, Karl Hausler, for an in-depth conversation about the origin of Michigan's State Soil, Kalkaska Sand. Kalkaska Sand was chosen as Michigan's state soil in 1990. It occurs in 29 of Michigan's 83 counties in both the lower and upper peninsulas. 
December 02, 2021
Swine Health and Feed
In this episode, we sit down with Cheryl Collins, Swine Program Manager and Emergency Coordinator for Animal Industry Division at MDARD and Stevie Glaspie, Feed Safety and Fertilizer Field Supervisor, with the Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division. They discuss the role MDARD plays in ensuring animal health and safety. They also share tips on how farmers can maintain good swine health.
November 22, 2021
Bovine Tuberculosis
In this episode, we sit down with Nancy Barr, Assistant State Veterinarian with MDARD's Animal Industry Division and Emily Sewell, Wildlife Health Specialist, for Northern Lower peninsula with Michigan DNR. They discuss what bovine tuberculosis is and what is currently being done to combat the disease.  Learn more here: Bovine TB  Find your nearest TB Testing Dropbox: TB Testing 
November 12, 2021
Michigan Wheat
Michigan is home to a little over 500,000 acres of wheat in 75 of Michigan’s counties. The economic impact of wheat in Michigan is $180 million. Michigan farmers produce over 35 million bushels of wheat annually. In this episode of, Fresh From the Field, we sit down with Jody Pollok-Newsom, the Executive Director of the Michigan Wheat Program and Todd C. Wright, Vice President of Sales and Grain Purchasing at Knappen Milling Company. They share an inside look into Michigan’s wheat industry. Learn more about the Michigan Wheat Program here --> Learn more about Knappen Milling Company here -->
October 28, 2021
Halloween Food Safety
Even though it’s not an official holiday, Halloween is much beloved by children and adults alike. Trick-or-treating, games, and costume parties are fun, but parents need to make sure treats are safe for their children. In this episode of, Fresh From the Field, we sit down with Michael Lally, Senior Food Safety Inspector with MDARD to share Halloween food safety tips with parents.
October 21, 2021
Emergency Preparedness Tips
September is Emergency Preparedness Month. To celebrate we sat down with, Brad Deacon, Emergency Management Coordinator with MDARD and Elizebeth Weier, Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator with MDARD to discuss how to prepare for emergencies and keep your family and pets safe during emergencies.
September 27, 2021
Food Safety Awareness Month
September is National Food Safety Month. To celebrate we sat down with James Padden, Food Program Manager, with the Food & Dairy Division at MDARD to discuss proper food preparation, how MDARD inspectors keep the public safe and best practices for eliminating food borne illness. 
September 20, 2021
Farmers Markets & Community | Michigan Farmers Market Association
MIFMA was established in 2006 as a statewide association to promote local food consumption in Michigan by connecting more farmers to consumers through farmers markets. In this episode, we sit down with Hailey Lamb, Communications Manager for Michigan Farmers Market Association. We discuss the role farmers play in the local food system, how farmers help the community during times of need and also upcoming events. 
September 09, 2021
The Danger of Box Tree Moth’s and Asian Longhorn Beetles
August is National Tree Check Month - time to be on the lookout for invasive, destructive pests threatening Michigan's urban and forest landscapes. In this episode, we sit down with Robin Rosenbaum and Rob Miller from MDARD's Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division to discuss the threats that the Box Wood Moth and Asian Long-horned Beetle pose to Michigan.
August 20, 2021
Protecting Pets and Livestock in Hot temperatures
During the hot summer months, just like humans, pets and livestock are affected by high temperatures. In this episode, we sit down with Dr. Jennifer Calogero and Dr. Mike Thome to discuss how to protect pets and livestock during the summer months. 
August 14, 2021
MDARD Grant | Slagle's Family Farm
In this episode, we sit down with Slagle's Family Farm owners to discuss their grant from MDARD to expand their kitchen. 
July 21, 2021
PPPM | Moving Firewood and Invasive Species
In this episode, we sit down with Susannah lott, Invasive Species Program Specialist, and Mike Bryan, Export and Compliance Program Specialist to talk about the importance of burning firewood where you buy it. 
July 21, 2021
Conservation District Day | How to Protect Soil and Water
In this episode, we sit down with Gerald Miller, President of the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts to talk about Conservation day and how MACD and MDARD work together to preserve Michigan's soil and water. 
July 14, 2021
All About Animal Feed
In this episode, we sit down with Tim Lyons, Feed Safety and Fertilizer Section Manager, to talk about how MDARD keeps animal feed safe. 
June 28, 2021
Michigan Dairy Month | Day In The Life of a Dairy Farmer
In this episode, we sit down with dairy farmer Ashley Messing-Kennedy, owner of Sheridan Dairy in Bad Axe. Ashley will talk about what it’s like to be a dairy farmer and also touch on Michigan’s dairy industry and dairy products. Ashley is a third-generation dairy farmer from Bad Axe. She lives on the farm she was raised on with her husband Eric and their daughters Calli and Adeline.
June 21, 2021
Michigan Dairy Month | Hudsonville Creamery
June is Dairy Month, and MDARD will be releasing one podcast per week to celebrate the people and companies integral to Michigan’s dairy industry. In this episode, we highlight, Hudsonville Creamery, in Holland, MI.  This podcast focuses on Hudsonville’s products, the expansion project, and how MDARD, through a grant and through compliance assistance from Food and Dairy Division staff, has assisted the company during the expansion. Guest features are Shane Gallagher, a dairy inspector for MDARD’s Food and Dairy Division, and Teresa White, a Hudsonville Quality Assurance Manager.  Learn more about Hudsonville Creamery Here:
June 11, 2021
All About Asparagus | MIchigan Asparagus Advisory Board, Dwight Fuehring
Michigan is known for having the best asparagus in the nation. What makes Michigan's asparagus so good? In this episode, we sit down with Dwight Fuehring to discuss the secret's behind Michigan's amazing asparagus.  Learn more about Michigan Asparagus and find recipes here:
June 11, 2021
Celebrating Dairy Month: MWC
June is Dairy Month, and MDARD will be releasing one podcast per week to celebrate the people and companies integral to Michigan’s dairy industry. In this episode, we highlight, MWC and its impact on Michigan dairy farmers, the St. Johns community, and the state. The podcast features George Chappell, VP of Dairy Operations, for MWC, and Jodi Gruner, Economic/Community Development Specialist for MDARD’s Agriculture Development Division.
June 04, 2021
Plant Health
In this episode, we sit down with plant experts Jan Meeuwsen, manager at De Bruyn Seed, and Keith Eldred, inspector at MDARD. We discuss the best approaches to keeping your plants strong and healthy. 
May 21, 2021
St. Julian WIne 100 Year Celebration
This year St. Julian Winery celebrates 100 years of Michigan wine!!! St. Julian Wine Co. has been owned and operated by the same family for four generations. Their passion for local farms, real Michigan fruit, and the production of quality wine and juice have been upheld for 100 years. In this episode, we talk about how their long-term commitment to quality fruit from Michigan has made them the most-awarded winery in Michigan.  Visit them here:
May 12, 2021
How to Prevent Mosquitoes and Mosquito-borne Illnesses
In this episode, we sit down with a panel of experts to discuss Mosquito-borne illnesses and mosquito abatement. This episode is packed with great mosquito prevention information and tips on what to do if you, your family, or your animals encounter mosquito-borne illnesses.  Special Guests:  Thomas Cooley - Pathologist, DNR  Michele Schalow - Program Manager, Animal Industry Division, MDARD  Emily Dinh - Medical Entomologist, MDHHS  Thomas Lawrence - Pesticide Applicator Business License Specialist, PPPM (MDARD)  To Learn More Visit:  MDARD Pesticide Information
May 06, 2021
Healthy Michigan Forests - Stewardship Week
In this episode, we sit down with "The Tree Guy" Eric Brandon to discuss the history and future of Michigan forests. We also talk about the importance of Stewardship Week. If you love forests, you'll love this episode!! 
April 26, 2021
McDonald's & Michigan Food & Agriculture
The McDonald's system has purchased $154 million in raw products from Michigan suppliers. In this episode, we sit down with two Michigan McDonald's owners and operators to discuss McDonald's relationship with Michigan's Food and Agriculture businesses. 
April 02, 2021
Michigan Animal Welfare Fund
In this episode, we sit down with Polly McKillop, from AID of MDARD, Becky Neal, MAACO President, and Michelle Reid, Animal Control Officer. We talk about the Animal Welfare Fund, who can apply for them, why they apply for them, and how the public can contribute to the Animal Welfare Fund.   Learn More here:
March 26, 2021
Food and Agriculture Jobs in Michigan
In this episode of Fresh From the Field, we discuss Food and Agriculture jobs within MDARD and the Michigan food and ag industry. We discuss: 1. Different roles in the food and ag industry. 2. How to apply for jobs with MDARD and the Food and Ag industry. 3. How companies promote job postings.
March 19, 2021
Invasive Species - Mountain Pine Beetle and Japanese Knotweed
In this episode, we sit down with, Mike Bryan and Rob Millier of MDARD's Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division to discuss the Mountain Pine Beetle and Japanese Knotweed's potential impact on Michigan. 
March 05, 2021
What are Weights and Measures? w/ Robert DeRubeis
In this episode, I sit down with Robert DeRubeis, Program Manager Weights, and Measures at MDARD. We discuss:  National Weights and Measure's week What are Weights and Measure's What does it entail? How does it help/protect the public? Little known facts If you have any questions and want to contact a representative from Weights and Measures please visit: MDARD Weights & Measures Website
March 05, 2021
Pesticides and Personal Protective Equipment
In this episode, we sit down with Mike Szynski, a pesticide lead inspector at MDARD, and Patrick Nellenbach, Director of Safety and Security for Star of the West Milling Company.  Most people have heard of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but for those who don’t know, Mike and Patrick explain in detail what is PPE and how it relates to pesticide applications.  To locate information regarding MDARD’s pesticide programs, please visit the MDARD website --> CLICK HERE
February 23, 2021
Pet & Animal Safety During Cold Weather
In this episode, we sit down with Dr. Michele Schalow of MDARD who shares tips on how to keep your pets and farm animals safe during the cold winter months. 
January 28, 2021
Industrial Hemp in Michigan 2021
In this episode, we sit down with guests Gina Alessandri and Molly Mott from MDARD and Blain Becktold iHemp Michigan. We talk about the:  Recently the USDA approved the state industrial hemp plan.  What the new plan means for growers and processors.  What the future looks like industrial hemp in Michigan.  To learn more about industrial hemp visit:  MDARD Industrial Hemp: iHemp Michigan:
January 21, 2021
How to Properly Recycle Your Christmas Tree
The holidays are over, but your Christmas Tree may still be hanging around. If you don't know how to safely recycle your tree, in this episode of Fresh From The Field, Amy Start from Michigan Christmas Tree Association shares some insightful tips about Christmas Tree Recycling!
January 12, 2021
End of The Year Message - Director Gary McDowell
In this episode, MDARD Director Gary McDowell shares the challenges and the successes of 2020. He also shares the departments' priorities in 2021. 
December 28, 2020
Trees For Troops | Peacock Road Family Farm
In this episode, we sit down with Ed Carpenter owner of Peacock Road Family Farm. We talk about his participation in Trees For Troops over the years and the wonderful impact the program has on families.  Learn more about the farm here: 
December 11, 2020
Worker Protection Standard (Growers)
In this podcast we share information with growers that will help them comply with WPS on their farm.
December 09, 2020
Worker Protection Standards (Worker)
In this podcast we share information with growers that will help them implement WPS standards on their farm. 
December 09, 2020
All about Michigan Christmas Trees w/ Amy Start and Mike Bryan
In this episode, we sit down with Amy Start, Executive Director at the Michigan Christmas Tree Association and Mike Bryan Plant Industry Specialist. We talk about:  Where to find different varieties of Christmas Trees.  How Michigan keeps trees safe. The economic impact of Christmas Trees.  And the top tips to keep your Christmas Tree healthy.  Learn more about Choose and Cut Farms here:
December 04, 2020
Holiday Cooking Safety | Kevin Sehlmeyer, State Fire Marshall
Thanksgiving is the #1 day for cooking fires! The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with family, but you must take the necessary precautions when cooking. In this episode, we sit down with the State Fire Marshall, Kevin Sehlmeyer to talk holiday cooking safety! 
November 17, 2020
Michigan Apple Committee
We sit down to discuss everything apples with Dian Smith of Michigan Apple Committee. 
October 29, 2020
The 2020 Ag Exporter Award | Rob Kukowski of Kamps Hardwoods
In this episode, we sit down with Rob Kukowski of Kamps Hardwood. Kamps is the 2020 recipient of the Ag Exporter of the Year award. We talk about their company, their history, their success and what the accomplishment means. Learn more about Kamps Hardwoods:
September 25, 2020
Food Safety Podcast w/ Louis Ognjanovski & Justin Henderson
In this episode, I sit down with Louis Ognjanovski, Michigan Food Field Supervisor with Food & Dairy Division (MDARD and Justin Henderson, Infectious Disease Unit Manager - MDHHS to discuss how they keep Michigan's food safe! 
September 17, 2020
Emergency Preparedness | Kevin Sweeney
In this episode, we sit down with Captain Kevin Sweeney of the Michigan State Police Department to talk about the importance of preparing for emergencies. 
September 10, 2020
Hemp Exports and Certifications
In this episode I sit down with Theresa Sisung, Field Crops and Advisory Team Specialist with Michigan Farm Bureau and Mike Bryan, Plant Industry Export and Compliance Program Specialist with Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division of MDARD to discuss Hemp products and Hemp certification. 
August 27, 2020
MDARD | PPPM: Invasive Species
In this episode we sit down with Robert Miller, Invasive Species Prevention and Response Specialist to talk about what MDARD is doing to treat and prevent invasive species in Michigan.  Learn more about PPPM here:
August 07, 2020
Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA)
In this episode we sit down with Amanda Shreve to talk about how Michigan's Farmers Markets have pivoted during COVID-19.  Learn more about MIFMA here:
August 07, 2020
Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association | MDARD
In this episode I sit down with Amanda Smith who is the Executive Vice President of Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association. We discuss how COVOD-19 has impacting Michigan's restaurant industry and how they are making the shift.  
July 23, 2020
United Dairy Industry of Michigan | Eps 20
In this episode we sit down with Jolene Griffith Director of Industry Relations for United Dairy Industry of Michigan. We discuss:  1) The shift UDIM and the Dairy industry has made due to Covid-19 2) The UDIM and Domino Pizza Partnership  3) A trick to know if Milk was made in Michigan 
July 16, 2020
Mosquito Control | MDARD
In this episode. We talk with Brian Verhougstraete of MDARD and Emily Dinh of Department of Health and Human Services about the impact and control of mosquitos. 
July 07, 2020
LaGrasso Brothers Podcast
Tom LaGrasso of LaGrasso Bros Produce talks about being chosen for the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program, and shares the origins of the historic LaGrasso Brothers company. 
June 30, 2020
Hemp Ag Pilot Program
In this episode we discuss:  1) 2019 Hemp Report 2) Changes in testing for THC  3) The many uses of Hemp  and much more!!  Guest include:  Gina Alessandri - Industrial Hemp Program Director, MDARD  Craig VanBuren - Laboratory Division Director, MDARD  Blain Becktold - Co-Founder of ihemp Michigan
June 24, 2020
Fresh From The Field | Jolene Griffin of United Dairy Industry of Michigan
Think you know everything about milk? Think again! Jolene Griffin, Director of Industry Relations for United Dairy Industry of Michigan, dispels myths about milk, such as, chocolate milk does NOT come from brown cows. She also shares her story about growing up on a dairy farm, and how cows are great listeners. You don't want to miss this wonderful episode! Questions for Jolene email @ Learn more about dairy here:
June 18, 2020
Fresh From The Field | Amanda Shreve of Michigan Farmers Market Association
Farmers Market's are vital in creating a thriving marketplace for local food and farm products. Amanda Shreve, Executive Director of Michigan Farmers Market Association, shares the behind the scenes of what it takes to bring a farmers market to the community. Questions for Amanda email her @ Learn more about MIFMA:
June 18, 2020
Fresh From The Field | Chris Long of MSU Extension
Who knew potatoes were so awesome!! Chris Long, a Potato Extension Specialist at Michigan State University, dispels myths about potatoes being unhealthy, reveals an awesome superpower potatoes possess, shares the best potatoes to mash, roast and make chips from and much more! Questions for Chris Long contact him @ Learn more about potatoes:
June 18, 2020
Fresh From The Field | Gary McDowell Director of MDARD
In this episode we sit down with Gary McDowell Director of Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development to talk about his crop disaster tour with Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the total devastation statewide.
June 18, 2020
Gary Download | Gov. Round Table, Algae Blooms, USDA Farmer Relief
MDARD Director Gary McDowell talks about USDA relief funds, Michigan's agriculture and infrastructure crisis, and Algae Blooms in Lake Erie.
June 18, 2020
Fresh From The Field | Gary McDowell | Farmers Markets and Infrastructure
Director McDowell of MDARD speaks about Farmer Markets and Infrastructure. 
June 18, 2020
Emergency Preparedness w/ Brad Deacon and Elizabeth Weier
Are you properly prepared if disaster strikes? Check out this very informative episode about how to best prepare yourself and your family, in case a disaster strikes.
June 18, 2020
Director McDowell - NASDA, McDonalds & Exporter Of The Year
Director McDowell discusses his trip to the NASDA conference, McDonald's relationship with Michigan Ag and The company that won exporter of the year!
June 18, 2020
Gary - End Of The Year Podcast
Gary shares a year in review of 2019 at MDARD.
June 18, 2020
MDARD Hemp Podcast w/ Gina Alessandri & Craig VanBuren
A behind the scenes conversation about Hemp production in Michigan. (2019) 
June 18, 2020
Fresh From The Field | Cherry Capital Foods
Cherry Capital Foods is a unique food distributor based in Traverse City, Michigan. Officially classified as a food hub, we work with farmers, growers and producers both locally and regionally. By focusing on local and Michigan sources, we encourage the growing focus on regional foodsheds as well as support the Michigan economy and environment. We keep duplicate trucks off the road and create efficiencies for our food providers and our customers. One refrigerated truck, one delivery, one invoice – multiple, independent food sources.
June 18, 2020
Fresh From The Field | McDonalds Podcast MDARD w/ Guest Tony D'Anna
Tony D'Anna speaks to MDARD about McDonalds' contributions to the Food Shelters of Michigan during COVID-19. 
June 18, 2020
Michigan Beef Industry Commission & Michigan Pork Producers Association
The impact of this pandemic has not been easy, and it is not over. While Michigan’s meat supply chain may experience occasional and temporary suspensions of operations, these breaks are necessary to implement new worker safety measures. In this very informative podcast we discuss what's happening with Michigan's meat supply chain with Michigan Beef Industry and Michigan Pork Producers Association.
June 18, 2020
Food Bank Council Of Michigan | Dr. Phillip Knight
The Food Bank Council of Michigan has been doing an incredible job around the state during this difficult time. In this podcast MDARD speaks with Dr. Phil Knight, Executive Director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan. He shares the incredible work the food banks have been doing in the community, the history of food banks, the behind the scenes work that goes into serving the #Michigan community and much much more!!!
June 18, 2020
FRESH FROM THE FIELD: Mike DeRuiter of DeRuiter Farms
DeRuiter Farms, Inc. is a family farm that was started in 1968. Along the beautiful West Michigan shoreline they grow tart cherries, apples, and peaches. In this episode, Mike DeRuiter, Vice President of DeRuiter Farms shares the life of a farm kid, his love for the business of farming and little known facts about harvesting tart cherries, apples and peaches. Learn more about Mike:
June 18, 2020
Fresh From The Field | Peterson Farms Podcast
MDARD interviews Peterson Farms 
June 18, 2020