; Education and conservation through conversation: podcasting as an effective risk management communication medium | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Education and conservation through conversation: podcasting as an effective risk management communication medium

Tipton Hudson


The Art of Range is a first-of-its-kind podcast produced by Washington State University in cooperation with the Society for Range Management. It has been designed to address risks to ranching. The title "Art of Range" plays on the idiom that range management is both art and science. A science is a body of knowledge to be acquired. We know much about the biophysical world and the numerous ecological interactions among organisms. An art, classically understood, is the practice, the application of a body of knowledge. Rangeland management is an art as well—those whose livelihoods depend on making good decisions over a lifetime on the land require skill developed from continual adaptive learning. Sustainable rangeland-based livestock production is important to society as one of the only methods of food and fiber production that relies on naturally occurring plant communities. In fact, both ranchers and sociologists believe that the main threats to the continued viability of ranching as a socioeconomic business enterprise are economic and political rather than ecological. Social problems require social solutions. Social solutions require deep, integrative thinking that is increasingly rare in an increasingly digital society. We cannot and should not automate mental labor. Conversation, including recorded conversation, engages our highly plastic human brains in ways that strengthen our abilities to synthesize complex information. The Art of Range podcast broadcasts interactive conversation with some of the brightest minds in rangeland management, including ranchers, researchers, and resource professionals, on the toughest topics related to ranching risks. This podcast project is part of a RME-sponsored results verification pilot since this is a novel educational approach for risk management. In the first three months of the podcast, with 1500 "listens" across 6 initial episodes, 87% of survey respondents indicated they learned something new, but more importantly, 82% indicated they would adjust their behavior as a result.