Meet the hosts of the new Field Work podcast!

Mitchell Hora and Zach Johnson.  The Water Main

Mitchell Hora and Zach Johnson. The Water Main

Row crop farmers are increasingly working to improve their stewardship of land and water. But that’s a tall task given unpredictable weather, pest outbreaks, and crop prices.

To help find solutions, the Water Main is launching a podcast about sustainable agriculture! It’s called Field Work, and it’s hosted by commercial farmers Zach Johnson and Mitchell Hora. Each episode, farmers will share their experiences with sustainable ag practices: what’s worked, what hasn’t and why. Zach and Mitchell sat down with the Water Main to share more about their farms and the podcast. You can also meet the hosts on the Field Work YouTube channel!

The Water Main: What do you love most about farming?

Mitchell Hora: I like going out there and working with the land like my ancestors have done for centuries before me. And I like taking care of the soil and the environment to feed, fuel, and clothe people all around the world.

Zach Johnson: I take a lot of pride in the fact that my family's been farming the same land for 143 years, and we're still a family farm. It’s really rewarding to plant the seeds, nurture those plants, and then reap the rewards from your harvest.

The Water Main: What’s the toughest part of the job?

Mitchell: The toughest part of the job is the uncertainty that we have in agriculture today. We don't know how trade deals are going to come about. We don't know what the markets are going to do. We don't know what the weather's going to do. Sometimes we don't know if we're going to be able to continue farming certain ground with rental agreements. So maintaining optimism is really critical for farmers. That's why I like doing the Field Work podcast—we can bring a positive light and a fun energy to agriculture.

Zach: I agree with Mitchell. Farming can be really stressful because of all the unknowns. You never know what the weather or the markets are going to do. It can be a gamble and that’s what I don’t like about it.

The Water Main: What’s one misconception the average non-farmer has about your profession?

Zach: I think the average non farmer assumes that we throw seed in the ground and watch it grow. In fact, farming is really technical—we’ve got a lot of science. There are so many different hats that we wear every day to manage our farm the best way we can.

Mitchell: One of the biggest misconceptions is that we are farming our ground all willy-nilly and not taking precautions to have a positive impact on water and a positive impact on human health. There are scares about cancer, there are scares about pollutants, and all this stuff. But farmers are not going out maliciously to do things. We're farming with the best tools we have. And we can continue to improve and embrace technology.

The Water Main: Describe the Field Work podcast in one word.

Zach: GOAT [Greatest of all time].

The Water Main: That’s an acronym—does it count as one word?

Zach: Well I was trying to figure out a way to say ‘the greatest.’

Mitchell: Legit.