June 2021: Podcast Month In Review

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Let’s take a look back at our June 2021 Podcast Episodes.

June was an educational and inspirational month on The Produce Moms. We learned about several products and companies that can keep us healthy in our bodies and minds along with spotlighting current and future family and consumer sciences educators.

Erin Petrey killed time during the pandemic lockdown by sharing how-to videos on making delicious cocktails in your own home. What started as a pastime, developed into teaching 3,000 people worldwide including Fortune 100 companies. Not only does Erin show her student recipes, but educates them on how these drinks are developed over time and what type of produce they’re made from. She also gives tips on making your favorite drink of choice healthier, while reducing possible waste in your kitchen.

While we say the opportunities are endless in FCS education, there’s a real teaching shortage in the field and one reason is lack of support. Many teachers are a department of one, without anyone to talk to or collaborate with. Part of a recent USDA grant is trying to assist with that by helping organizations create networks so FCS educators don’t feel helpless and overwhelmed when they enter the industry.

When your company thrives on business from fine dining restaurants, and the world shuts down due to a global pandemic, how do you survive? Salad Savoy experienced just that with their specialty vegetables. Typically providing produce to upscale restaurants, they adjusted by providing meal kits for families to continue experiencing their offerings in the comfort of their own homes.

It’s 2021, and we clearly live in a technology-bound age. But this only opens up accessibility. CEO of Owyhee Produce, Shay Myers utilizes social media to educate not only produce buyers but consumers about where their food comes from and how it’s produced. His social media following paid off big time when there was a fear his 35 acres of asparagus might not get harvested.

It’s an unfortunate fact that there is a large shortage of FCS educators in the field right now, it is promising for future educators that they’re all but promised a job after graduation. As much as society and our communities continue to change, the FCS field continues to need to adapt to it.

Meals are typically built around a certain protein, typically meat, as it is obtainable and relatively affordable in grocery stores. Vegetables are then the secondary factor and limited to just a few options. Founder and CEO of Ark Foods, Noah Robbins is working around this to get premium meals built around vegetables into more homes at an affordable price.

The Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America organization is by far one of the most helpful recruitment tools in FCS education. Being run by the students themselves, FCCLA provides a support system between them. Not judging a book by its cover is important when students get into FCS, as the limitations don’t stop at teaching. Skills that are taught can be used in other careers along with communities.

Not all farmers have the ability to be direct marketers, but those that do have a huge advantage in the produce industry. These farmers can grow and sell their crops right out of their front door. Along with that, they have the ability to interact face to face with their community. This was a big benefit to John Jacobson and Pine Tree Apple Orchard when adding the SweeTango apple to their repertoire. With the help of the co-op and feedback from the public, John and Pine Tree are working hard to help other farmers find success with SweeTango’s as well.

June 2021 Podcast Episode 161

Episode 161 Banner Image

Cocktails that can be fun, healthy and even reduce kitchen waste.

Cocktail Coach, Erin Petrey coped with the pandemic by sharing how-to videos of drinks that were commonly done incorrectly. What started as a pastime during lockdown turned into a business that spread to Fortune 100 companies. Not only does she want to show people how to make bar-level drinks in their own homes, but she wants to show how you can make healthy drinks without being wasteful.  By approaching cocktail making like cooking, Erin starts with what she’s not necessarily eating at the moment to reduce waste. 

She even goes as far as to teach her students the history of certain cocktails and where they come from. Healthy options are always in mind and by showing people they can replace sugary additives with options like soda water is a win/win. Enjoying a nice cocktail doesn’t mean it can’t be healthy and included in a balanced lifestyle.

Listen to the full episode


June 2021 Podcast Episode 162

Episode 162 Future FCS Educators Banner Image

Combating burnout by creating a network and support system for future FCS educators.

Reno Palombit, CTE Workforce Development Specialist from North Carolina, Melissa Webb, Family and Consumer Sciences Consultant at the California Department of Education and FCCLA State Advisor, and Kristin Vest, Human Sciences and Education Career Field Specialist from the Nebraska Department of Education are all passionately helping recruit, support and retain future FCS educators of America as a part of the USDA grant project and national partnership.

As they are all FCS specialists, they understand the struggles of entering the field as an educator. Real-world practice is important in any education field and even more so with FCS, as it covers so many different areas. Reno knows this first hand as she was able to participate in microteaching in college and build further on her skills. It’s easy to say the possibilities are endless in FCS, but some educators frankly get burnt out. This is where support comes in. Kristin recognizes that many of these FCS teachers are a department of one, so she makes sure to make herself available for them. Melissa has done similarly by creating teacher “task forces”, virtual workshops and forums for all educators to collaborate and feel supportive.

Listen to the full episode


June 2021 Podcast Episode 163

Episode 163 Banner Image

Giving families access to restaurant quality vegetable meals in the comfort of their own home.

Thousands of vegetables exist in the world, but we are typically ingrained to only know and eat just a few at home. Salad Savoy has been well-known in the restaurant industry for one-of-a-kind vegetables like its colorful chards, kale, and cauliflower. 

But when the pandemic hit, they saw a massive loss of business, as their biggest products went into fine dining. Thankfully, they were able to adapt and create meal kits for families to replicate the experience at home, during the 2020 lockdown. Even though restaurants are back to normal business, Salad Savoy wants to continue encouraging consumers to continue learning about the food they’re preparing at home and possibly reach outside their normal bounds.

Listen to the full episode


June 2021 Podcast Episode 164

Utilizing social media to educate consumers, and maybe get some free vegetables out of it

Imagine having no one to harvest crops well into the season. Thanks to a clerical error, this was the issue Shay Myers of Owyhee Produce had. With no one to pick an entire 35-acre field, Shay took to his already established social media following, explaining to the world he had about 350,000 pounds of asparagus that would go to waste. 

While his content is typically focused on educating consumers about where their food comes from, this gave them an opportunity to see it first hand. Over 6,000 people showed up to help harvest the crop, tour the farm, and get some fresh vegetables out of it as well.

Listen to the full episode


June 2021 Podcast Episode 165

Episode 165 Banner Image

The virtual promise of a career in FCS education.

Within any given state there are at least three jobs for every graduate. With a nationwide shortage of FCS educators, it’s more like 10. Very few fields can promise you a job post-education. Family and consumer sciences is one of those fields. When Dr. Susan Turgeson went back to school for FCS in 1996, she was promised a job and now as an Associate Professor at The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, she can now do the same for her students. 

As the field ever evolves, so does the need for more educators. The FCS field is no longer solely a culinary focus. The type of skills taught in FCS can be applied to every facet of life from personal growth, to your career, to your community. 

Listen to the full episode


June 2021 Podcast Episode 166

Episode 166 Ark Foods Banner Image

Making vegetable-based meals fun and accessible to all.

When we think of eating farm-fresh vegetables, accessibility issues are probably one of the first roadblocks that come to mind. We think of them as typically being more expensive or possibly not being available in our area. It’s simpler, and cheaper, to go to a big-box grocery store chain right? Having grown up in agriculture, CEO and Founder of Ark Foods, Noah Robbins decided to take this issue into his own hands.

By starting from scratch with his own farm, Noah began with the simple shishito pepper and brought a “fun” aspect to eating that would be accessible, and enjoyed by all. Since then, it’s grown into creating partnerships with other farmers and creating more enjoyable meals around vegetables.

Listen to the full episode


June 2021 Podcast Episode 167

Episode 167 FCS Students Banner Image

FCS teaches students real-life skills that can be applied to any field.

Opening students’ eyes to opportunities in the FCS field is the first step in the USDA’s grant of recruitment, preparation and supporting future educators. Student-run organizations like the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) are the biggest recruitment tools for current educators to help train future ones. 

While there is a need for FCS educators, and students that go into the field are virtually promised a job, there are opportunities outside of the field that their skills can be applied to. Organizations like the FCCLA have given young students opportunities to travel, network, and broaden their horizons in ways that no other field focus has been able to.

Listen to the full episode


June 2021 Podcast Episode 168

Episode 168 Pine Tree Orchard Banner Image

The success of the SweeTango apple on a nearly 120-year-old farm.

With over 300 acres of farmland that’s been in the family since 1958, the Jacobson’s at Pine Tree Apple Orchard know a thing or two about apple farming. So when John Jacobson tried a SweeTango apple with his father in 2006, he knew he had to bring it home. With all five of his siblings involved in the orchard, it wasn’t easy convincing everyone to add another type of apple to the farm.

Thanks to being a direct marketer, John and Pine Tree can gauge their customers’ interest in a possible new crop. With the success of this process, and after joining the co-op, Pine Tree adopted the SweeTango apple to their repertoire and continues to advocate for more farms to add it as well. 

Listen to the full episode

To see a list of all our past episodes, visit www.theproducemoms.com/podcast

About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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