Katelyn Duban started her podcast after looking for, but not finding, a farm-related podcast for millennial women that she might enjoy listening to.
Today, that search is easier — there’s about 100 episodes of “The Rural Woman” podcast available for downloading. And people have found it, with more than 200,000 downloads by listeners in more than 140 countries.
It’s been quite a journey for Duban, but one that started innocently enough.
“I’m a big listener of podcasts — I love podcasts,” said the Lethbridge-area farmer. “I was on the tractor and I was trying to look for an agriculture/farm-related podcast that I wanted to listen to as a young millennial woman in agriculture.”
But what she found wasn’t what she was looking for.
“A lot of the farm podcasts that were out there at the time were about the X,Y and Z of farming, versus sharing the stories of agriculture, specifically women,” said Duban. “I didn’t find there were a lot of podcasts focusing on the stories of women and really celebrating the stories of women in agriculture.
“I felt there was room for a podcast to celebrate women in all agricultural roles, no matter what they did on their farm, ranch or homestead.”
By the time she pulled the tractor into the yard, Duban had decided to fill that gap.
“I came running into the house and I told my husband, ‘I had the greatest idea today — I’m going to start a podcast celebrating women in agriculture.’”
The first episode of “The Rural Woman” podcast was posted for downloading in March 2019. In addition to the huge number of downloads, it has generated a host of five-star reviews from listeners who praise Duban for the guests she brings on her show, the ideas and experiences they share, and the inspiration they offer.
“This podcast has made all my dreams feel achievable, wrote one “new farmer” recently.
That’s something that Duban, who got into farming when she married a farmer in 2016, can relate to.
“In 2017, I ended up leaving my full-time career to work on the farm,” she said. “I got my start on the ride-on lawn mower, and worked my way up to the tractor and the swather.”
Duban now works with her husband’s family on their certified organic grain, pulse and oilseed farm 20 minutes outside her hometown of Lethbridge. She started sharing her farming life on a blog (at wildrosefarmer.com) before focusing mainly on “The Rural Woman” podcast and on Instagram (@wildrosefarmer).
She found guests by asking for suggestions from other women in agriculture, both ones she knew locally and ones she had met online.
“I just started from there, interviewing people that I knew and sharing their stories,” she said. “And then word of mouth got around that this was a podcast that was out and that was happening, and I started to reach out to people I found online.”
As her network grew, she began interviewing women from across the province, then around the continent and even overseas. The show has featured women working in different agricultural roles, including agronomists, soil scientists, ranchers, homesteaders and business people.
Duban also tries to highlight the varied jobs that exist in the agricultural industry.
“There are so many different opportunities out there in agriculture, besides being a farmer or a rancher,” she said. “I feel especially that the people from outside agriculture might not know all the opportunities that there are.
“I didn’t grow up with a farming or ranching background and didn’t even consider ever becoming a farmer or working in agriculture.”
Reaching a milestone of 200,000 downloads was a goal she set as she approached the two-year anniversary of the podcast.
“It was something that I was gunning for,” Duban said. “I did a little bit of extra marketing and things but it’s wild. I am getting close to my 100th episode. It will come out at the end of April.”
Still, it’s hard to grasp the fact that it’s been so successful.
“It’s been crazy to think that in two years, it has reached so many people and so many countries. For some reason, I am quite popular in Zimbabwe, when I get my weekly reports of where my downloads come from. I don’t know anyone in Zimbabwe, but they seem to like ‘The Rural Woman’ podcast.”
A typical podcast is 30 to 50 minutes long, with a new one generally coming out every Friday.
“There’s something different every week, and we’re not talking about the same things. I don’t ask the same questions every week. There are some similarities in what I ask, but I really tailor my questions for whom I’m speaking to.”
Duban, who learned by Googling the various aspects of podcasting, is now launching a coaching service for those who want to give it a try.
“When I started my podcast, I had no idea how to do podcasting,” she said. “The biggest thing that I want to help with coaching is the mindset of imposter syndrome. If you have this idea, and it’s been sitting on your heart, how do you move forward and get where you need to go?”
“The Rural Woman” podcast is available on the major services (Apple Podcasts and Spotify) and lesser-known ones (Stitcher and CastBox).