From Acme to Zimbabwe, Alberta woman's agriculture podcast grows in popularity
LETHBRIDGE -- There's no denying the economic and social impact the agriculture has on southern Alberta.
With more than 900 farms in the Lethbridge area alone pulling in over $1 billion, the industry is the backbone of the entire region.
Katelyn Duban got her first taste of farm life when she married her husband Justin, a multi-generational farmer, back in 2016.
Prior to working on the organic grains and oilseed farm, Duban had worked a nine-to-five government job and really had no idea how all-encompassing the agriculture lifestyle is.
"It was never my intention to be a full-time farmer, but I got out here and fell in love with it. Nine months later, I quit my job to pursue the world of agriculture," she said.
Duban would regularly listen to a variety of different podcasts when working on the farm, but she couldn't find anything the highlighted or celebrated the stories of women in the industry.
"When I couldn't find a podcast that fit what I was looking for, I came up with the idea to start my own," she said. "Basically, I'm the narrator. I get to share these stories, but the women's stories that I am sharing are absolutely so inspiring."
The Rural Woman Podcast was born in 2019 and since its inception, more than 200,000 people around the world have downloaded it and tuned in.
The podcast has even carved out a significant following in an unexpected market.
"For some reason, the Rural Woman Podcast is really popular in Zimbabwe. And I do not know anyone in Zimbabwe,” she said.
The Rural Woman Podcast recently released its 100th episode and has featured women from around the world with ties to the agricultural industry.
For Duban, being able to share stories and hear from hundreds of resilient, hard working women has been a rewarding experience.
"I had the privilege of interviewing a woman [Mickey Willenbring] who is a rancher In Oregon. She's a first-generation rancher and a wounded U.S. Army combat veteran," she said.
"She faces physical challenges each and every day, but she runs and operates a full ranch. I am just absolutely in awe of her."
Each episode takes about five hours to piece together and Duban releases new episodes every Friday.
Between working on the farm with her husband and staying on top of the podcast, Duban has had a jam-packed schedule for the past two years.
"There's a lot of work to do and there are a lot of early mornings before jumping on that tractor to get the podcast up each and every week, but when it launches, and I get to feel that comradery of women in agriculture, its absolutely worth it," she said.
With a steadily growing base of listeners, Duban doesn't plan on slowing down any time soon.
The Rural Woman Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and CastBox.