Better Than Nuthin

Ken Root is at it again! He is unpredictable and biased against both sides. He interviews fascinating people and tells some pretty good stories. BTN is drawn from Ken’s early life on an Oklahoma farm, his fifty years in broadcasting and enchanting people he’s met and kept as friends.

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Friday Jan 27, 2023

Major car companies have announced that they will not put AM radios in their electric Vehicles (EV's).  The stated reason is electrical interference. 
My guests beg to differ.  Brian Winnikens is owner of WRDN in Durand, Wisconsin and Gene Millard was manager of KFEQ in St Joseph, Missouri.  Both stations are AM.  Their arguments are about past value and future threat.  Millard is somewhat resigned to his fate, Winnikens is not.  He gives a call to action to keep AM and FM radio FREE!

Thursday Dec 22, 2022

Last summer, I traveled to Great Bend, Kansas and spent three days reporting on Industrial Hemp.  You can find in 2 podcast from mid year.  The Baldwin family has been growing the crop since 2017 and holding this conference each year to explain how they support growers who want to sign a contract with them to deliver the crop the following fall.
Melissa Nelson-Baldwin remains their spokesperson and a leader in the agronomics of this new, old, crop.  She talks of getting rid of the "marijuana" stigma as they focus strictly on showing growers how they can grow and profit from Industrial Hemp.  
We discuss the issues facing hemp farming.  We talk of the future and the areas to be addressed at the conference.
Kan-Equip Conference Facility (IH dealership)
10 am until 2 pm
January 14, 2023
Southbend Industrial Hemp dot com

Thursday Dec 15, 2022

Dan plays two songs and talks about his determination to write country music. He brings a lot of guitar skill to the table and a family history that is rock solid.
We swap stories but they all tie together.
He has written a song called: "Sara Gets A Second Chance"  It is about waiting for an organ transplant.  Very moving.  It just takes one miracle.
To download the song:

Thursday Dec 08, 2022

In 1981, Mike Smith founded a private weather forecasting service that soon became computer based in its single location forecast distribution.  He enjoyed strong popularity as a television meteorologist beginning in the 1970's at Channel 4 in Oklahoma City, then Wichita, Kansas, St. Louis and back to Wichita where he started Weatherdata.  
Smith testified, as an expert witness, in a trial following the crash of United Flight 191 at DFW Airport in the 1980's.  The plane flew through a small thunderstorm that produced a strong downburst and pushed the airplane into the ground.  His accounting of the events explaining what happened, and who was at fault, is vivid. 
He also wrote a book on weather warnings and the science of meteorology as it developed during his career.  An excellent read but even better when this animated and excited man tells you what still gets him going every day.  Smith pays tribute to Dr Ted Fujita, calling him the smartest meteorological scientist ever born and crediting Fujita with developing the science of forensic meteorology.
I spoke with Mike Smith in an earlier podcast, with this one focusing on the bureaucratic battles within government agencies and between private sector meteorologists and public sector employees.

Monday Nov 28, 2022

The Saturday Morning Farmers Market in downtown Des Moines, Iowa is unbelievable.  Twenty Five Thousand People stroll through the blocks and blocks of vendors who are selling everything from fresh produce to baked goods to breakfast burritos, to art and specialties.  Musicians are on every corner and the atmosphere is stimulating and soothing all at once.
Kelly Foss was the Executive Director of the market for twenty years.  She and I became friends near the beginning of her tenure and she tells me the progress that has been made over the two decades since.  We also speak of some of the unforgettable people who were at the market each week.
Ranked in the top ten farmers markets in the nation.  

Friday Nov 18, 2022

Dennis Schneider and his son were unloading a bin that had clumps of corn that would only come out if someone went in with a shovel and broke the crust.  
Dennis had a "master plan" to use his cell phone to call son if he got in trouble.  His son was in control of the large auger outside.  When Dennis slid down into the corn, he couldn't call before he was trapped to his neck.
His rescue took anxious hours as he struggled to breathe.   Schneider tells his story because he says God told him to do so.  
Ben Nuelle interviewed Schneider in 2015 but the risk of grain entrapment continues today.

Thursday Nov 10, 2022

This story is current and unabashedly Pro Life. It comes from my encounter with a lady from Iowa City who spoke to a men's religious organization about the need to fund a clinic for "Abortion Minded" women.  
Rachel Owen is fearless and remains determined to offer choices to women in crisis.
She highlights the impact of changes in laws and medicine that are reducing the opportunities to develop a relationship with women who have an unplanned pregnancy.  

Friday Nov 04, 2022

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Johanns, led a small delegation to Baghdad in 2006.  It was during the very stormy period following the ouster of the Saddam Hussein Regime.
I was the only reporter in the delegation as we flew from Washington, D.C, to Turkey and then boarded a C-17 cargo plane for Baghdad.  The visit was only one day but it was memorable with three attacks on the U.S.  Embassy where we were implementing an agreement to bring in agriculturalists to rebuild Iraqi irrigation canals and farms.
Terri Moore was Director of Communications for USDA.  She organized the trip and was part of the delegation. Moore now serves as Vice President of Communications for the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, D.C.

Louisiana Man-Dr Michael Strain

Thursday Oct 20, 2022

Thursday Oct 20, 2022

He has been the Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture since 2008, a veterinarian since the late 1970's and a smart, articulate bundle of energy.
We talk about crops in his home state.  Learn more about sugar than you want to know.  We discuss the challenges for farmers.  He's on it.
There is talk that Dr Strain might be a future U.S. Secretary of Agriculture or seek elected office above his current pay grade.  He is a delightful conversationalist and well versed in all things agricultural.  
I have a sponsor for the show.  Concept Hearing.  They are an Iowa business that has helped me for the past seventeen years.  I hope you will listen to their message as it is a fact that untreated hearing loss can lead to several other mental and physical challenges.  Get a hearing screening to be sure of your abilities.  Most men who grew up on a farm or worked in industry have an occupational hearing loss.  A fact of life in the industrial age.  Treat it like a diminishing ability to see.  But be aware that hearing loss cannot be cured by putting on hearing aids.  You have to wear them  and work at rediscovering the frequencies you've lost.  
I devoted an episode of BTN to hearing loss.  "Hearing is a Gift"  It is worth a listen to understand the challenges of hearing loss.  

Monday Oct 17, 2022

Mike Smith was doing prime time weather on WKY-TV in Oklahoma City when he was a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma.  His skill was obvious but his plans for the future were even greater.   Smith founded WeatherData, a company that predicted severe weather for corporate America.  He has stopped trains to let a tornado pass. He has told manufacturers whether they should keep working or take shelter.  
Smith's fifty year career has seen the greatest advancement in weather predicting technology in history.  He cites the most significant changes in forecasting to save lives.  
He has recently published a book: "Warnings" that eloquently deciphers the events of his career. From the Union City tornado of 1973 to the weather related crash of a jumbo jet approaching Dallas Fort Worth airport to the high power computer modeling technology of today.  
He's now involved in designing storm shelters and subscriber services to notify you of an approaching storm.  

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