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June 19, 2014

Got Nature? Environment is focus of Purdue podcasts

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A new podcast series that began Thursday (June 19) connects Purdue University experts in nature and natural resources to a growing audience of people interested in the environment.

The "Got Nature?" podcasts offer science-based information on a wide range of issues, presented in an unscripted, conversational interview format. A podcast will be featured on the third Thursday of each month, with additional podcasts offered at other times as they are produced.

"Anyone with an interest in nature and our natural resources will find it useful," said Purdue Extension wildlife specialist Brian MacGowan. "Nature is all around us no matter where you live. The 'Got Nature?' podcasts will give folks access to leading experts who will provide listeners with practical information to better appreciate our natural resources."

In the first podcast, another Purdue Extension wildlife specialist, Rob Chapman, answers questions about food plots for wildlife. He discusses how food plots can fit within a comprehensive management approach to wildlife; steps landowners should follow when establishing food plots; which crops landowners can consider for white-tailed deer, rabbits, doves, wild turkey and other game species; tips on saving money; planting strategies and local resources.

 Plants that go into food plots can vary depending on the targeted species. A mixture of high-quality legumes such as clover (Alsike clover, Ladino clover, sweetclover), for example, serves as excellent forage for white-tailed deer, while a planted field of sunflowers is ideal for doves.

The first podcast is available on the Purdue Department of Agricultural Communication's website that contains links to various Purdue Agriculture news columns and podcasts. It is at https://ag.purdue.edu/agcomm/Pages/NewsColumns.aspx. The series also will be available at iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/got-nature/id887933456?mt=2.

MacGowan emphasized that the information offered in the podcast is objective and unbiased because it is based on scientific findings. 

"There is a lot of information about food plots available on the Internet," MaGowan noted. But he cautioned:  "Unfortunately, much of that information is not completely accurate or can even be wrong."  

With the national Extension system commemorating its 100th anniversary this year, July's featured podcast will explain the role Purdue Extension plays in helping people with natural resources issues. Another podcast will cover the major environmental issue of invasive species, including control and management of them and how Purdue researchers are working to find solutions. 

The podcasts are convenient because they can be downloaded and listened at any time.

"Podcasts in general are becoming more popular because people can learn about virtually anything while doing other activities such as walking, exercising or traveling," MacGowan said.

The podcasts complement the "Got Nature?" blog, started in 2012 as a way for the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources to get information to the public in a timely fashion.

"We recognized that more and more people are getting information in a variety of ways," MacGowan said. "The blog is one way that our specialists can quickly get out information about trees, fish, wildlife, invasive species and other natural resources issues."

The "Got Nature?" blog is available at http://www.purdue.edu/GotNature/.

Writer: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722, robins89@purdue.edu

Source: Brian MacGowan, 765-647-3538, macgowan@purdue.edu 

Note to online editors: The "Got Nature?" podcast is available at http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/agcomm/newscolumns/podcasts/GN/2014/May/GNMay23.mp3.

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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