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Women's Work

Join Ashley Ahearn as she visits working ranches across the West to meet the women who are reimagining the way we raise meat. There are a lot of problems with the industrial meat system in this country. Ahearn saddles up, microphone in hand, to bring us a series of sound-rich portraits of women ranchers – their big dreams and daily challenges – as they work to change the ways we manage land and livestock in the West.

Projects like these are made possible by Boise State Public Radio members. Give now to support future podcasts.

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  • Hey Women's Work listeners, Ashley here with a podcast recommendation for you – it's my newest series, Mustang, and it explores the complicated world of wild horses. Here's a sneak preview.
  • The meat supply chain in this country is broken. Four big companies control more than 80% of the meat packing industry. In the final episode of Women’s Work we’ll meet a rancher entrepreneur who is reimagining our meat system – and building an alternative.
  • As more land in rural communities across the West gets gobbled up for housing and development, meet a rancher who’s working to protect open space for agriculture … and she’s teamed up with a surprising ally.
  • Beth Robinette is trying to be a “less shitty white person.” For her, that’s meant learning about the history of her family’s ranch in eastern Washington and the people from whom the land was taken. It’s also meant exploring the LandBack movement and building a relationship with the next generation of Native American youth in her area.
  • When wolves cost the Elzingas thousands of dollars in lost cattle, the family changed everything about how they ranch. Mount up and head into the Idaho backcountry with them to find out how they’re keeping the wolves at bay and improving the health of their land in the process.
  • Kelsey Scott’s ancestors had no problem feeding themselves before white settlers arrived on the great plains. Now, she’s restoring food sovereignty to her people – the Cheyenne River Sioux – by raising grass fed beef on the reservation and selling primarily to tribal members. Kelsey believes that tribal sovereignty starts with food sovereignty.
  • Rachel Beaubien says she doesn’t know much about birds but she loves the fact that every year, thousands of them land in her irrigated hay fields to rest and refuel on their long migrations. Ranchers in her part of eastern Oregon may be providing some of the last best wetland habitat for birds, but can that continue as the west dries up and tensions rise?A transcript of this episode is available.
  • Waking up in the middle of the night and missing German class are part of the job when you’re a 14 year old sheep rancher. Meet Maloi Lannan of Red Clover Lambs in Montana and find out what the next generation of regenerative ranchers is doing to change ranching in the West.A transcript of this episode is available.
  • Hey, I’m Ashley. I used to be a vegetarian. Then I moved rural, started meeting ranchers and herding cows on horseback - and wondering: could we raise beef better? That question launched me on a journey, across the west. Turns out, women are leading the charge in the regenerative ranching movement. Come meet them.Projects like these are made possible by Boise State Public Radio members. Give now to support future podcasts.
  • If you liked the deep look in Women's Work at the way women are reimagining how we raise meat in this country, we've got something else you might like: the new season of The Modern West, a podcast from Wyoming Public Media hosted by Melodie Edwards. We've got an episode to share about three women who are taking a more humane approach to running their Wyoming feedlot.