Range Club radio, UW student radio show talks agriculture
Laramie – Tate Smith and Tucker Hamilton are two UW ag students whose voices can be heard on a new ASUW Student Radio show, known as Range Club Radio.
The duo will discuss a number of ag-related topics, conduct on-air interviews and provide news and weather, in addition to playing music, during their two-hour live broadcast every Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m.
This Jan. 25 will mark their first regularly scheduled show, after an initial trial run the previous week.
“This idea has been in the works for about four years now. There have been a number of people who are now UW alumni who really wanted to start an ag-based radio show, but found it impossible to do on a regular radio station,” explains Smith.
“I first heard about the idea last semester during a Range Club meeting, and thought it sounded like an awesome idea. When they asked for volunteers for the committee, I signed up,” adds Hamilton.
At the beginning of this semester, Smith and Hamilton approached the Associated Students of the University of Wyoming (ASUW) about hosting a show on the ASUW Student Radio Station, which is streamed live on the Internet 24 hours a day.
“It was a really simple process. We went through some technical training and learned how to use all the equipment, and we had to sign a few legal papers, work out a time slot, and we were up and running,” notes Smith. “They seemed really excited to add us to the station – most of the students who host shows are more modern and techno-oriented, and they’re almost all music-based shows, whereas we are taking a more talk show approach.”
Smith and Hamilton plan to use their fields of study, and ag backgrounds, as a basis for the topics covered on the show.
“I’m a range major, and Tucker is an animal science and ag business major, so we are able to represent a number of the different areas of study within the College of Ag,” notes Smith.
“It works out really well, because we can explain things we’ve learned to each other, and hopefully our listeners will also find the information interesting, or a nice refresher if it’s within their area of study,” adds Hamilton.
One key aspect of each show will be two topics of discussion. Both Smith and Hamilton will bring a topic of interest, or from one of their fields of study, and discuss it on the air.
“For example, next week we will discuss the issue of multiple use on public lands, and more specifically will talk about Salazar’s new order to the BLM on appropriating wild lands areas,” says Smith of his chosen topic.
“We will also cover gun law restrictions, and the implications of the recent Tucson incident on gun laws,” notes Hamilton, adding that each week’s topics are also posted on the show’s Facebook page to encourage additional discussion.
“We have 50 people who like our Facebook page, and want more. We would like them to be involved in the discussion topics. We don’t plan to mention their names on the air, but we would like to have the additional opinions and comments to draw from during discussions,” explains Smith.
“We will also cover local, state, national and some international news, and provide updates on the future markets and weather,” says Hamilton of what information will be presented during the weekly airing.
Smith adds that general information will be given on a “plant of day” each week, and that both he and Hamilton will cover “what we learned today,” and highlight something from the last week of class. An international country profile, with a focus on agriculture within the country, is also slated for each broadcast.
A number of interviews are also in the works, both with undergraduate and graduate students in any major, and with industry specialists.
“Tate and I share a pretty similar viewpoint, and if we can bring in people who have a different perspective, it would really help our discussions. We’re hoping to have students in all majors listen, participate in our Facebook discussions or be in our on-air interviews. I would also like to reach agriculture producers and keep them up to date on what students are learning in college today. That’s on of the main reasons behind the ‘what we learned today,’ segment,” says Hamilton.
“One of my big goals with this is to get listeners from outside the academia world. There seems to be a huge disconnect between the people who are learning this stuff, and the people who are actually doing it. Maybe this can be a place where the two can meet and toss around ideas,” adds Smith.
Both say another goal is to increase their listeners every show. “We have a counter that shows the number of computers tuned in, and our goal right now is to reach 50 listeners,” comments Smith.
The other aspect of the show is music, and both Smith and Hamilton have been involved in selecting music for an extensive playlist.
“We aren’t playing a lot of mainstream music. The playlist is composed of many artists we don’t hear on the radio, but who we all like. We have Irish rock and folk music, bluegrass, classic rock, classic country and some red dirt artists lined up. We’re always looking for new music, too, and want our listeners to tell us about songs or artists they would like to hear during the show,” says Smith.
“We’re also interested in people who write and record their own music. If you have something you’ve made, just send us a CD and a copyright release and we’ll play it,” adds Hamilton. He says local poets and writers will also be featured on the show if they submit their work.
“It would awesome to reach people outside the ag spectrum, both within the college and around the state. Agriculture is so important in this day’s world, and with the world’s growing population, people really need to take into consideration where their food and fiber comes from,” says Smith.
“One cool thing is this radio station is on the Internet, so we can reach people all over the world, potentially. It’s a great opportunity, and we’re excited about it,” adds Hamilton.