“Real Steaks” Podcast

Episode 1 – Emma Schmit

RCC Fellow Emma Chervek talks with Emma Schmit, Iowa-based organizer for the Food and Water Watch, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes regular people to build political power and to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water and climate problems of our time.


Episode 2 – Rep. Timi Brown-Powers

In this episode, we learn about the story of a Tyson meatpacking plant in Waterloo, Iowa during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Representative Timi Brown-Powers recounts her experience advocating for the meatpacking workers in her community, the struggles she faced, and the best steps for moving forward.


Episode 3 – Dr. Kristy Nabhan-Warren

In this episode, Dr. Kristy Nabhan-Warren, anthropologist and professor at the University of Iowa, takes us on a deeper dive into Iowa’s meatpacking industry, an area she’s studied for the past eight years. Her upcoming book on the subject, titledĀ Meatpacking America: How Migration, Work, and Faith Unite and Divide the Heartland, is set to be released in the Fall of 2021.


Episode 4 – Suzan Erem

Although the big ag giant seems to loom over the Midwest, pockets of regenerative and sustainable farms offer solutions to the harmful aspects of this industry. Suzan Erem, executive director of SILT (Sustainable Iowa Land Trust), talks with us in this episode about how her organization strives to put Iowa’s land into the hands of those who will farm it sustainably, preserving it for generations to come.


Episode 5 – Meredith Nunnikhoven

In the final episode, I talk to Meredith Nunnikhoven from Barnswallow Flowers in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Barnswallow is a regenerative flower and produce farm that puts thought into every aspect of their operations, and they are a shining example of successful sustainable agriculture.