National Public Radio in Van Wert

July 8, 2008 at 1:00 pm

On Monday, July 7, 2008, I had the pleasure of participating in an interview between National Public Radio (NPR) and Agracola Farms. This was a great experience!

Andrea Hsu, producer of NPR’s All Things Considered, contacted Ohio State University’s Corn Specialist, Dr. Peter Thomison, in late June asking for some information on popcorn. Dr. Thomison deferred Ms. Hsu to me, primarily because the area I am based (Van Wert County) is the largest popcorn producing area in the state of Ohio, and one of the largest popcorn producing areas in the U.S.

Robert Siegel, senior host of All Things Considered, spent nearly two hours interviewing Charles and Dale Profit. Charles, Dale and Dale’s son Trent co-manage Agracola Farms, Inc. The Profit’s are one of the most progressive, innovative and respected farm families in Ohio, let alone Van Wert County. Charles and Dale have been successfully growing popcorn for two decades, and know a thing or two about the popcorn industry. The interview focused primarily on the economics of raising popcorn from the farmer point of view, and the subsequent effect of the economy on the agriculture industry.

Following the interview with the Profits, Mr. Siegel and Ms. Hsu interviewed the local movie theater owner about popcorn in the movie theater business. On Tuesday, Siegel and Hsu wrapped up their popcorn trip with a tour of Weaver Popcorn in Van Buren, Indiana. Weaver Popcorn is one of two large popcorn contracting companies in Van Wert County (ConAgra being the other) and is known for the Pop Weaver brand of popcorn.

NPR Interview

From l to r: Robert Siegel, Andrea Hsu, Dale Profit (back to camera), and Charles Profit

Dale Profit being interviewed by Robert Siegel with Andrea Hsu producing

Dale Profit (center) being interviewed by Robert Siegel with production by Andrea Hsu. The interview is taking place in a field of Weaver popcorn.

Post interview discussion

The group enjoys some post-interview conversation. Mr. Siegel discussed what it was like to be in Chengdu, China when the earthquake hit in May, 2008.

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