Inside the Source: Radio Show and Podcasts Connect the Public to Kentucky Forestry

September 11, 2019 

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Radio Show and Podcasts Connect the Public to Kentucky Forestry
By Andrea Watts

From the Woods Kentucky debuted on the University of Kentucky’s (UK) student-run radio station, WRFL 88.1 FM, in August 2018. Since then, the hour-long segment, which is devoted to all things forestry and forestry related, has garnered a devoted audience. At a recent forest-management course for woodland owners, a landowner approached Reneé Williams, one of the cohosts. “He said he recognized my voice, but I couldn’t think of where I could have met him,” Williams said. “Once I said my name, he said, ‘Oh, you do those podcasts.’ It turned out he downloads the podcasts and listens to them when he’s traveling.”

Williams, an Extension program specialist with the UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, and Dr. Laura Lhotka, academic coordinator and adjunct instructor with the department—and SAF member—are responsible for producing From the Woods Kentucky. Although they cohost the show, they credit SAF student member Maya Collins-Paterson, an undergraduate in the department, for the show’s inspiration.

Collins-Paterson approached Jeff Stringer, CF, chair of the department and SAF Fellow, about a radio show devoted to forestry. Stringer went to Williams to see if such a project could be pulled off. “I thought it was a great idea to get forestry topics out there,” Williams recalled saying. She recruited Lhotka to share cohosting duties, and after taking the required broadcaster training through WRFL, they were ready to produce a show. Thus far, they have done 39 episodes, and Season 2 is scheduled to begin shortly.

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