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Flyover Folk Podcast

Author: Matthew Hildreth

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Exploring the progressive arts, culture, and politics of America's rural communities.
24 Episodes
Politics today are vicious and nowhere is that more true than on social media. Four years into the Trump presidency and we've all experienced online bullying and online trolling in our own personal lives. Today's guest is Brent Turhune. Brent is comedian based out of Indianapolis, Indiana who has received widespread notoriety for his parody social media account of angry Trump supporter ranting at the camera in a pickup truck. We talk about rural stereotypes, comedy in the Midwest, and satire in the age of Donald Trump.
Today we're talking with Bryce Oates, a rural and agriculture policy writer for outlets like Daily Yonder, Civil Eats, HuffPost, and Outdoor Magazine. We talk about the history of family farm advocacy and how public policy impacts those working to put food on our tables.
On today's episode, we talk with Joe Troop of Che Apalache, a four-man string band based in Buenos Aires with members from Argentina, Mexico and the United States. We talk about bluegrass music, their recent Grammy nomination, and life during coronavirus social distancing. 
On today’s episode I’m chatting with Leah Hackleman-Good and Jim Kennedy of Buckeye State Rural Pac, a grassroots political action committee focused on promoting public policies that work for rural communities.
Benjamin McKean is a political theorist whose research concerns global justice, populism, and the relationship between theory and practice. His work has been published in the American Political Science Review, Political Theory, and the Journal of Politics. We talk about how today's right-wing populism is impacting rural and small town politics.
On this episode, we talk with Stephen Smith of WV Can't Wait. For the past six years, Stephen Smith fought for West Virginians as executive director of the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition. Now Stephen is taking his fight to the next level and running for Governor of West Virginia.
Today, we’re talking with JD Scholten. JD is a 5th generation Iowan who received national attention in 2018 for his surprise near-defeat of Congressman Steve King in Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District. We talk about King’s history with white nationalism, rural populism, and the role of small town voters in the Iowa upcoming Iowa caucus.
Tony Tost is a screen writer and producer now based in Los Angles. He is the Creator of DAMNATION, a TV series which originally aired on the USA Network and was recently released Netflix. The series explores the little known history of the midwest farmer and labor strikes during the 1930s and is loosely based farmer protest movement the took place the in the rural communities outside Sioux City, Iowa.
Dr. Hannah Walker is an assistant professor of Political Science and Criminal Justice at Rutgers University. She recently co-authored an expert report with Dr. Matt Barreto, Dr. Gabe Sanchez and Janelle Johnson which was submitted to the federal court in the case Brakebill at al. v Jaeger. The report demonstrates that North Dakota's new voter ID law makes it harder for some citizens—specifically Native American citizens—to exercise their right to vote.
Will Hoge is a Grammy nominated singer and songwriter born and raised in Tennessee. His latest album, My American Dream, takes on border police, political corruption, anti-intellectualism, poverty and the NRA. On this episode, we talk about the politics of Nashville and identity in the new South.
The millennial generation is quickly becoming the most "bright lights, big city" generation in history. More young people are leaving small towns for the city than ever before. Eric Powell Holm is an artist born and raised in Brookings, South Dakota now living in Brooklyn, New York who has found himself part of this new "Rural Diaspora." We talk about leaving our hometowns and rediscovering our rural roots. He even plays us a few of his "Queer Leftist Country Songs."
In this special episode of Flyover Folk, we're LIVE from the Smokey Row Coffee Shop in Oskaloosa, Iowa for the Des Moines Register's "Changing Iowa" public service series. The conversation, hosted by Lynn Hicks of the Des Moines Register, examines the sweeping demographic and workplace changes confronting Iowans, their communities, and the state’s economy. In this episode, we explore ways to create great communities for all generations.
For generations, political cartoonists have used their art and satire to editorialize on complex cultural and political issues. Today’s guest, Marty Two Bulls Sr, is an award-winning Oglala Lakota cartoonist who has spent the last few decades creating political cartoons for both native and non-native media outlets. We talk about his art and issues currently facing the native community—especially the Oglala Lakota Community on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. You can learn more about Marty Two Bulls Sr. and see some of the prints we discussed on today’s episode by visiting
The election of Donald Trump encouraged many people to run for local office. This didn't just happen in cities, but in small towns as well. Today's guest, Bryn Bird, is a local farmer in Licking County, Ohio. She's running for a township trustee position and it's her first time seeking public office. We talk about the challenges of running for office and how she navigates local politics.
Few political scientists understand the role of rural resentment in the election of Donald Trump better than Dr. Katherine Cramer. For over a decade, Dr. Cramer studied the impact of rural consciousness in the democratic process and recently published her findings in a book titled "The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker." We talk about how politicians leverage resentment in rural communities for their own political gain and how organizers can include rural voices in the conversation.
The Ruralists is a band from Sioux Center, Iowa who believes art and beauty can be found hidden in the back of any old garage in small town America. On this episode of Flyover Folk, Luke Hawley and Laremy De Vries of the Ruralists discuss creativity and music in the center of America's farm country.
Much of America’s economic and community development decisions are made in urban centers and this urban bias puts rural people at a real disadvantage. Today’s guest, Nicholas Garcia, is a rural social scientist at the Ohio State University who studies the accessibility of rural communities for people with disabilities. On today’s episode, we talk about the advantages and disadvantages of rurality on both micro and macro levels and how local leaders can turn their local challenges into opportunities for their community.
Iowa Congressman Steve King in many ways has become the face of rural American politics. He often attracts the national spotlight through his racist anti-immigrant rhetoric and rants against a multicultural America. King made national news again recently, this time for saying that “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” But ironically for King, Latino immigrants are the single biggest hope for rebuilding rural America — specifically his rural America. Populations in 31 of the 39 counties King represents have declined between 2010 and 2015.
Americans are living through the worst addiction epidemic in our nation’s history. Today, more Americans die each year from overdose than from car accidents and firearms with many of the worst casualties happening far from the media spotlight in rural communities and small towns in the Flyover States. Today’s guest is Dr. Kathleen Frydl. Dr. Frydl is a political historian and author of Drug Wars in America, 1940-1973, and The GI Bill. She is currently working on the history of Catholic hospitals in modern America.
Immigration and agricultural have been closely connected since the founding of America. In fact, we celebrate this special relationship every Thanksgiving. Today’s guest is Monica Reyes, co-Founder of DREAMer Iowa -- an organization advocating for Iowa’s undocumented population. Monica is a community leader and organizer who grew up without papers in a small northern Iowa town. We talk about organizing, politics, and how undocumented immigrants are shaping the future of rural communities.
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