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January 30, 2024

Common Ground: A Prairie Podcast

Common Ground: A Prairie Podcast

Common Ground: A Prairie Podcast is a grant-funded podcast dedicated to conversations with people working across a range of conservation efforts in North Dakota and the Great Plains.

Often considered “flyover country,” North Dakota is the least visited state in the nation. But thanks to a generous grant from the North Dakota Natural Resources Trust, Common Ground: A Prairie Podcast invites you to this rich and rugged landscape. Listen to the episodes to learn how farmers, ranchers, and conservation organizations are collaborating to grow food and protect soil, water, and wildlife habitats. Tune in to learn how artists and ecologists have collaborated to celebrate the beauty and diversity of the prairie grasslands. Listen to the stories of farmers, ranchers, and conservationists working together to restore the prairie and protect grassland birds and migratory waterfowl. And listen to experience the distinctive sounds of the prairie itself: the lilting melodies of the western meadowlark, the haunting howl of the coyote, the rush of wind through the grasslands, and the sonorous honk of geese.

Common Ground: A Prairie Podcast is hosted by Dr. Joshua Anderson, a former professor of American literature and creative writing, who returned to his hometown in rural North Dakota in the winter of 2023 to work for his local soil, water, and wildlife conservation district. Raised on stories told in dusty pickup cabs and gravel pits, wheatfields and wetlands, Josh shares his personal and family stories from the prairie and interviews a broad range of guests, including Pulitzer Prize winning journalists, award-winning artists, ornithologists and prairie ecologists, soil health experts, prairie restoration advocates, conservationists, and local farmers and ranchers.

The podcast also features stories and updates from the Walsh County Three Rivers Conservation Crew about their on-the-ground conservation efforts, including notes from business operations manager Brandon Mathiason, a former deputy sheriff and police sergeant turned conservationist. Together, Josh and Brandon plant trees, seed prairie grass, collect river water samples, and mentor a young crew of college and high school students from North Dakota. Season One features interviews with the following:

  • Audubon Great Plains
  • Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center
  • The Land Institute
  • North Dakota Meadowlark Initiative
  • North American Grouse Partnership
  • North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality
  • University of North Dakota Wildlife Lab
  • Grand Forks Herald
  • United Prairie Foundation
  • NDSU Extension
  • Artists from the Plains Art Museum
  • North Dakota Junior Duck Stamp Program
  • Local Farmers and Ranchers

To listen to the episodes, click on the link below or look it up on Spotify and YouTube using the search term "Common Ground: A Prairie Podcast."

Also read about the podcast in a recent article by the Grand Forks Hareld:


**Common Ground: A Prairie Podcast is funded in part by a small grant from the ND Natural Resources Trust

Conserve North Dakota and you benefit, too.