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Pork Producers Unpack Proposition 12 And Shawn Vodenik Shares His Afghanistan Experience

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

At the start of 2022, the state of California will begin enforcing an animal welfare proposition that was approved overwhelmingly by voters there in 2018.

The proposition requires more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves, even if those animals are raised outside state lines. Under the new rules, California will lose almost all of its pork supply, much of which comes from Iowa. In the first half hour, three guests share their perspectives on the animal welfare debate.

Then U.S. Army veteran Shawn Vodenik of Bondurant talks about his work in Afghanistan as a military contractor. In Afghanistan, he trained coalition forces to operate the light tactical vehicles known as MRAPs, which are designed to withstand IED explosions. This interview was recorded last week before the city of Kabul was over run by Taliban forces.


  • Colin Johnson, swine specialist, Iowa State University Extension
  • Mike Paustian, hog farmer in Walcott and former president, Iowa Pork Producers Association
  • Chris Oliviero, general manager, Niman Ranch
  • Shawn Vodenik, U.S. Army veteran from Bondurant

Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa