Airing on the Side of Agriculture

NAFB Journalists and Friends Tour To China

A group of NAFB broadcasters, management and affiliated industry will be leaving for China on June 21 and returning on July 4. Leader of the tour will be John Block, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture who will be accompanied by his wife.  Tom CassidyNAFB President, and Tom BrandNAFB Executive Director, will handle logistics along the way.  Currently, 10 NAFB broadcasters are working to gain visas for reporting in China.   

Pennsylvania Icy Winter Causes Dairy Barn Fire

Dave Williams (Pennsylvania Farm Country Radio Network, Honesdale, PA) reports, “Winter brought record low temperatures along with high winds exceeding 60 miles per hour and heavy wet snowfalls. All this added together toppled many trees making for large power outages throughout the northeast as well as the state.” Pennsylvania implemented a state of emergency throughout Dave’s area. “In our area there was a dairy barn fire that started from thawing frozen water pipes for their cattle, and around 100 milk cows perished in the fire which was devastating for the family.” But in January at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, Dave’s county received good news in the form of a new certified FFA chapter for the first time in more than 40 years.

Cold New York Winter Makes Good Maple Syrup

To watch the weather on a national news outlet, one would think that the Northeast suffered a terrible winter. But Tom Cassidy (Ag Radio Network, Inc., Barneveld, NY), who has lived in the Northeast for nearly 50 years, thinks that it was as typical as could be. Big snows early, an early thaw that left communities under water, a bitter cold snap, a few big snows and an unusually long, drawn out maple season has characterized the winter of 2018 for Tom.

His Love For Radio Began in Sixth Grade

“When I was in sixth grade, I told a friend that I wanted to someday be on the radio,” said Mike Adams (Adams on Agriculture).  “Of course, back then my concept of radio was music and ball games.  I didn’t even know there were farm broadcasters on the radio.  Also, I didn’t know that working on a farm would be the best education and career preparation I could get.”

Martin Fills Dual Role as Program Director and Farm Director

Greg Martin (WJBC, Bloomington, IL) said, “It has been an interesting road that has led me from Kansas to Illinois back to Kansas to Washington State and finally back to Illinois. Such is the life of a radio personality.”  He explained, “In a way it’s a full circle for me since my first program director job was in Bloomington, IL, some 32 years ago for WIHN 96FM.

Hoffmann Joins Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network

On March 28, Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network announced an addition to its team of farm broadcasters.  Dustin Hoffmann will serve as the network’s Broadcast Services Supervisor and Farm Broadcaster starting on April 2. Dustin comes to the network from Redwood Falls, MN, where he served as Farm Director for KLGR.

Max Armstrong Named Honorary Master Farmer

For the first time in eight years, Prairie Farmer has named an Honorary Master Farmer.  They chose Max Armstrong (WGN, Chicago, IL, and Penton Agriculture, Aurora, IL). 

Southern California Thomas Fire Hurt Agriculture

The Thomas Fire that burned through Ventura County last December became the largest fire in California’s history, and it led to some major agricultural losses, reports Patrick Cavanaugh (California Ag Today, Clovis, CA). “There were 6,603 acres of avocados, 1,800 acres of lemons, and another 540 acres of oranges, as well as another dozen crops that were affected,” said Henry Gonzales, the Agricultural Commissioner of Ventura County.

New Voice for Wisconsin Agriculture

Mid-West Family Broadcasting has gained a new voice for Wisconsin agriculture. Jenna Lee Crayton is the Assistant Farm Director for the Wisconsin Farm Report Radio Network. Jenna Lee works alongside the “Fabulous Farm Babe,” Pam Jahnke, to keep the public informed on Wisconsin agriculture from field to fork. Jahnke said, “I’m excited to have Jenna as our assistant. Her passion for Wisconsin agriculture is obvious, and I’m looking forward for our audience to connect with her as they hear her every day.”

You Really Sound Like Your Dad

If Colter Brown (Northern Ag Network, Billings, MT) had a dollar for every time he’s heard that, he said, “I wouldn’t have to work at all.” Even though he’s been around farm broadcasting his whole life, if you would have asked him five years ago if he was going to be on the Northern Ag Network, his answer would’ve been, “Not a chance.” He explained, “I think my dad would tell you that he never intended on being in farm broadcasting for his entire career. Dad always planned on going back to the ranch, but the farm economy, life and the Lord intervened. 

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