Airing on the Side of Agriculture

Baker Chose Broadcasting at an Early Age

Bill Baker (American Cattle News/Dairy Radio Now, Bend, OR) knew he wanted to be a radio broadcaster early in life. When he was 10 years old, he built a make-shift radio station in his bedroom and broadcast to an audience of one, his dog Moses. Later in high school, he heard about a classmate working a weekend shift at a real radio station. He tagged along and spent time recording his voice in the production room and leaving it for the boss to listen. “The station manager told me I didn’t have much of a voice, but I could read. That was enough encouragement for me,” he recalled. “I filled out my FCC license and was hired as a part-time board operator.”

Adkins Wears Many Hats for KMA

“It’s been an honor to work at KMA (Shenandoah, IA) all these years,” said Dean Adkins. “It is still a family-owned radio station that’s been going strong since 1925, serving southwest Iowa, southeast Nebraska, northwest Missouri, and northwest Kansas. I’ve had the opportunity to ‘wear many hats’ while working at KMA.” These days, Dean hosts a morning talk show and a buy-sell-trade program while also serving as Ag Services Director. “I also enjoy helping out in the sports department with some wrestling and football reporting.” As Ag Services Director, one of his main passions besides relaying basic market information and general ag news is to get out to the people in his listening area.

Her Dogs are More Than Her Best Friends

Many people consider their dogs as their best friends. But for some people like Lisa Adams, dogs are an athletic teammate, as well. Adams, who is an NAFB Allied Industry Member (Kansas City, MO), shows herding dogs on the competitive agility show circuit. Competitive canine agility is something Adams stumbled across five years ago when trying to find an exercise outlet for her white Australian cattle dog, Tess.

Young-Puyear Attends International Conference

Cyndi Young-Puyear (Brownfield Ag News, Jefferson City, MO) was among a group of seven U.S. journalists who made the trip to Monheim, Germany, for the Future of Farming Dialogue 2018 event with Bayer Crop ScienceFarmers, influencers, and journalists from more than 35 countries met in September 2018 for Bayer’s farming dialogue. “The much-anticipated merger of Monsanto into Bayer Crop Science began four weeks prior to this global thought leadership event, so there were many questions about the direction of the new company. During the opening session, Bayer leaders outlined the vision for the future and reaffirmed a commitment to innovation, sustainability and digital transformation,” Young-Puyear said. During an interview later in the day, she asked Bayer Crop Science President Liam Condon what has him “buzzed up.”

Granddaddy of Southeast AgNet Retires

Everett Griner,at 92 years young, is turning off his Southeast AgNet microphone to officially retire, reports Gary Cooper, right, (founder and president of AgNet Media, Inc., Gainesville, FL). Everett plans to spend more time with his wife at their farm home in Moultrie, GA. “There are so many things about Everett that I learned to appreciate and respect since he joined the Southeast AgNet farm broadcast team in the late 1980s.

Retired NAFB Broadcasters Are Active Seniors

Jim Ross Lightfoot (NAFB Emeritus Member, White Oak, TX) asks and answers his own question, “What do old farm broadcasters do when they’ve read their last market report and filed their last story? Reminisce!  Yes, we oldtimers do a lot of that.”  Jim says he was very fortunate to have started his career in farm broadcasting with an excellent broadcaster by the name of Jack Gowing. “Jack was a great mentor, and he taught me many things that I still use today. In those days the major livestock yards were operating in places like Omaha and Chicago. Between the American Royal Stock Show in Kansas City, Denver Stock Show, Chicago Stock Show and others, we had plenty to do

Big Iron Show is Key Focus for RRFN

The Red River Farm Network organizes a series of forums each year for the Big Iron Farm Show in West Fargo, ND. The topics addressed this year included the market outlook, land values, weather and farm succession planning.

NAFB Led Kim Miller to Nebraska

Kim Miller (KZEN, Columbus, NE) grew up in west-central Missouri and attended the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. After graduating college in 2015, she took a job at a local radio station. “My dream was to become an on-air personality. One thing led to another, and soon I found myself as the Farm Director at that station.” After being there for a few years, Kim and her husband were looking for better opportunities and thinking about leaving the small town where they both had grown up.

Using Vocal Talents When Not on the Air

What does a farm broadcaster do when not on the air or working on a story? Some have hobbies, travel, spend time on the farm or maybe they have another job. Dave Schumacher (KTRS, St. Louis, MO) is one who has the other job.  “In my days before radio some 40 years ago while working as a commission man at the National Stockyard, I was fascinated with the auctioneer selling the cattle.  I had to learn how to do that.”

From PR Pro to Historian

NAFB members who know Jerry Harrington (Honorary Member, Iowa City, IA) as the former marketing public relations professional from DuPont Pioneer have enjoyed his help in pulling from the rich source of agronomic and research experts in Pioneer to offer interviews to farm broadcasters. Since retiring from Pioneer in 2014, Harrington has turned to his first love and become a full-time historian – specializing in Iowa political history.