Airing on the Side of Agriculture

Ag Media Degree Led to NAFB President's Career

Lorrie Boyer (KSIR, Fort Morgan, Colorado) started her career in ag media right out of college in 1996 with a degree in technical journalism, specializing in agriculture. She started as a writer for the Ag Journal in La Junta, Colorado. In the meantime, her mom had told her several times that she needed to be in radio. One day, as Lorrie was listening to a local radio station in Lamar, Colorado, she heard an ad saying they were looking for an on-air assistant. After seven months of commuting from McClave to La Junta, and after working very late into the night, she decided to apply

Clevan Had No Plans For Radio Career

“To be honest, my plan in life after high school was never to be in radio; I hated talking in front of people, but here we are,” said new NAFB member Travis Cleven (WTAQ/DEZ, Green Bay, Wisconsin). Travis grew up in Morrison, Wisconsin, where there are 200 people. “In our town we have a church, an herb shop, a funeral home, a bar, a gas station, and an RV salesman. All of the essentials,” he said. “I was born and raised on my parents’ custom calf raising business, Quiet Crest Farm.

Vaagen Started as Country DJ

“I started my radio career in the heart of wheat country, but not in agriculture news,” said Glenn Vaagen (Washington Ag Network, Pasco, Washington).  “I got my first radio job in at a country station in Colfax, Washington, not too far from both Washington State University and the University of Idaho. At first, I planned to be the next big country DJ; but soon after starting, I was bitten by the news bug. It was in Colfax that I helped launch my first news product: a three-hour morning news program on KMAX-AM. 

Root Creates New Weekend Show

Ken Root (Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network, Dyersville, Iowa) has started a new weekend radio show.  He says it is a half hour that is a little lighter than weekday fare and has some humor and some inspiration. On the week that Judge Brett Kavanaugh was being grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ken's song of the week was I Like Beer by Tom T. Hall.

Retired Ag Journalist Jerry Lackey Continues to Write

I retired from the San Angelo Standard-Times and Abilene Reporter-News as agriculture editor emeritus in June 2018 and from Voice of Southwest Agriculture Radio Network in 2010.” On his 76th birthday in August, Jerry Lackey (Emeritus NAFB Member, San Angelo, Texas) agreed to “help out” at Livestock Weekly, a national newspaper known as the Wall Street Journal of the ranching industry. He is still there, working as “acting editor,” following several retirements.

Gill Earns Communicator Award

“It has been an exciting ending to 2018 for the KASM Farm Department (Albany, Minnesota),” reports Joe Gill. In November, Joe received the Agriculture Communicator of the Year Award by the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation. According to the Minnesota Farm Bureau website, this award is presented because an important mission of Farm Bureau is to inform the public about its policy positions and to tell agriculture’s story.

Colleen Callahan Named Co-Chair of Illinois Ag Committee

Illinois Governor-Elect J.B. Pritzker and Lieutenant Governor-Elect Juliana Stratton announced the formation and members of the transition’s Growing Our Agricultural Economy Committee. The committee is the fifth of several working groups of the Illinois transition made up of subject-matter experts who will advise and guide the incoming Pritzker-Stratton administration. The Growing Our Agricultural Economy Committee will be chaired by former USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Callahan and Former State Senator John Sullivan, and consist of 22 members. “Agriculture accounts for one in 17 jobs in Illinois, and J.B. and I are committed to supporting farmers across our state,” said Lieutenant Governor-Elect Stratton. “This committee will focus on policies that help our agriculture and rural communities thrive — from investing in farm to market infrastructure and expanding access to capital for family farmers to defending agricultural education and growing rural areas in downstate Illinois.” 

Hall of Famer Don Wick Wins Minnesota Ag Communicator Award

Besides his recent induction into the 2018 NAFB Hall of Fame, Don Wick (Red River Farm Network, Grand Forks, ND) also received the Minnesota Farmers Union Ag Communicator of the Year Award.  Both awards were presented at the NAFB 2018 Convention

Hall of Famer Mike Adams Reflects on His Career

In December of 2017 after 43 years of being on the radio, I suddenly found myself wondering whether my broadcast career was over,” said Mike Adams (Adams on Agriculture, Jacksonville, IL). Among the many emails and phone calls Mike received, there was one in particular that caught him by surprise. “Lance Knudson with the American Ag Network called to see what my plans were for the future. I told him I really wasn't sure, and we agreed to talk again after the holidays. Little did I know that phone call was the door opening to the next stage of my career. When we talked again in January, Lance explained he wanted to start a syndicated radio show based on news content and using the contacts and experiences I had gained over the years. It seemed too good to be true. A few days later I talked again with Lance and Mark Swendsen about different ideas and possibilities. The more we talked the more interested I became, and we soon reached an agreement.”

College Radio Job Led to Larson's Career

Bob Larson (Ag Information Network of the West, Walla Walla, WA) found his niche working for the student-run college radio station, KBVR 88.7 FM, as a news reporter and eventually news director.  Back in the ‘80s, he graduated from Oregon State University (OSU) with a degree in technical journalism. During his time at OSU, he also wrote for the school paper, The Daily Barometer. “After graduation, I moved to Seattle looking for a career in media or public relations, working for a few different organizations, but I eventually found my way back to radio with a job at KOMO in 1995. I started as a talk show board-op and producer, but I found myself back on the news side when the station went from a talk format to a 24-7 news source a couple of years later. In 2006, as things seemed to happen in radio, there was some reorganization at KOMO, and I found myself lured to News-Talk 710 KIRO. About a year later, the iconic KIRO AM station moved to the FM side at 97.3. Over the years in radio news, I’ve enjoyed assignments as a general news reporter, anchor, and editor.”