Airing on the Side of Agriculture

From California to The Midwest

Sabrina Hill (AgNet West Radio Network, Sanger, CA) traveled to the Midwest for two weeks to experience June Dairy Month in Wisconsin and follow up on dairy stories in South Dakota. There she sat down with the governor for an in-depth interview and also talked with several other agriculture leaders. She toured parts of Minnesota and North Dakota and learned more about agriculture in those states. During her two-week tour, she also represented California agriculture and was featured on radio stations in Wisconsin and South Dakota, where she talked about the struggles California producers are having with the drought. “I’ve worked in news for a long time, but I’ve never found the camaraderie among colleagues like there is within farm broadcasting. A few weeks ago, I traveled from California to the upper Midwest to follow several dairy stories and share the story of California agriculture. 

AgNet West Intern Allison Rosa

AgNet West Radio Network in California is one of the recipients of an NAFB Foundation internship grant. College senior Allison Rosa is joining the team for the 2015 fall semester. Rosa grew up on a small, but popular, dairy farm in Hanford, CA, and is attending Fresno Pacific University and majoring in communications. “Agriculture has been a huge part of my life, not only through my family but also with my participation in FFA, 4-H, and serving as a Kings County Dairy Princess through the California Milk Advisory Board,” she said. “Along with my passion for the agricultural industry, I have an appreciation for news and media. After graduation, I plan on starting a career within the agricultural industry focusing on either radio or print media.” 

RRFN Reports From France

While many were preparing for a long holiday July 4th weekend, Red River Farm Network farm broadcaster Mike Hergert (Grand Forks, ND) spent the last week of June in central France on a Limagrain press trip. Founded in 1965, and managed by more than 2,000 French farmers, Limagrain Coop is the leading French seed manufacturer and the fourth-largest seed company worldwide. It is vertically integrated, from wheat and corn breeding, crop production, to milling and baking. A 26-member media delegation from nine countries participated in an exclusive Limagrain tour with Mike being the only U.S. journalist on the trip. 

On The Move

After 17 years in radio, farm broadcaster Jody Heemstra is changing careers, returning to her home state to become Public Affairs Manager for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) headed by Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch. Jody worked in radio in South Dakota for more than 15 years, before joining the Red River Farm Network (Grand Forks, ND) in August 2013. "I've had the chance to work with several great broadcasters and journalists during my radio career. 

KICD Summer Intern

Katie Johnson, this year’s summer intern at KICD Radio in northwest Iowa, took the station by storm, reports Dan Skelton. The Iowa State University senior enthusiastically responded to a wide variety of projects and work assignments. “Specifically, Katie learned to quote market information live, on-air, in an exact two-minute time frame. She also learned to write anf edit local and farm news for broadcast within time limitations. Katie conducted interviews in various formats. She learned to quiz traders on why markets were trading the way they were. She conducted long-form interviews on a variety of topics. Perhaps her favorite activity was interviewing 4-H youth at more than eight county fairs. 

Destructive Feral Hogs In Louisiana

Don Molino (Louisiana Farm Bureau Agri-News Radio Network, Baton Rouge, LA) reports feral hogs have caused at least $30 million in damages to crops on Louisiana farms just in the past two years, according to a study by the Louisiana State University AgCenter. Shaun Tanger, LSU AgCenter economist, has been gathering data for more than a year from Louisiana farmers about hog activity and damage, which ranges from rooting up and eating crops to damaging farm equipment. Don adds, “Feral hogs can also spread fatal diseases to wildlife and livestock.” 

Orion's Birthplace is Site for Dairy Event

Little Ridge Dairy near Ontario, WI, hosted the 35th Vernon County June Dairy Month Breakfast on the Eirik and Cheryl Eness family farm on Saturday, June 20. The Vernon County, Wisconsin, Dairy Promotion Committee asked the Eness family to host this year's breakfast on what was, until 1963, the Samuelson dairy farm. Orion Samuelson (WGN Radio, Chicago, IL) was invited to attend and speak to the guests. Despite a light rain for the first two hours, 2,500 people showed up to see a modern dairy farm operation and enjoy a good farm breakfast, including ice cream. Orion said he was no stranger to inclement weather since there was a blizzard the day he was born that left 14 inches of snow on the ground. The doctor never made it to the farm in time for his birth and his aunt saved the day serving as a midwife. 

Rural Town Hall to Host Presidential Candidates on RFD-TV

Issues important to rural Americans, farmers, ranchers, and senior citizens will be the sole focus in a new series of live, one-hour, primetime programs featuring presidential candidates leading up to the caucus in Iowa, and New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries. In announcing this coverage on June 17, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, Patrick Gottsch, Founder and President of Rural Media Group, said, “Rural America’s impact on national elections is undeniable. This is a tremendous opportunity for each candidate to address issues largely ignored by urban media, yet are so important to many of the citizens voting in these primaries.” He continued, "From day one, Rural Media Group's goal has been to reconnect city with country.

KRVN Summer Intern

SUMMER INTERN AT KRVN…Bryce Doeschot of Hickman, NE, joins the KRVN/Rural Radio Network team as the summer farm broadcast intern.  Doeschot is a junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) where he is pursuing a degree in agricultural and environmental sciences communications. On campus, Bryce is active in campus activities, serves as an executive officer of the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity and is president of the UNL Collegiate Farm Bureau. Growing up on a family farm has inspired him to pursue a career in agricultural communications.

Thirsty Land Film

Will there be enough water to survive? Thirsty Land is a new documentary that tells the story of the water crisis and drought in the Western U.S., its impact on agriculture, communities and the global food supply. “The story of drought needs to be told! Our global food supply and our very survival of humans depend on clean, abundant fresh water.  I want to make the audience think about it every time they take a drink of water, enjoy a shower or water their lawn,” says Conrad Weaver (Allied Industry Member, Conjostudios, LLC, Emmitsburg, MD), who is producer and director of the film. The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute (DWFI) at the University of Nebraska is partnering with Weaver in the production of Thirsty Land film. DWFI, along with the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, have provided startup sponsorship funds for the project to move ahead.