Airing on the Side of Agriculture

From Commodity Analyst to Farm Broadcaster

Katie Miller joined American Ag Network (Fargo, ND) in May 2013 as farm broadcaster working with Rusty Halvorson. “I’ve worked in commodities markets and brokerage for several years. In fact, I still own a market advisory service. Through that, I’d done several radio interviews and market commentaries, especially for Terry Loomis (KQLX, Fargo, ND).” In fact, when she took her job with American Ag Network, she was working in the same building as Terry’s studio.

Growing Into Ag Director Role

Cody Glaser (KKOW, Pittsburg, KS) has been in radio for over six years and in that time, he’s done “a little bit of everything around the station jumping in and helping out wherever needed.” He explained, “I've been our production manager, traffic assistant, on-air personality, and now Ag Director.” In describing himself, he said, “I have a general love for broadcasting regardless of what the subject line may be…agriculture, news, music, or weather. I enjoy gathering and delivering the information that our listeners depend on.” He feels that nothing is more exciting than a listener calling to say, “Letting us know about that storm update really helped out,” or “Our farm depends on your market numbers every day. 

Linder Trio Together For 16 Years

The Linder Farm Network began in 1976 with four Linder family-owned radio stations in Minnesota. Network Farm Director Lynn Ketelsen came in from KMA (Shenandoah, IA) radio to establish the initial farm programming and set up the network. Linda Brekke has been with the network for 16 years, and Jeff Stewart has been there for 18 years. Marks First Year

On February 1, 2014, Ken Rahjes launched as a way to have flexibility “to be there for his parents as they were going through some medical challenges,” but also to “take a leap” and focus on delivering agricultural and rural information to the "next" generation of production agriculture and those who have a real interest in rural issues.  In October 2014, Ken launched AgView Radio and currently has an expanding network of affiliates in Nebraska and Kansas, which carry daily programming that consists of three 2-minute ag business updates and three 2-minute market updates.  

Brownfield Ag News for America Adds Two Anchor/Reporters

Cyndi Young, Ag Operations Director for Brownfield, announced the additions of farm broadcasters Nicole Heslip and Mark Dorenkamp beginning this week to the Brownfield agriculture network team.  Nicole is the Anchor/Reporter of Michigan Brownfield, the former Michigan Farm Radio Network. Nicole lives in Michigan and is providing on-the-ground coverage of Michigan agriculture. Mark is Anchor/Reporter of Minnesota Brownfield, which replaces former Minnesota Farm Network programming this week. Both will be backed by an award-winning team of 10 agricultural journalists, all Broadcast Council members of NAFB, along with an ag meteorologist, Washington, DC policy analyst and two market analysts. 

Hall Of Fame Award Presented to Tom Brand

Nearly 600 members of the St. Joseph, MO, business community attended the 11th Annual Farm City Breakfast March 20, where Tom Brand, the NAFB Executive Director and former longtime farm broadcaster at KFEQ (St. Joseph, MO) was named the 2015 Hall of Fame Award winner. 

NAFB Loses Its Most Senior Member

Russell Pierson (WKY, Oklahoma City, OK) died March 31, 2015. He was 103. He became farm director at WKY in 1959 and retired in 1980. He was elected NAFB President in 1973 after being named NAFB Farm Broadcaster of the Year in 1972. He was inducted into the NAFB Hall of Fame in 1992.

Record Cold and Snowfall

“February has been the coldest month on record for most of the Northeast. Many places across the region have endured record snowfall as well,” reports Tom Cassidy, (Ag Radio Network, Inc., Barneveld, NY). “Locally, we haven't seen a temperature above freezing since January 28, and there are none in the forecast. Snow can be moved, pushed or piled but there isn't much one can do to prepare for the wicked, bitter cold,” he added. “Water freezing has been a big problem on farms. Many places have had to dig for new water lines (and then insulate them) to their water source.” Fire companies are trucking water to some farms; bulk milk trucks are back-hauling water to others. Rural municipalities are having record numbers of water and sewer main breaks and frozen service entrances. “These cold temperatures are a true testament to the hardiness of farmers,” Tom said. “Livestock need to be fed, milked, cleaned up after and cared for, not to mention the extra work required in the deep freeze like equipment that doesn't want to work and snow to move.”

Pennsylvania Farm Show

The 2015 Pennsylvania Farm Show, January 9-16, drew an estimated 700,000 people, reports Dave Williams (Pennsylvania Farm Country Radio Network, Honesdale, PA). The majority of the attendees were not farmers, but consumers wanting a better understanding of where their food comes from, he added. The show offers the farming community of Pennsylvania the opportunity to help the general public gain a much better understanding of modern production agriculture.

Feb-Brr-Ary in Wisconsin

“As for the weather, we are glad to be saying goodbye to ‘Feb-brr-ary’. It has been cold with wind chills in that 20-30 degree below-zero range for several days and actual temperatures running below zero,” reports Mike Austin (WTAQ/WDEZ and WFRV-TV, Green Bay, WI). With the exception of a brief respite, February temperatures were averaging 15-20 degrees below normal.