Airing on the Side of Agriculture

Winter Challenges in the Carolinas

The last two weeks in the Carolinas have been challenging to say the least.  The winter’s excessive rains turned frozen, and North and South Carolina have had three major snow and ice events in the last two weeks,” reports Rhonda Garrison (Southern Farm Network, Raleigh, NC).  “Winter wheat was already struggling under the season’s excessive moisture, and cool temperatures are postponing the crop breaking dormancy.”  She adds, “Many crops have a pink tinge due to micronutrient deficiency. The nutrients are there, but the plants aren’t able to absorb them due to the saturated soils.”  


Winter Events in Oklahoma

Mike Dain (First Oklahoma Ag/Voice of Southwest Agriculture/Yancey Ag Network, Oklahoma City, OK) reports busy times in January and February on the Southern Plains. Events he’s covered include: “Sorghum U” (Perryton, TX), Agrifest Farm Show (Enid, OK), Red River Crop Conference (which alternates between Altus, OK, and Childress, TX), Canola College (Enid, OK), Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts Oklahoma City, OK), and Oklahoma Pork Congress (Norman, OK). 

Heinrich Named Farm/Ranch Director at KFGO

Sarah Anne Heinrich began work February 23 as new Farm and Ranch Director at KFGO (Fargo-Moorhead, ND).  “I can’t tell you how excited I am that Sarah has decided to accept this position,” said Joel Heitkamp, KFGO Director of Operations, when making the announcement. “Since KFGO first signed on in 1948, farm and agri-business reporting has been a huge priority for us.  Farmers and others in agriculture trust us to bring them this vital information daily. That’s why we take it very seriously.” For the past seven years, Sarah served as News Farm Broadcaster and Noon Show Anchor at KXMB-TV in Bismarck, ND. 

Follow-up on Senator Taylor Brown

As the 64th Legislative Session in Montana entered its third day, the one thing no one had to worry about was lunch. Legislators were provided a free lunch by Montana’s major agriculture organizations, including the Montana Department of Agriculture, Farm Bureau, Farmers Union, Stockgrowers and Grain Growers.

Final Radio Market for Denny Banister

Denny Banister voiced his final radio market report at the end of 2014. He joined Missouri Farm Bureau in 1976 as a communications specialist producing daily radio news stories and farm market reports. Denny has been called the “voice of Missouri Farm Bureau.” Born and raised in St. Louis, he experienced farm work in his childhood with his grandfather in Kansas.

NAFB Intern with DairyLine Radio

Cassie Olson is a senior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She is studying agricultural education with emphasis in leadership and communication and minors in animal science and mass communications. The daughter of Leonard and Jan Olson, she was born and raised on a dairy farm in Black River Falls, WI. When her family sold the dairy about a decade ago, she became active in FFA, which helped her stay involved with the dairy industry and agriculture. 

New Student Member Gets Washington Assignment

Leann Fox, senior agriculture communications at Utah State University, is serving as a public policy intern with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. She attended the NAFB convention in Kansas City and decided to become a student member. We met her in Kansas City and invited her to contact us when she began her assignment. Christine Quinn and I hosted her for dinner at the National Press Club in Washington. She applied and was selected for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s public policy internship. She has been in Washington, DC for almost a month now and has been doing research on the policy side of NCBA. In early February, she will attend the NCBA national convention in San Antonio. How did she find out about the NAFB? “My mentor, Dr. Kelsey Hall (Utah State University), has really been a guide for me on my professional path. She emailed me about the NAFB convention, and I knew I couldn’t pass that opportunity up. 

Tom Steever Honored

Anchor/Reporter Tom Steever (Brownfield Ag News, Jefferson City, MO) received the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Farm Broadcaster of the Year Award at the Governor’s Conference in December 2014. Also in December, Tom received the 2014 Excellence in Agriculture Award from the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and South Dakota Soybean Association.

WSBT Farm Broadcaster Announces His Retirement

Bruce Kayser (WSBT-AM/WHFB-FM, Mishawaka, IN) has announced that he will be retiring this year. He grew up in South Bend, IN, surrounded by corn and soybean fields. At the time, he never gave it much thought. His broadcasting career started in the early ‘70s as a part-time announcer at WSBT in South Bend. “In the mid-70s, I took a full-time position as a radio morning show host in Columbia, TN. Little did I realize this would be an introduction to the world of agriculture. At that time, growing tobacco was big business in the Middle Tennessee area. 

In Texas

2015 is starting out very interesting, reports Tony Purcell (Texas State Networks, Dallas, TX). “First, we have a new Texas Commissioner of Agriculture. Sid Miller is a working farmer and professional roper.”