With no experience in radio but a love to share the news, Jessica Domel started her radio career on AM 1580 KWED (Seguin, Texas) in 2007. Initially, Jessica was a print production intern for the radio station’s newspaper, the Seguin Daily News, but a willingness to try radio and serve in different roles landed her a full-time job two days after her graduation from Texas Lutheran University. Her first experience on-air was memorable, to say the least. While co-hosting the station’s most popular weekly program, The Trading Post, the bracket holding the microphone broke, crashed onto the sound board, and scattered papers everywhere.

NAFB members covering the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th annual convention, held January 2019 in New Orleans, were treated to a ghost and vampire tour of the French Quarter by the Big Easy’s premiere vampire Lord Chaz. New Orleans boasts a colorful and often-tragic history. Tour participants heard of infamous murders, suicides, and other tragedies that have inspired such famous authors as Anne RicePoppy ZBrite, and Robert Lynn Aspirin.

Carey Martin (Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network) organized the two-hour tour on both Saturday and Sunday nights of the convention. The tour took broadcasters and Farm Bureau media staff through the streets of New Orleans’ French Quarter to explore many unsolved murders and haunted buildings on the original streets of the Crescent City.

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

“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.

“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.