Recent May rains threaten KSIR (Fort Morgan, CO) transmitter. Lorrie Boyer, Farm Director and Morning Show Host, said water came within inches of their station’s transmitter. “We were shutting it (transmitter) off at night as a safety precaution, but did not have to turn it off during the day.” She said they contracted out with an FM frequency to have KSIR simulcast on it in case they have to turn it off.

Tom Nicolette (Texas Farm Bureau Radio Network, Waco, TX) reports in the first 27 days of May, it rained 21 of them in certain regions of Texas. Wet conditions have washed out livestock fences, and cattle are losing weight from energy expended in trudging through muddy pastures or pens. Some wheat farmers will not be able to harvest a crop.  Cotton planting is behind schedule in south Texas and the Texas Panhandle. In the Coastal Bend area, grain sorghum planting is behind schedule. Tom said, “Wet weather is making it tough for Texas farmers and ranchers in both crop and livestock operations.

Erica Irlbeck (Allied Industry member, Lubbock, TX) and a group of college students are working with the National Ranching Heritage Center to produce a mini documentary on the 2011 drought and the impact it had on the agricultural industry. Erica is an assistant professor of agricultural communications at Texas Tech University. She is teaching two courses this summer: video production and advanced imaging and design. During the regular term, she teaches three courses: Video Production in Agriculture, Agricultural Communications Campaigns and Professional Development. Her research interests are risk and crisis communications, agriculture in television media and agricultural communications campaigns. Erica started her duties in September 2009 after earning her Doctor of Education degree in agricultural education from Texas Tech. Prior to her academic career, she worked in agricultural television news for AgDay Television and KLBK-TV (Lubbock, TX), farm radio for Clear Channel Networks, public relations and advertising.

NAFB Executive Director Tom Brand and his wife, Beth, became involved with the American Heart Association (AHA) following Tom’s heart attack and bypass surgery in 2013. Tom personally set a goal to raise $2,500 at the Heart Walk recently in St. Joseph, MO, and currently his effort has raised $2,300.

The first NAFB Leadership Academy convened in Washington D.C. just prior to Washington Watch. Farm News Director Sabrina Hill (AgNet West Radio Network, Sanger, CA) wrote about her experience in a blog which we are excerpting here. “This was my first year attending Washington Watch. I was the only representative of California in the group, and it’s always fun for me to meet up with cohorts from the Midwest and other areas,” she said. “This year was also the inaugural NAFB leadership class, and I had the honor of being one of the nine people in the class.”