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.”

John McDonald was inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame May 2 in Murfreesboro, TN. NAFB Executive Director Tom Brand responded to a request from the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame for more information about John, who was 1956 President of the National Association of Television and Radio Farm Directors (NATRFD) and was named to the NAFB Hall of Fame in 1992.

During Washington Watch (April 27), The Doan award, honoring excellence in reporting agriculture, was awarded to Michelle Rook, managing farm director at WNAX (Yankton, SD). This is the inaugural year for The Doan. Presented by the NAFB Foundation, through a gift from Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc., The Doan is named after Stewart Doan, a farm broadcaster and senior editor at Agri-Pulse, who passed away suddenly in May 2012. He was known for his passion for politics and determination for delivering breaking farm and rural policy news. Doan's reporting on issues affecting farmers and consumers is missed by the entire agriculture community. He served as NAFB president in 1998. 

For many it's the sound bringing a meeting to order, but to farm broadcasters it's a representation of history. Commissioned by Ken Root (a farm broadcaster, past president and past NAFB executive director) the gavel is made with three distinct types of wood to represent the three NAFB regions; East is walnut, South is cyprus and West is pine. The handle is made of oak.