Bill Baker (American Cattle News/Dairy Radio Now, Bend, OR) knew he wanted to be a radio broadcaster early in life. When he was 10 years old, he built a make-shift radio station in his bedroom and broadcast to an audience of one, his dog Moses. Later in high school, he heard about a classmate working a weekend shift at a real radio station. He tagged along and spent time recording his voice in the production room and leaving it for the boss to listen. “The station manager told me I didn’t have much of a voice, but I could read. That was enough encouragement for me,” he recalled. “I filled out my FCC license and was hired as a part-time board operator.”

Dan graduated with a B.A. in Film, Video and Media Studies and a minor in History from Western Michigan University in 2006. Following graduation he worked as a news and sports anchor, show host and eventually the Director of Digital Sales and Development before moving to Fargo in September 2013. Since 2014 he has been blessed with calling North Dakota home.

Rita has been director of network and audio services for the RFD Radio Network and the Illinois Farm Bureau since January 2015. Prior to her present position Rita served as network anchor/broadcast editor joining the RFD team in December of 2011. As director, she is responsible for the management and administration of the RFD Radio Network. Rita is also a full-time farm broadcaster, joining DeLoss Jahnke in producing and distributing more than a dozen programs each weekday used by more than 80 Illinois radio stations.

A farm boy, a farm broadcast listener first, farmer, land owner, Banker, and then finally found out what I wanted to do when I grew up.  After a life changing event, retiring from farming and a long term banking career, I found my passion in farm broadcast.  My daily heart and passion is giving the farmer and non farmer the information that is important to the ag industry. 

I'm running for this position because I believe in agricultural journalism. We're currently in a moment in time where critical coverage can be easily dismissed as "fake news," and I want the American public to know that there's a group of journalists out there dedicated to getting the story right. I believe this organization is well-positioned to serve the group of people reporting on the day-to-day business of agriculture, and I want to make sure that reporting continues to be trusted and respected by the public and those we cover.