In December of 2017 after 43 years of being on the radio, I suddenly found myself wondering whether my broadcast career was over,” said Mike Adams (Adams on Agriculture, Jacksonville, IL). Among the many emails and phone calls Mike received, there was one in particular that caught him by surprise. “Lance Knudson with the American Ag Network called to see what my plans were for the future. I told him I really wasn't sure, and we agreed to talk again after the holidays. Little did I know that phone call was the door opening to the next stage of my career. When we talked again in January, Lance explained he wanted to start a syndicated radio show based on news content and using the contacts and experiences I had gained over the years. It seemed too good to be true. A few days later I talked again with Lance and Mark Swendsen about different ideas and possibilities. The more we talked the more interested I became, and we soon reached an agreement.”

Bob Larson (Ag Information Network of the West, Walla Walla, WA) found his niche working for the student-run college radio station, KBVR 88.7 FM, as a news reporter and eventually news director.  Back in the ‘80s, he graduated from Oregon State University (OSU) with a degree in technical journalism. During his time at OSU, he also wrote for the school paper, The Daily Barometer. “After graduation, I moved to Seattle looking for a career in media or public relations, working for a few different organizations, but I eventually found my way back to radio with a job at KOMO in 1995. I started as a talk show board-op and producer, but I found myself back on the news side when the station went from a talk format to a 24-7 news source a couple of years later. In 2006, as things seemed to happen in radio, there was some reorganization at KOMO, and I found myself lured to News-Talk 710 KIRO. About a year later, the iconic KIRO AM station moved to the FM side at 97.3. Over the years in radio news, I’ve enjoyed assignments as a general news reporter, anchor, and editor.”

Scott Woodson (Farm Broadcaster, EAB Ag Network, Jonesboro, AR) said, “To be honest, I have a much more substantial history in music radio than I do in farm broadcasting.” He grew up in a farming community in north central Arkansas. His father was a construction worker, who retired in the tiny town of Newark, AR.  “We had moved there to finish up construction of a coal burning power plant and loved the area so much, my dad decided to retire early so I could go to high school in one place.”  Scott explained, “We moved so many times in the early years of my life. For instance, I went to five different schools in the fifth grade alone.”  Because of the coal burning plant in the county, Newark Schools received quite a bit of tax funding and started many new programs including a radio and television department. “My first year of high school, I developed asthma and had to quit participating in sports. I had to fill that hour of my day, so I decided to try out radio and television to see if I liked it. It was amazing! I won several state awards in radio during my high school years and decided to study radio programming at the University of Arkansas in 1987.” 

About his career, John Herath (Farm Journal News Director, South Bend, IN) said, “Nearly all of my career circles back to an unplanned internship at a local radio station. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of very smart people who have been gracious and patient enough to let me learn from them.” It was at that station, WLDS in Jacksonville, IL, where John first worked with Mike Adams, then the station’s farm director. John worked full-time in the station’s news department through his college years. Mike Perrine was the farm director at the cross-town rival. After graduation, John did a brief stint as news director at WIHN (Bloomington, IL) before moving to WFMB/WCVS (Springfield, IL) where he co-hosted a morning political talk show and served as backup to legendary farm broadcaster Peggy Kaye. “Peggy not only taught me how to read a markets screen, but she also shared her tenacious news sense and how to relate on a personal level to the radio audience.

Cyndi Young-Puyear (Brownfield Ag News, Jefferson City, MO) was among a group of seven U.S. journalists who made the trip to Monheim, Germany, for the Future of Farming Dialogue 2018 event with Bayer Crop ScienceFarmers, influencers, and journalists from more than 35 countries met in September 2018 for Bayer’s farming dialogue. “The much-anticipated merger of Monsanto into Bayer Crop Science began four weeks prior to this global thought leadership event, so there were many questions about the direction of the new company. During the opening session, Bayer leaders outlined the vision for the future and reaffirmed a commitment to innovation, sustainability and digital transformation,” Young-Puyear said. During an interview later in the day, she asked Bayer Crop Science President Liam Condon what has him “buzzed up.”