Gale Cunningham (WYXY, Champaign, Illinois) was presented the 2019 Friend of Illinois County Fair Award at the fair association’s 109th annual conference in January.  “It is one of the most cherished awards I have received, and I'm very honored to receive such an award from the peers who listen to ag radio on WYXY Classic 99.1 FM,” he said.  Congratulating Cunningham after the presentation is Illinois State Representative Tom Bennett

After growing up on the East Coast of the U.S., Pete Cato spent a decade abroad working for English language radio stations in Russia and Europe. Cato decided it was time to head back to his home country and joined KSJB 600AM in Jamestown, North Dakota, in September 2017. 

Colleen Callahan is the newly announced Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. “I’m honored to be asked to serve in the Pritzker Administration and humbled to be in a leadership position. I’m also eager to work with the dedicated DNR career staff, to learn from them, and collaborate on ways to help meet the needs of enhancing Illinois’ natural resources. I welcome the opportunity to communicate the importance and impact of our natural resources and the diverse responsibilities of Illinois DNR. From mines and minerals; to museums and management of lands; from parks to preservation of history; from water to wildlife – the oversight is vast and various. I’m looking forward to connecting with those who use and those who depend on our state’s greatest asset, our natural resources.”

Max Armstrong (Farm Progress, Batavia, Illinois) reports that he had a “fun ride,” courtesy of the Purdue Agriculture Alumni Association on February 2, 2019, in Indianapolis, Indiana. “The university has an annual luncheon called the Purdue Ag Fish Fry. They always try to have an interesting program, and this year they brought back four former Purdue Ag School deans, and those four joined the current dean on the panel.” Armstrong added, “They asked me to moderate the panel, which I was proud to do, of course. The real thrill, though, was to have them deliver me to the stage riding in the official Purdue mascot, the Boilermaker X-Tra Special, the little locomotive that goes to all sports events.

Mike Adams, host of Adams on Agriculture (Jacksonville, Illinois), was named Ag Journalist of the Year by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association at their 2019 annual convention. Adams on Agriculture is a national agricultural talk show featuring a mix of commentary on agricultural issues and interviews with decision makers, such as members of Congress, USDA personnel, and leaders of agricultural organizations.