Growing up in Little Rock, AR, Chuck Martin harbored a single ambition: to become a broadcast journalist. While pursuing his undergraduate degree in history at the University of Arkansas, Chuck began to hone his skills at the campus radio station, KUAF-FM. Upon graduating, he went to work in the news department at KXXA-FM (Little Rock, AR). From there, he was lured across town to KARN-AM and the Arkansas Radio Network. In 1983, Chuck returned to northwest Arkansas to become an anchor and reporter at KHOG-TV, the ABC affiliate. After a brief stint as the news director of NBC affiliate KFAA-TV, Chuck returned to KHOG where he spearheaded the coverage of then-Governor Bill Clinton’s presidential run, ultimately going to Washington, DC, as lead reporter for the presidential inauguration.

Brownfield Ag News anchor/reporter Ken Anderson received the American Coalition for Ethanol’s (ACE) 2018 Media Excellence Award at the group’s recent annual conference in Minneapolis. Presenting the award, ACE Communications Director Katie Fletcher said Anderson “epitomizes objective news reporting, and covers the policy, markets, events and issues that the ethanol and agricultural industries need to know.” 

Leif Bakken (Northern Ag Network, Billings, MT) is a new farm broadcaster and NAFB member who grew up on a small cow and wheat operation north of Lemmon, SD, where they also raised sheep until recently. His parents, DeJon and Jeri Lynn Bakken, currently run around 120 head of cattle and grow wheat. From a very young age, Leif was involved in agriculture especially in 4-H and FFA. He showed chickens, sheep, and steers almost every year of his 4-H career. “In North Dakota 4-H, there was a communication arts program where I started doing public speaking, demonstrations, and a broadcasting event. That’s when I was starting to realize this might be what I wanted to do.

Sarah Heinrich (KFGO, Fargo, ND) grew up on a ranch south of Mandan, ND, raising purebred cattle and small grains. “As a small girl, I grew up on a farm where my uncle and longtime farm broadcaster, Al Gustin, would spend every afternoon helping and working alongside my dad, who is a full-time farmer to this day. I always thought Uncle Al had the best job. He could do ag news in the early morning hours and then be out raising cattle in the afternoon. My mom has been a 4-H leader for more than 40 years, so 4-H and FFA were a natural fit for me to be involved in during my entire school career.”

Anna Hastert (Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network, Des Moines, IA), a recent Northwest Missouri State University (NWMSU) graduate, kick-started her broadcasting career early with help from an Iowa farm broadcaster. Anna competed and placed in the Iowa FFA Agricultural Broadcasting Career Development Event. “My junior year of high school, I competed in the Agricultural Broadcasting Career Development Event on behalf of the Harlan FFA Chapter. To be honest, I wasn’t any good then,” she said.