Baker Chose Broadcasting at an Early Age

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.” His first day on the job was May 18, 1980 -- the day Mt. St. Helens blew. The first time “on the air,” his parents recorded him on a tape recorder, but they wouldn’t let him listen to it because they didn’t want to discourage him. “Maybe that was a good thing,” Baker added. “It took a while, but I started to get more comfortable after a few board shifts. I was blessed to have a station manager who let me make rookie mistakes before I ventured off from my hometown.” Baker worked at several radio stations in the Pacific Northwest in the 1980s and 90s, mainly as the news and public affairs director. The Associated Press honored him with the Best Scheduled Newscast award twice, when working at KPUG-AM (Bellingham, WA and KBNW-AM/FM in Bend, OR). He first became involved in farm broadcasting in 2000 when he worked for Lee Mielke of DairyLine Radio. That’s when the internet took things to the next level. “New technologies forced us to put the razor blade down when editing tapes and learn how to do it on the computer,” he said. “It took us an hour to upload a 5-megabyte audio file at first, but we got the hang of it.” Fast forward to 2018 where Baker just launched a five-minute radio segment called Dairy Radio Now, heard weekdays on a growing network of radio stations across the U.S. “Radio continues to be an ideal vehicle for relevant news relating to the dairy farmers’ bottom lines. Dairy Radio Now’s regular segments are devoted to professional development, market management, feed, genetics, animal welfare, policy, and promotion,” Baker emphasized. “Working in farm broadcasting the last 18 years has opened my eyes to the perseverance of American dairy farmers. I encourage everyone to raise a glass of milk in their honor!”

Contact: Bill Baker, Dairy Radio,