Bakken Returns to Local Radio Roots

Leif Bakken decided the next step in his career would take him east after working in the west for the Northern Ag Network in Billings, Montana, for nearly three years. Bakken decided it was time to get back to his roots in local radio. This was fitting because this summer he celebrated 10 years in radio with a career that started at his local radio station, KBJM (Lemmon, South Dakota).

The recent move landed him in northwest Minnesota in the Red River Valley at KRJB in Ada. KRJB also is an affiliate of the Red River Farm Network. Bakken’s title at KRJB is ag broadcaster and announcer, providing agricultural information and broadcasting local sports in the area. He’s excited to get back into sports broadcasting while continuing in the agricultural world.

“The biggest challenge is the change in crops. Growing up, raising livestock and wheat and covering a four-state region that primarily did the same, it’s a bit of a learning curve covering soybeans, corn, potatoes, dry edible beans, pigs, dairy, and lots of sugar beets,” Bakken shared.

In the three months he has been at KRJB, Bakken has stayed busy. He jumped into the job in the middle of the growing season when the station does a weekly farm update with local producers and regional agriculture leaders called the Farm and Field Show.

The second week in June, Norman County held its county fair, and Bakken was tasked with interviewing 4-H and FFA kids about their projects. He had the kids on the radio each evening of the fair and called the program The 4-H, FFA Livestock and Exhibit Showcase.

He also provided this program for the Polk, Mahnomen, and Clearwater County Fairs.

Recently, Bakken started a new daily program called the R & J Agriculture Corner, which covers ag policy, trade, livestock news, farming headlines, consumer matters, and feature stories with local producers, ag leaders, and others.

“I look forward to continuing my membership in NAFB. Without the networking and learning opportunities NAFB has provided me, I would not have jumped at the opportunity for change and would not be as successful in launching a new program. Also, I look forward to continuing to build on the existing and new relationships through NAFB and meeting more people in the KRJB area,” Bakken concluded.