Bertling is New NAFB Member

KFEQ Radio (St. Joseph, Missouri) recently named Dionne Bertling as its new ag director. Additionally, Bertling has joined NAFB as a Broadcast Council member.

“I would never have envisioned being an ag director a couple years ago, but I have loved learning about agriculture and how it intersects with politics and life. I do have a little agriculture in my blood. My grandfather was a farmer, and my father retired early so he could devote most of his time to his passion — taking care of his huge garden,” Bertling said. “I greatly appreciate my new general manager, Doug Schmitz, for giving me this opportunity. Also, I have remarried, and my husband, Ted, has been my biggest cheerleader in encouraging me to go for my dream career in radio. It has been a wild ride, and I’m excited to see where my radio career goes.

“Two years ago, I decided to go for my dream career instead of settling for just a job. I had wanted to do radio for many years, but I let life, people, my age, and fear get in the way. I stepped out in faith, faced my fears, and with the support, love, and prayers from family and friends, I started pursuing a radio career. A year ago, I was hired at Eagle Radio as a part-time board operator. I was ecstatic. I’ve worked hard this year and had lots of help from some amazing people — Miles Ramsay, Matt Stooks, Brent Martin, Gene Millard, and Travis Dodge.

“My path into broadcasting has been a little unconventional. I was born in Ohio and grew up in the Midwest. I graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago with a BA in American intercultural ministries. While there, I worked at Moody Radio during the school year and several summers. After graduation, I married and had four kids: Monica, Calvin, Harley, and Matthew. I was a full-time mother and homeschool teacher for 18 years.

“As my kids grew up, I started thinking about my future after homeschooling. I had already begun to work on numerous political campaigns, was the vice chairman of my county’s Central Committee, and was writing extensively on my political blog. As I considered my options, I realized I didn’t want to be a campaign worker on a regular basis, and I definitely did not want to be a politician.

“I wanted to talk and write about politics. But, I loved interacting with people too much to be only a writer. I needed to be a talk-show host. Once I made this discovery, it wasn’t long after that I was asked to be an Internet radio talk show host. I hosted a one-hour show once a week for three years.

“Life then threw me a curve ball. I ended up becoming a single mom after a divorce. I was thrust into the workforce just trying to find a job to pay the bills. I worked for a trucking company, on the assembly line at GM, as a server at a restaurant, and at other jobs. At each job, I felt like the life was being sucked out of me.

“For years, I didn’t follow my dream career because I didn’t think it was practical. I thought I was too old and had missed my opportunity. Then, I read a book that changed my life. The author wrote about living a life of purpose. I figured I had nothing to lose.

“Immediately after I made this decision, a friend told me about the Missouri Broadcasters Association Radio Talent Institute. I applied and was accepted. It was 10 of the best days of my life. Dan Vallie, the president and founder of the National Radio Talent System, gave me a tremendous opportunity to learn and make connections in the broadcasting world.

“I met Gary Exline, the GM of Eagle Radio in St. Joseph, Missouri, at the Institute, and he hired me. I have loved working at Eagle this past year. There is an incredible difference between just working at a job and having a career doing something you love and are passionate about.

“I have gotten some incredible training at Eagle Radio by Travis Dodge, Miles Ramsay, and Gene Millard. Ramsay taught me how to produce the Agri-Shop show, which was hosted by Millard. As both a farmer and broadcaster, Millard has given me valuable insight into both worlds,” Bertling concluded.