Blue and Geiger Team Up To Cover Iowa Agriculture

A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Brandon Blue (Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network, Des Moines, IA) said, “I somehow managed to avoid anything having to do with modern production agriculture until two years ago, when my college professor forwarded me an email from Ken Root.” In 2012, he had just graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in journalism and “no idea how to use it.” Ken’s email was asking for someone to help him both on television in producing and presenting the Agribusiness Report, and for someone to help him produce radio reports for the statewide Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network. “Since late June of 2012, I’ve worked in farm broadcasting and haven’t looked back. In that time I've gone from not understanding that field corn doesn't end up in cans on the shelf at Wal-Mart to daily discussions of market fundamentals with commodity brokers.” For the Agribusiness Report, Brandon works closely with David Geiger in gathering story ideas and visiting newsmakers where they are, whether that’s in another town or in a field. Brandon explains, “In fact, part of me is pleased to get that black Iowa dirt on my shoes, knowing how important it is to so many people.”

Blue, Froman, Grassley and Geiger at the Iowa State Fair
Brandon Blue with U.S. Trade Representative
Michael Froman, Senator Chuck Grassley and
David Geiger after an interview at the Iowa State Fair

David and Brandon produce seven minutes of agricultural news content daily, and present it to an audience of both rural and urban watchers not only in the Des Moines area, but also in the Cedar Rapids market. “This means our show is watched by about two-thirds of the state.” For the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network, Ken Root and Brandon produce five two-and-a-half minute programs each day, focusing on general ag news, morning and closing markets, agricultural financial issues, and international agriculture. Brandon also maintains the network’s website. “I look forward to coming to work each day, not only because I have the pleasure of working alongside such passionate colleagues, but also because every person I meet teaches me something new about one of the most fascinating industries a journalist could cover,” Brandon said.

David Geiger was born in Fresno, CA, in the heart of raisin country. His family moved around a lot, and he noted, “I ended up in south Brazil as a missionary kid for four years. I moved to Iowa in my senior year of high school.” After graduation in 2009, David went to a community college initially and then on to Iowa State University’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “I fell in love with broadcast journalism, joining the student-run television station ISU-TV and becoming the Executive Producer my senior year. After graduation in May 2013, he interned at WHO-TV (Des Moines, IA). Ken Root had founded the Agribusiness Report on WHO-TV in 2010. Brandon Blue became anchor of the Agribusiness Report, and he gave David a tip about an opening. David was hired in August 2013 despite, as he describes it, “nearly zero knowledge of agriculture.” David adds, “It is an amazing opportunity to write, video, anchor, and edit agriculture news. In a year, I have learned a lot about agriculture, and the people involved, and I look forward to the rest of my career.”