Farmers Union Honors Wick for Communications Excellence

On March 1, 2021, the National Farmers Union (NFU) awarded Farm Broadcaster Don Wick (Red River Farm Network, Grand Forks, North Dakota) with its 2021 Milt Hakel Agriculture Communications Award in recognition of his seminal coverage of farm stress and rural mental health.

Wick is president of Red River Farm Network and has worked for mega-stations over the course of his nearly four-decades-long career, including WCCO (Minneapolis, Minnesota) and WNAX (Yankton, South Dakota)His reporting has examined a wide range of rural and agricultural issues and has taken him all over the world, including Cuba, China, Russia, Japan, and Afghanistan.

“In his time as a farm broadcaster, Don has reported on a remarkable number of subjects with a keen eye and balanced perspective,” said NFU President Rob Larew. “Though his catalogue is full of valuable observations, his series on farmer mental health is particularly prescient. Don has approached a difficult, uncomfortable topic with sensitivity and respect, and in doing so done a great deal of good. Not only has he improved awareness of mental health challenges, but he has also helped eliminate some of the stigma around these matters and highlighted resources available to those who are struggling,” Larew said.

The Milt Hakel Agriculture Communications Award is presented to reporters or news outlets that demonstrate exceptional coverage of agricultural issues. The award was named in honor of Milton D. Hakel, a highly respected Farmers Union communicator.

“Every year, we recognize journalists who go above and beyond to provide impartial, thorough, and insightful coverage of the issues most relevant to Farmers Union members,” Larew added. “During his impressive career, Don has certainly done all of that and then some, making him a more than worthy recipient for our Milt Hakel Agriculture Communications Award.”

“Thanks to the National Farmers Union for recognizing the importance of agricultural journalism,” Wick said.