His Love For Radio Began in Sixth Grade

“When I was in sixth grade, I told a friend that I wanted to someday be on the radio,” said Mike Adams (Adams on Agriculture).  “Of course, back then my concept of radio was music and ball games.  I didn’t even know there were farm broadcasters on the radio.  Also, I didn’t know that working on a farm would be the best education and career preparation I could get.” While attending junior college studying broadcasting Mike got a part-time job at WLDS (Jacksonville, IL) primarily as a DJ and a sports announcer.  Mike Perrine had started doing farm programming at the station, and Adams would often be operating the control board for his shows.  “Unlike most of the other people at the station, I had some idea of what he was talking about and soon Mike asked me to join him in the farm department.  By then I was tired of playing records and ready to try something else.  Little did I know that I was starting on an amazing journey that continues 44 years later. Together we covered agriculture on a local, state and national basis with two hours of programming a day,” Adams said. “I was fortunate to work at a station that even allowed me to travel internationally and see agriculture beyond my local area.  They also supported my involvement in NAFB.” In 1999, Mike Adams was elected to serve as NAFB President. “In 2001, after 27 years at WLDS, I had the opportunity to become host of the nationally syndicated program AgriTalk.  Following my friend Ken Root was a big challenge but fortunately listeners were patient and for the next 16 years I was able to have a daily conversation with people all around the country on a wide variety of topics.  Highlights included a live broadcast from Cuba and a meeting with Fidel Castro.  I took the local radio concepts I was familiar with and applied them on a national level.  Our ethanol pump tour and hometown tour helped me meet and establish relationships with listeners and our affiliate stations while promoting renewable fuels and rural communities. When my time at AgriTalk came to an end last December I wasn’t sure what my next step would be,” Mike admitted.  “Although I had gone through numerous ownership changes over the years, I only had two jobs. This was new to me.  I believe when God closes one door He opens another. I was waiting for that next door when Lance Knudson (American Ag Network) called and asked if I would like to start a new show focusing on ag policy and issues using my contacts and experiences.  Starting a new show is both challenging and exciting but is proving to be the perfect next step in my career.  Adams on Agriculture went on the air in March, and I am thankful to be part of a great team and to be able to do something for a living that I love to do.” Yet another door has opened for Mike as he has had the opportunity to work with Max Armstrong and Orion Samuelson on their TV show, This Week in Agribusiness. Mike concludes, “Over the years in farm broadcasting I have made many friends, worked with talented people and traveled around the world meeting Presidents, a Pope and a dictator along the way.  Not too bad for a kid that thought radio was only music and ball games!”