Iowa Farm Broadcaster Inspires Career

Anna Hastert interviews Brooks Reynolds, co-founder of the Blue Ribbon
Bacon Festival at the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network's booth at the 2018 Iowa State Fair

Anna Hastert (Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network, Des Moines, IA), a recent Northwest Missouri State University (NWMSU) graduate, kick-started her broadcasting career early with help from an Iowa farm broadcaster. Anna competed and placed in the Iowa FFA Agricultural Broadcasting Career Development Event. “My junior year of high school, I competed in the Agricultural Broadcasting Career Development Event on behalf of the Harlan FFA Chapter. To be honest, I wasn’t any good then,” she said. “I received a bronze rating at the sub-district level, barely making it onto the district competition.

Anna Hastert interviews
Iowa U.S. Senator Joni Ernst
at the Iowa Agribusiness Radio
's booth at the 2018
Iowa State Fair

But, with the help of Tom Robinson, a farm broadcaster from southwest Iowa, I am now able to make a living out of reporting.” Hastert started working part-time for Robinson at KSOM/KS957 (Atlantic, IA) as a Sunday morning news broadcaster. She thanks Robinson, an NAFB member, for most of her success. She makes note of his positive, nurturing demeanor and credits these qualities for helping shape who she is as a farm broadcaster today. “Tom is such a gem,” Anna said. “He was always a warm person, and oftentimes gave positive reassurances. I’m a perfectionist, which I always thought to be my greatest weakness. However, Tom embraced my attention to detail and made me feel comfortable in my early broadcasting career. This led me to a mission to make my interviewees, as well as colleagues, feel appreciated. I get to know each person I contact and make sure they feel comfortable to share their information with me.”