NAFB Members Selected as Illinoisans of the Day at State Fair

Gale Cunningham and Peggy Kaye Fish are two of this year’s honorees who will be recognized. The Illinois State Fair Museum Foundation will spotlight individuals each day of the Illinois State Fair. The program honors individuals who exemplify the qualities and characteristics associated with Illinois – integrity, dependability, sense of community and strong ethics. Illinoisan of the Day honorees are involved in service activities, educational projects, youth programs, and have an affiliation with state and/or county fairs in Illinois. In addition, the winners must have shown their true Illinois spirit through continued volunteerism and community service. All nominees must have performed service at a state and/or county fair in Illinois. Illinoisan of the Day winners will receive honors on their special day during this year’s Illinois State Fair, which takes place August 7 – 17. Gale and Peggy will be honored on August 12, which is Agriculture Day at the Illinois state fair. 

Gale Cunningham
Gale Cunningham during a live
remote at county fair this summer.

Gale Cunningham (WYXY-FM, Champaign, IL), serves a station that was established just six years ago. Prior to that, Gale was farm broadcaster for WITY (Danville, IL). Presently, he is on-the-air daily with broadcast reports from 5:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Lately, he’s been handling those broadcasts remotely as this summer he is covering 16 county fairs, four major tractor shows, two agronomy days, three state fairs, the Farm Progress Show and several other events. Another honor that Gale will receive August 12 for his media work is the Award of Excellence from the Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education.  

Peggy Kaye Fish

Peggy Kaye Fish is an emeritus NAFB member who began her career in farm broadcasting in 1977 at WDZQ in Decatur, IL. She also served as farm broadcaster at WTAX and WFMB (both in Springfield, IL) and WDAN (Danville, IL). In 1993, she left the microphone to become Assistant Manager of the Illinois State Fair. In 1994, she began a position with Farm Credit Services of Illinois from which she retired 12 years later.  Although she’s been out of radio for 20 years, she recalls that in 1977 she starting doing all her radio shows from the fair as “live” broadcasts and continued that approach until she left radio.