Past NAFB President Retires

March 6 marked Pam Fretwell’s last day at Farm Journal as she is now retired and will be doing some contract work for Farm Journal and others through her own company Fretwell Communications. Pam never thought she would be involved in agriculture. Growing up in a suburb of Kansas City, she was the daughter of a jeweler and entrepreneur, and although her mother and father both came from rural roots, agriculture was probably the last thing she thought about growing up. Athletics were her passion and she set out to become a coach and physical education major at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO.  But then during her sophomore year, she met her husband, got married at the age of 20, and it changed her whole life. Finishing a college career at Culver Stockton College, Pam got her BS degree in education but found that she loved driving a tractor more and was fascinated by all that farmers had to know to be successful. Gradually, she became an integral part of the family’s row crop and registered Angus cattle operation and was always eager to learn more about how to farm the right way with all its challenges. For 26 years she lived the country life, raised three children and became a part of the community and lived the life she learned to love. It seemed that farming was a part of her DNA after all and that it was where she was meant to spend her life. But the dynamics changed drastically in 1998 when she found herself divorced, living in a nearby city of Quincy, IL, with nothing related to agriculture but a love to farm.  In 1999 she was asked by WTAD (Quincy, IL) to become their fulltime farm director and to talk to famers.  She expanded her programming in 2004 at WKAN to over 32 radio segments a day. With no training in broadcast journalism and no knowledge of how to write a story, she emulated others from NAFB in making sure that she was up to date on what was going on, not only locally, but nationally. She concentrated on what she knew was of importance to farmers, because she had been one herself. Agronomy, weather, markets along with sales filled her days for almost 13 years in broadcasting until she left after finishing her year (2007) as NAFB president and moved back for a short time to the Kansas City area. She worked as a public relations director for an agricultural company until 2010, but returned to radio and created her own syndicated radio show called Consumer AG Connection, a show that was designed to help people understand more about agriculture and why farmers were to be admired for what they did and why they did it. In 2010, Farm Journal hired Pam as their Director of Industry Relations and bought her radio show. For 7½ years, Pam again showed her passion for agriculture on a daily basis as she became involved with the Farm Journal Plot program, produced podcasts for three of the major publications of Farm Journal, and helped emcee many of their national meetings. Pam never dreamed that her life would be all about agriculture. “It just turned out that way,” she says. But as she looks forward to the next adventure, traveling across the countryside in a Class A motorhome, she hopes to visit the farms of the thousands of farmers she has met over the years, talking with them about their successes and challenges and, yes, even riding in the cab of their tractors and combines in hopes that they will ask her, would you like to drive?

Pam’s new contact information is: Fretwell Communications,, 217-440-1270.