Pearson Named Broadcast Director

Mike Pearson is the new broadcast director for Farm Progress, and he has big plans for his new position.

Pearson was born and raised in Iowa on a hog farm, but his family transitioned to cattle production later. His high school did not have an FFA program, and he did not have an interest in showing livestock. Originally, Pearson did not see himself working in agriculture. He went to Simpson College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history.

His first job out of school was working as a mortgage lender for a community bank, and eventually he was promoted to agricultural lender. He bought a feedlot and started running a cow-calf operation and backgrounding steers.

This was Pearson’s chosen career, until an unfortunate event that would ultimately change the direction of his career.

“My dad passed away in 2012, and he was the host of Market to Market on Iowa public television for more than 20 years,” Pearson said. “He also had a radio program on WHO radio that focused on agriculture. He was well-respected in the ag media community.”

After his father died, there was no one in place to take over the programs Pearson’s father started decades ago.

“I didn’t even have it on my radar, but the producers for the TV show heard me give a eulogy at my dad’s funeral,” Pearson said. “They called me and asked if I would try hosting the show.”

He officially took over later that summer as the host, and he served in that role until December 2018. After that, he started working for a commodities brokerage in Chicago, where he began periodically covering for Max Armstrong and Orion Samuelson on This Week in Agribusiness. In 2020, when COVID-19 surfaced in the United States, both Armstrong and Samuelson started working remotely. Pearson said he was invited to go to the studio once each week to host the show. He’s been helping out on the show ever since.

In 2021, Armstrong connected Pearson with a radio station owner in North Dakota. Lance Knudson was working with Mike Adams on a radio show called Adams on Agriculture. Adams was looking to retire, and he thought Pearson would be a good fit as his replacement for the show.

“I met with Lance, and we clicked right away,” Pearson said. “I had the chance to learn a lot from Mike and Lance, and I loved hosting that show.”

Earlier this year, Armstrong officially announced his retirement, and a new host was needed for This Week in Agribusiness. Pearson was the man for the job, and he is excited about the new opportunity.

“We transitioned the radio show, Agriculture of America, to a new host, and Jesse Allen is doing great with that,” Pearson said. “I joined the Farm Progress team, and I am excited to see where this goes.”

He says the future of the show is strong and has a bright future.

“We’ll be talking more with Farm Progress writers and editors about some of the fantastic stories they are working on in the world of agriculture,” Pearson said. “We’re going to cover everything from livestock to biofuels and everything in between. It’s going to be fun for our writers to share their stories.”

Pearson said agriculture broadcasting is special to him, and he is honored to be in this field.

“It’s humbling to have the opportunity to follow such great people in the world of ag media, and I hope I can make them proud,” Pearson said.