RRFN Celebrates its 25th Anniversary

The Red River Farm Network (RRFN) is celebrating its 25th anniversary. RRFN made its debut on December 4, 1995.

RRFN believes in long-form programs to inform the vital agricultural audience. The on-air schedule includes Country Morning from 6:30 to 7 a.m.; Agriculture Today from 12:30 to 1 p.m., and five-minute market reports throughout the trading day. In total, the RRFN team produces 90 minutes of farm broadcasts each day.

RRFN prioritizes pocketbook issues in its news coverage, a philosophy that began with Mike Hergert. “Reporting Agriculture’s Business” was adopted as a tagline for the company and as a mission for the RRFN team.

Don Wick joined RRFN 17 years ago, taking over ownership of the company in recent years. In addition to Wick, RRFN employees include Randy Koenen, Carah Hart, and Megan Overby on the farm broadcast team. The on-air product is complemented by a weekly electronic newsletter and digital news coverage. RRFN also manages the editorial content for a regional commodity organization, the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.

“Twenty-five years is a milestone, and it is being recognized,” said Wick.

The Red River Farm Network has been on the road visiting with its radio affiliates and thanking them for their roles in serving farmers and ranchers. A short history of the network also is being compiled.

In a publication reflecting on the past 25 years, former National Association of Wheat Growers President Erik Younggren is quoted: Oftentimes, during the long hours in the tractor and combine, the radio becomes a farmer’s eyes on the rest of the world. When we would rather the world just stop until harvest is done, it is the radio that brings the world to us. It is the voice on the radio that becomes your best friend.”

Younggren also offered comments when presenting Hergert with an award from the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers: “Not a convention, meeting, or gathering went by without an appearance or report from Mike. When we couldn’t attend a meeting or learn about the latest research or farm bill action, you attended for us. If we wondered what the crop was like, it didn’t matter if it was Nebraska or Mato Grasso, you had a source and would tell the story. You were our eyes and ears. You gave us the information we needed to make our operations better. By Reporting Agriculture’s Business, you made us all better farmers.”

RRFN will recognize its 25th anniversary at the Big Iron Farm Show in mid-September. During a time when most major farm shows and conventions have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Big Iron is the exception. RRFN again will host its series of daily forums; topics include the market outlook, weather, and land values. There also will be a joint discussion with North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen. EPA Regional Administrator Gregory Sopkin and EPA Agriculture Advisor Carrie Meadows also will be featured. A panel of ag lenders and a university economist will discuss how agriculture will look in a post-COVID-19 world. RRFN is making special accommodations for social distancing during its forums. For those people who don’t feel comfortable traveling to this event, RRFN is making the program available online.

PHOTO ABOVE:  RRFN Founders (left to right) Jerry Fiskum, John Vasichek, and Mike Hergert worked together at 1440 AM KKXL in Grand Forks, North Dakota, before starting their new company. The Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers was an original investor in RRFN. A business plan was written on a napkin at a local diner, and the concept became a reality.