Speck is New NAFB Member

Sam Speck is a new member of NAFB, now in his first full year of working at the Mid-America Ag Network in Wichita, Kansas.

Speck grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado, with his father, Mickey Speck, mother, Barbara Speck, and his older sister, Molly. Speck was born into a house of passion for sports and baseball, and he played his way through childhood into the high-school level. It was at that point he hit a crossroads as to what to do. He loved playing baseball, but he did not have the drive to continue through to the next level. Shortly after making the decision to step away from sports, he quickly realized he needed a new focus.

Broadcasting was another profession that caught his eye. Speck realized he had a gift in the field and saw his way back into the sports world through media. He graduated from Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins, Colorado, in 2014; and one year later, he enrolled in the Colorado Media School in Lakewood, Colorado. To this day, Speck said this move to the media school was one the best decisions of his life. The school exposed him to industry professionals, taught him what it felt like to fail but also succeed, and truly turned him into a true radio person.

From there, Speck went on to graduate with 3.8 honors with an associate degree in sports broadcasting and has never looked back. Speck started with a seasonal job in Bismarck, North Dakota, and spent some time working down in Coffeyville as a news and sports director; he recently has been brought into the Steckline Communications family for the Mid-America Ag Network as the farm news director.

Knowing Speck’s focus to get back to the ballfield one day, he now thinks as a radio person, realizing there are many aspects that go into making a network successful. He mentioned some things like filling in for positions, having technical issues and still having to go live, and trying new things within the industry.

“I have never been afraid to try new things in broadcasting, and when I was given the opportunity to begin as a farm broadcaster, I took it right away,” Speck said. “I have worked several positions within both the TV and radio industry, and trying something new such as an ag broadcaster would be a great challenge.”

Speck mentioned his grandfather was an Iowa farmer, but growing up, he was never naturally surrounded by agriculture. Recognizing the challenge of not having natural knowledge and generations of family farmers behind him, Speck knew it would be a challenge and took it upon himself to learn as much as he can about the wide world of agriculture. He was confident in his broadcasting skills but he said it’s been a long, fun few months building relationships with others around the industry through NAFB and other conferences and becoming more confident as a true farm broadcaster.

“I love radio, every aspect of it,” Speck said. “I never thought I would enjoy the ag side of things as much as I do, particularly since I was not surrounded by it as a kid. But it has been very informative for me. I’ve gained so much respect for our American farmers and producers, and I have thoroughly enjoyed telling their stories through my work. And if there is one goal I hope to get out of this, it is that ag news gets transferred to the public in a correct and truthful and reliable way.

“Being 24, my mind races as to what I would like to do at the end of it all, hopefully sports or something like it. But my short time working with ag broadcasting and being a new member of NAFB has opened my eyes to a side of broadcasting I never thought I would enjoy so much and hope to only grow from here. Of course, the end game would to be around sports one day, but I am grateful for the broadcasting opportunities I have been given through my prior stations and this network. Greg Steckline has continually had confidence in me and has helped me through the learning process of becoming a true ag broadcaster. I can’t wait for what the future holds, and who knows, I may be in ag a lot longer than you think because I’ve enjoyed it so much. Having great support from both my parents, my sister, and my beautiful fiancé, Amberly, plus all the help from my colleagues, and lots of hard work, I am very excited to see where this ends up,” Speck added.