Vaagen Started as Country DJ

“I started my radio career in the heart of wheat country, but not in agriculture news,” said Glenn Vaagen (Washington Ag Network, Pasco, Washington).  “I got my first radio job in at a country station in Colfax, Washington, not too far from both Washington State University and the University of Idaho. At first, I planned to be the next big country DJ; but soon after starting, I was bitten by the news bug. It was in Colfax that I helped launch my first news product: a three-hour morning news program on KMAX-AM. After years on the Palouse, my family and I moved to Spokane, Washington, where I worked as the morning producer for KXLY-AM for a number of years. After that, my family and I relocated to Bend, Oregon, where I helped launch a second news product, KBNW-AM.  I served as the program director in central Oregon for six years, two of which I also served as the news director. I have always been passionate about providing news, information, interviews, soundbites, and more to listeners, primarily on the news talk format.” In 2014, an opportunity presented itself in Pasco, Washington, where Cherry Creek Radio was looking to launch a network focused exclusively on agricultural news. “In December 2014, I became the program director and had the opportunity to launch a third news product. However, agriculture was a completely different animal for me (pardon the pun). My mother’s side of the family raised Hereford cattle in northeast Washington, while my dad’s side operated a lumber mill in my hometown.

Despite that background, I was not familiar with the farming lifestyle. Thanks to the great people across Washington and Oregon, I was able to learn enough to launch the Washington Ag Network in March 2015. And after that, in October 2015, we launched Northwest Ag Today, an hour-long news program focused on agriculture news and issues across the region and across the country. Over the past four years, I’ve had the chance to meet many great people in the ag community, from researchers at Washington State and Oregon State, to commodity leaders, to state and congressional leaders, and even Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue when he visited our region during the summer of 2018. The best part of doing ag news is the opportunity to learn exciting new details about the more than 300 commodities grown in the Northwest and to interact with some of the best people around.” Glenn is married with four children. His family lives in the Tri-Cities area of Washington.