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FARM BROADCASTING BEYOND THE STUDIO
AGRITALK GETS PUMPED ABOUT ETHANOL

(l to r) Gary Neimeyer, president of the Illinois Corn Growers, Tim Sutton, manager of F-S Fuel 24, Mike Adams, host of "AgriTalk," and Randy Miller, owner of WTIM Radio, hosted the Ethanol Pump Tour stop in Taylorville, Ill.
In an effort to highlight the benefits of ethanol, AgriTalk radio hit the road during the first AgriTalk Radio Network Ethanol Pump Tour. The tour has made stops at various locations around the Midwest, including Moberly, Mo., Sturgis, S.D., and Corning, Iowa. In a visit to Taylorville, Ill., the group broke all previous records as 3,824 gallons of ethanol fuel were pumped in just three hours. Mike Adams, host of "AgriTalk," along with area corn growers, and personnel from the program's local affiliate, pumped gas while the event was broadcast on three local stations. Over the course of the tour, "AgriTalk" and representatives of the host state corn growers associations have distributed literature and other materials promoting the benefits of ethanol.

"I think it's really exciting that, through this event, we can get the information out in front of the public," says Ron McNeall, a member of National Corn Growers Association. "Using every mode of media, like the Pump Tour, to showcase ethanol is a great opportunity to educate a lot of people and to make them realize it is a viable fuel and it is here to stay."

Another stop is planned for Nebraska in November, with more stops to be announced in the spring.

COVERING CUBA FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE

Cliff and Seth Kaehler of St. Charles, Minn., had the unique opportunity to meet with Cuban President Fidel Castro during the U.S. Food & Agribusiness Exhibition in Havana, Cuba. Immediately after that experience, the boys were heard on the WCCO radio airwaves with farm director Don Wick.
Companies, trade organizations, and state departments of agriculture from across the country traveled to Cuba for the U.S. Food & Agribusiness Exhibition in late September. Ag broadcasters were also on hand to cover the events, including Don Wick, farm director for WCCO, Minneapolis, and former president of NAFB.

"As a journalist, the trip to Havana was an eye-opening experience," Wick says. "The city of Havana looks as if someone pushed the pause button on 1959; it is a city frozen in time."

Besides covering the obvious news, such as the numerous contracts signed or the exhibition events, Wick took the opportunity to see the event through a new set of eyes - those of Cliff and Seth Kaehler, two farm kids from southeast Minnesota. Livestock from the Kaehlers' Homedale Farms was on display at the show. During their time in Cuba, the Kaehlers served as tour guides for the exhibition for Cuban leader Fidel Castro, and Wick broadcast their experiences back to listeners in the United States.

BUILDING BROADCASTERS OF TOMORROW

Donna Schmidt, ag services director for KROC-AM, Rochester, Minn., handed over reporter duties to 4-H members (l to r) Krista Sheehan, Tabitha Hoffman, Katie Pesch and Kelly Sheehan for the Olmstead County Fair.
After nine years in the broadcasting business, Donna Schmidt, ag services director for KROC-AM, Rochester, Minn., still finds it a challenge to thoroughly cover events such as National FFA Week, National 4-H Week and county and state fairs. After starting at KROC in 1995, she decided to try an alternative method of covering these typical events. Rather than simply interviewing, she regularly turns reporting duties over to 4-H and FFA members. These young reporters then collect the news, put together a report and then record it for broadcast.

"I believe this teaches them more skills and responsibilities, and at the same time, gets news and information out on these organizations," says Schmidt.


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