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Agrimarketing : April 2009
FOCUS ON: AG/RURAL BROADCASTING UPDATE BROADCASTING:DELIVERINGRESULTS Editor’s note:We invited four prominentmembers of the broadcast community to share their thoughts on what’sup andwhat’s new. Max Armstrong WGNRadio, “ThisWeek In AgriBusiness” TV Chicago, IL email@example.com Farmbroadcasting sure isn’twhat it used to be. Thank goodness.Agricul- ture information nowarrives in a variety of forms and farmbroadcast- ers are embracing themall. Farmers and ranchers have a ravenous appetite for information. In the course of a day,a producermay use a half dozen different vehicles of information. Some are long utilized, trusted sources such as radio. Others are newarrivals on themedia scene like Twitter.And the people of farm broadcasting are there on all of them, heard there and read there every day, oftenmany times a day, influencing their trusting followers. While surfing theworld from their home office, growers continue to tune to the people they and their parents have relied upon. In every region of the country pro- ducers have their favorite broad- casterswho pre- sent information andmuchmore. Gone are the days of reading farmprices ad nauseum. Farm broadcasters have replacedwhat I call “price regurgitation”with filtra- tion, interpretation and explanation. Not only the first conduit for news, the broadcasters are trusted for giv- Armstrong K F R M full-time farm radio covers: KFRM -AM 550 RADIO The Voice of the Plains! KFRM Radio— —1.8 million people…and, —2.4 million head of Beef Cattle —3.8 million head of Cattle on Feed —3.7 million acres of Corn —1.5 million acres of Soybeans —3.4 million acres of Sorghum —17.4 million acres of Wheat plus, over 30,000 Class-1A farmers/ ranchers that buy the inputs to make it all happen! One Station; One Buy; One Great Value! 1815 Meadowlark Road • Clay Center, KS 67432 • 785/632-5661 68 Agri Marketing s April 2009 ing the farmer a grasp of the signifi- cance of that news. In their quest for information, producers continue to followsources they can trust. They listen to people that they knoware reliable. In a world of thousands ofmedia choices, producers tune daily to peoplewho can relate complex stories,making the complex both understandable and relevant. Many times I have observed as farmers at somemeeting gather around a farmbroadcaster that they followand trust. The producers, it is obvious, they have a friendshipwith this broadcaster. They aremore than a voice. These growers and that broadcaster have been together through some tough times and some good years,with this personality coming through the radio or televi- sion during all of those experiences of life. WhenOrion Samuelson raises an issue of importance on his “Samuelson Says” commentary on “ThisWeek In AgriBusiness,” it is very common for lawmakers to see it in theirmail and e-mail the nextweek. When LynnKetelsen promotes a farmmeeting to hisMinnesota lis- teners, themeeting place restaurant will have standing-roomcrowd. If Evan Slack rallies his listeners to a particular concern, hewill fill the Colorado sale barn that night. There truly is a unique intimacy that farmbroadcasters enjoywith their followers. I cannot begin to tell you howmany times I have been told “…youwere therewith us,Max, whenwe headed to the hospital for our baby…” or “…youwere right there onWGNRadio in the truck withme thatmorningwhen Dad died….” It is sobering and humbling for broadcasters to be such an integral part of their followers’ lives.And it is a relationship that presents unequalled opportunity formar- keters. To have amessage delivered is one thing. Tohave it delivered with credibility, froma trusted friend of the farmer, is something alto- gether different. The future of agriculture broad-
May 2009 Supplement