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Agrimarketing : June 2008
June 2008 ¦ AgriMarketing 33 FARM/RURAL BROADCASTING UPDATE TRAVELING INTERNATIONALLY Editor’s note: Broadcasters are known for traveling far and wide to keep their audiences informed. We invited four prominent broadcasters to share their thoughts about their recent journies. KEN ROOT, WHO RADIO Des Moines, Iowa I recently reported from China with a trade delegation led by Iowa Secre- tary of Agriculture, Bill Northey, and underwrit- ten by the Iowa Soybean Associ- ation and Ag Processing Inc. (AGP) . The trip was ten days and took us through the ports and fields of South- ern China and on to Beijing. It was my tenth time to report on agricul- ture from an international location. International travel adds another dimension to reporting. It provides “ground truth” and clarification of reports from government and metro- politan media. It also allows the human side of a story to come out. I still recall the weathered faces of old women in the Ukraine who were mixing fertilizer with wooden shov- els or a man in Hong Kong who worked all day at a small table mak- ing cornstalk dolls for the export market. Comparisons of then and now have also helped me to tell my audi- ence how much change is occurring. I recall going to Brasilia in 1983 with Secretary Block and seeing that most of the land was still in native vegetation. In 2001, we broke out of the clouds near their capitol city and it looked like central Illinois. This year, in China for the second time, my comparison to 1981 is like having been there during the Ming dynasty. We have been supported in our travels by many producer organiza- tions and companies who see the need for accurate and insightful reporting from locations that have a bearing on the future of our agricul- tural system. Many farm broadcast- ers are known for their international reporting and chronicle their careers by the places they’ve gone and the stories they’ve seen unfold and shared with their listeners and view- ers back home. RON HAYS RADIO OKLAHOMA NETWORK Oklahoma City, OK Earlier this year, I had the privilege of traveling with the 30 leaders who are members of Class 13 of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program (OALP) . Our travels took us to Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai. Back in 1984, I was a member of Class One of the OALP, which also traveled to China so this trip in 2008 was most reveal- ing. I can offer three areas that really struck me as I compared China here in 2008 to my memories of 1984: 1. Smog. The air around Beijing was dirty in 1984 when we arrived in the dead of winter and it was soot as much as any- thing. Here in 2008, there it was a constant smell and look to the air smog from automobiles as well as industrial output that gave us a constant curtain of smog that hung down upon all three cities that we were in. 2. The West has arrived. When we were in Beijing in 1984, there was almost nothing “western” in the city of Mao. That included clothes for the average Chinese. Except for their children, who did have some clothes (more on page 34) Ken Root Ron Hays
July August 2008
Canadian Agribusiness Employer Guide 08