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Posted by slittlefield on February 17, 2015 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)


As we move through our lives, the job of communicating is one that never stops. From our families, to friends and coworkers, to those we want to reach out to, hoping they better understand our industry. I look back and could communicate with my kids with a simple look, though I still use that look, it usually is followed up with some sort of discussion of why or why not on a situation.

In many ways it’s like that for agriculture. We communicate on a daily basis with those around us and we try to be strong agvocates for our industry. But are we doing enough? When I do a story or an interview I wonder if there is more I should have covered in that short amount of time the microphone is open. I love when I get feedback on something or a discussion starts because of something that was on the air. The recent issues with shippers on the West Coast, for example, have brought some interesting discussions and even though we know its thousands of miles away, it still has an effect on our Midwest Ag industry.


Recently I was in San Antonio for the NCBA and met a lot of strong agvocates for our industry. One student named Dixie sticks out in my mind. She stopped by our NAFB booth and wanted to know more about becoming a farm broadcaster. Her passion and desire to tell the story of Ag was contagious and I see her going far in this business and can’t wait to someday welcome her as a member of our organization.


So what are we doing to help spread the word? Sure we talk about it on the air, we use social media but do we pound the dirt-get out their with those that listen to us and really find out what is making them tick, what makes them want to be involved within this great industry that feeds not only those near but far? I sure hope so and will continue to look forward to dirty boots, dusty jeans and a mini van that needs a run through the wash. Until I meet you on that road…thanks for being that agvocate and talking about what you believe in.


It is more then a gavel...

Posted by slittlefield on January 30, 2015 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

For many its the sound it makes that brings a meeting to order, to pass or fail on a vote, but to farm broadcasters its a representation of history.


Commissioned by Ken Root (a farm broadcaster, past president and past executive director of NAFB) the gavel comes together in three pieces to represent the three regions of our NAFB organization. The East Region is walnut, the South Region is Cyprus & the West Region is pine. The handle is made up oak.


As I sat at our board of directors meeting on the 22nd, I noticed the dings in the gavel, the darkening of the wood handle from years of use. How that gavel has been a major part of history of our organization and if it could talk…the board room conversations, discussions both light and heated in nature it could share. I sit now and think whose hands have picked it up to represent the organization, from our first female President Colleen Callahan, who now works for the USDA Rural Development, to Tom Brand, past president and our organizations Executive Director and everyone in between. Each one of them has left their mark on NAFB, as they moved forward in their year as president.

So what will my mark be? It’s a question I am exploring and continue to ponder. I have been re-reading Leading with Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton by Lee Ellis. He stresses making every step count in your journey in leadership. Taking is 18 months of captivity and turning them into strong lessons we as leaders can use. But you don’t have to be the head of an organization to read it. It’s putting service to your passions in the forefront. I am awaiting the mailman to bring me my next book, Leadership and Self Deception.

I am glad you’re on this journey with me, as many of you I will look to for examples and guidance, sounding boards and someone to just sit back with, laugh and share stories. Who knows maybe I will find out more about those dings in the gavel!

Until next time…I’ll meet you on the roads traveled.



From Our Roots...

Posted by slittlefield on January 2, 2015 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Such a simple statement that says so much.  As I look back on planning convention for NAFB in 2014, there were changes I would have made in the lineup, but I also learned that no matter what you do, there will always be someone who isn't happy.  So I take what I did and be happy with the end results and share my experience with Brian has he plans the 2015 convention. 

None of us would be where we were today if it wasn't for the broadcasters that stepped up and worked hard in the past.  Ken Root said it best when he said Colleen Callahan was the one that broke the "glass ceiling" and paved the way for other women to become head of the orgnazation, and now I become the 6th. 

For so many years I would look at what past presidents have done and wondered if I would be in that role.  I ran twice, lost twice but became a stronger person for it.  In 2012 the time felt right and I ran again.  I remember standing in the back of the room with Orion Samuelson on my left and Max Armstrong on my right.  When Tom Steever announced the name of the National Vice President, it felt like I was watching from the corner.  The hugs right away from Max & Orion and the handshakes there after reminded me why I love this organization and why I wanted to be apart of the tradition. 

My goal over the next year is to document my travels, my thoughts, along with pictures, video and audio of what so many before me have said is the best year of your life...