And now, the Agricultural Communicator of the Year…

A lot of times farming is really all about weather.

Back in the mid 1970s I got my first newspaper job. I was a photographer, a reporter, and the farm editor. I put together a weekly farm news section for the newspaper, composed of various hand-out stories, plus news I gathered myself, and usually a feature I wrote about some local farmer or agricultural experimental project.

I did not grow up on a farm, but I had done some limited amount of farm work as a teenager and then as a young man out of the Army, to include irrigation and some tractor driving. I had been a member of the Future Farmers of America in high school and had raised some pigs and cows and done some vegetable gardening.

I put a lot of effort into the farm news section, probably more than had been done by some of my predecessors.

So it was not a surprise when my editor informed me that I, we, had been invited to the local Farm Bureau’s annual meeting where they were to give out the Agricultural Communicator of the Year Award.

Being as I was the only agricultural news reporter in the county, I was a shoe-in to get it.

I didn’t write an acceptance speech, but I had the words in my head. Heck I loved speech class in high school and could give a talk at the drop of a hat — no notes needed,

Now if the farm news guy to the county south of me was in the competition I might have had to worry, but we were out of his coverage area. I knew that old guy personally. He had majored in agriculture at college, but spent his years as a newspaperman.

My editor picked me up in his old green pickup truck with the cracked windshield he never did get around to repairing as far as I ever knew. He was not a farm boy himself, but he did grow up in the mountains where his dad owned a saw mill. He was all dressed up for the dinner in his workman-like jacket and tie. I don’t think he owned as much as a sport coat. I was dressed up in a sport coat and tie and slacks, looking like the professional newsman I aspired to be.

We ate the dinner and listened to the requisite business meeting and then it was time for the award. I was thinking of what I would say when they called me up. My editor was proud of me.

The Farm Bureau president made the announcement.

The award went to the TV weather guy.

Farmers value weather news.

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