Broadcaster Brian Allmer’s unexpected passing leaves hole in Colorado ag media
Brian Allmer, the owner of the BARN, Brian Allmer Radio Network, passed away on Aug. 25, 2021, in a Greeley hospital. While service details and a full obituary are forthcoming, Allmer has been honored by a number of individuals in the Colorado agriculture industry for his work. His colleagues at The Fence Post magazine join the state’s agriculture industry in mourning a loss of a passionate and dedicated ag broadcaster.
Colorado Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg wrote:
“There are people other than our family that we are blessed to have in our life. They are role models, mentors and people always willing to help anyone that needs assistance. And then there are people that take that relationship to a higher level. Brian Allmer was one of those incredible people that will continue to influence my life.
Maybe we were incredible friends because we both were driven to be advocates and spokespeople for agriculture. We enjoyed feeding off of each other but Brian was the person that could teach and then share all the while making sure the person he was working with got the credit. His work as a journalist and an advocate for agriculture was the best in the business.
We all remember ag icon Evan Slack and his “higher, higher, higher” agriculture market reports. Brian Allmer was the Evan Slack of the 21st century and did it in such a way that people would access his news using a number of different medias.
When the Brian Allmer Radio Network would come on one of his many stations, I would always turn it up and listen. And more importantly, unlike our major media outlets that only present one side, Brian did interviews and posted news on his website from people that he blatantly disagreed with.
When people wanted to reach those in agriculture and in rural Colorado, they sought out Brian.
Maybe we were good friends because I admired him so much because he set the premier standard of public service and helping the youth. It was always a pleasure to catch up with him as he announced the state fair or the National Western Stock Show. It was even more of a pleasure when I would catch up with him as he would live stream events like the FFA Ag Hall of Fame inductions or smaller agriculture events which gave others an opportunity to participate.
I missed his wonderful voice just last week when for the first year I can remember, he didn’t announce the Feeders and Friends ranch rodeo and fundraiser in New Raymer.
Brian was ahead of his time as I remember years ago when he was one of the first to live stream high school athletic events and he did it because he knew “there were people that wanted to be there but couldn’t.”
His dedication and support of youth in both 4-H and FFA as well as student leadership organizations was never in question as he would drive for hours just to be helpful.
Or maybe we were friends because I saw his commitment to both God and his family. How he balanced everything he did for agriculture and yet he and his wife raised an incredible couple of young adults. God was always a priority and I enjoyed seeing his social media posts with a daily devotion. And his love for his wife was always obvious. His last text to me from the intensive care unit asked me to “Please tell her I love her and I am fighting as best I can.”
Probably the reason we were friends was because he was the shining example of integrity, leadership, love, and humbleness. I want to be like him someday.
Rest in peace my friend and let me know how the markets are doing in heaven.“
In a statement, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg said:
“I am so deeply saddened to hear the news of Brian Allmer’s passing. It is a shock to so many and an immense loss for Colorado’s agricultural community.
Brian was dedicated to agriculture to his core. He always showed his civility and compassion for others and at the end of each of our monthly interviews would offer a blessing of health and happiness. His loss is made even more difficult as we head into the state fair, where Brian served as an announcer and broadcaster for the 4H and FFA events for years. His absence will be deeply felt this year and we will do our best to honor his legacy.
On behalf of all of us at the Colorado Department of Agriculture, my deepest condolences to Brian’s family, friends, and to all whose lives he touched.”
The Colorado FFA program was one of the beneficiaries of Allmer’s time and dedication. The FFA Foundation had this to say:
“The Colorado FFA Foundation joins with so many around our state in mourning the loss of our friend Brian Allmer, one of the most faithful “ag-vocates” Colorado has ever seen. Brian was a member of the FFA Foundation board for more than six years. He tirelessly volunteered his time to promote youth in agriculture, from broadcasting the Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame Induction events, to the State FFA Convention, the Blue Jacket Society, and any other occasion where he could help promote Colorado agriculture, especially anything involving young people.
Don Thorn, Executive Director of the Colorado FFA Foundation, said, “Brian had the biggest heart for agriculture and youth. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Connie, his family, and all those he touched through his passion and familiar voice. He will be deeply missed and only in time will we see just how impactful his effect was on agriculture.”
Brian went above and beyond. He lived and breathed ag, and his commitment to youth in our communities was unmatched. His enthusiasm to serve agriculture, the people who work in it every day, and the youth who are the future, was unequaled. Through his company, BARN Media, Brian was a spokesman for all aspects of agriculture. He touched all of our lives with his enthusiasm and tireless energy to be the voice for agriculture. Brian was a role model to us all, and he will be deeply missed. We have all lost our great ‘Friend in Agriculture.’“
KSIR agriculture director Lorrie Boyer broadcast a number of tributes to Allmer on her morning agriculture radio show and also said:
“Brian and I have a long history of working together since he got his start in ag radio at KSIR. I’m so proud of where he went with his career. He had a good heart and had a genuine love for people and wanting to serve them and this agricultural industry. He was, as one of his favorite sayings goes, all that and a bag of chips.”
Former Colorado FFA state officer and current KRVN and Rural Radio Network farm broadcaster Clay Patton said it was Allmer who interviewed him when he was a freshman in high school and sparked an interest in agriculture broadcasting that turned into a career. Patton said he was thankful for Allmer encouragement that day and over the years.
Jeff Rice at the Sterling Journal Advocate said:
“We are sad in Agriculture Land today. Brian Allmer, a leader in the ag journalism field in Colorado, has passed away, a victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I met Brian when we both worked for Northeast Broadcasting back in the aughts — aught five or aught-six, I think — and even then he was a passionate, hard-working voice for agriculture and rural Colorado. It took me a couple of hours to digest just why his death has hit me so hard, and I finally figured it out; to me, Brian was a leader among those of us who report on agriculture I always thought of him being a step or two ahead of me, and that was fine with me; he was, after all, broadcast and those guys are almost always first. But I figured as long as I kept up with what he was doing, I was on the right track. It always made me feel good to show up to an event and see Brian there. I knew I was where ag was happening.
Now, frankly, I’m just a little lost. I’ve never had a problem following the leadership of women, so I’ll probably turn to Rachel Gabel at The Fence Post or Lorrie Boyer at KSIR or Marianne Goodland for leadership.
Meanwhile, we all will have to step up and hope we can help fill the void left by Brian’s passing. He built an incredible ag reporting outlet and I hope someone can take it over and run with it.
Farewell, old friend. Your voice will be missed.“
Allmer worked extensively with Colorado Farm Bureau and was honored by the organization for his dedication and service with the 2019 Service to Agriculture award. The organization said:
“There’s a BARN-sized hole in our hearts today. Brian Allmer of The BARN — Brian Allmer Radio Network was a friend to us all. He was dedicated to agriculture and it’s people. But he was also a tireless supporter of rural youth. Youth sports, livestock exhibition, FFA, 4-H, Brian was there to help them all.
Brian was the kind of person that holds entire communities together, with his time, his dedication, and his voice.
Brian is irreplaceable. We are all better off for knowing him. And worse off for being without him.
Rest In Peace friend. We’re praying for your family.“
In a 2019 interview with The Fence Post magazine, a rare moment on the other side of the microphone, Allmer told Rachel Gabel:
“I don’t do it for (any awards),” he said. “We want to get the truth out about what we do in agriculture to the best of our ability. Getting the story out is our thanks.”
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