Colorado’s Queen of Ag takes the reins of National Association of Farm Broadcasting
November 16, 2018
Before she was the Queen of Ag, Lorrie Boyer was a new graduate of Colorado State University, fresh from an internship at the Ag Journal, and looking for a job. She found one at KLMR in Lamar, Colo., and that began her career in ag broadcasting.
Some years later, Boyer is the newly installed president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.
Boyer just returned, gavel in hand, from the group's annual meeting in Kansas City, Mo. She will be traveling in the next few months to the National Cattleman's Beef Association meeting in New Orleans, the annual meeting of the National Association of Conservation Districts, the National Ag Marketing Association, the Commodity Classic, the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting, and a board meeting for the NAFB, among others.
The importance of the opportunity to represent Colorado on the national stage doesn't escape Boyer and she said she has big shoes to fill. The last NAFB president from Colorado was farm broadcast legend Evan Slack in 1989.
At the beginning of her career, over 20 years ago in Lamar, Boyer had applied for an on-air assistant position. Unbeknownst to her, the station was seeking an on-air farm reporter and once they learned of her education in technical journalism with an emphasis in agriculture and her experience in agriculture, she landed the gig.
"Not only did I get to do that, I learned how to be an on-air personality, which is a little different because you actually anchor a show," she said. "I did a morning and afternoon show and I got additional valuable experience while I was there."
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After five years, she moved to the competitor station in Lamar, KVAY, which at the time, didn't have an agriculture department. She started the agriculture department at the station from scratch and also ran a shift on-air as a radio personality, one of the things that make her unique.
When she left Lamar 16 years ago, she came to Fort Morgan and KSIR, where she is on the air today. Technology, much the same all across agriculture, is one area in which she's seen big changes.
"When I first started, we used the eight track tapes for recording sound bites and a reel to reel machine," she said. "Now it's all computers and so much more convenient and the editing software is so much more progressive."
While at the NAFB meeting, Boyer completed her interviews and some editing right from her iPhone. Boyer is also embracing radio's progression toward incorporating video to complement broadcasts, a trend she said is catching on across the industry.
Boyer said she has also seen more women enter the farm broadcasting realm though she said she has never run into any discrimination, even as a young, inexperienced woman in the field.
"I didn't run into any road blocks," she said. "My very first interview was with Prowers County Commissioner John Stulp. I told him I was new and I think when you're genuine, people connect with you, people are understanding and they want to help you."
Boyer said about half of the broadcasters in NAFB are female now, a sign of the changing times.
As for her next 20 years in agricultural broadcasting, Boyer said she wants to keep her finger on the pulse of the industry and grow as a journalist and give back to the industry that has given her so much. She appears on RFD-TV every Wednesday, something she enjoys and appreciates for the exposure it brings to eastern Colorado and KSIR.
"When people think about agriculture, Colorado is not top of the mind," she said. "There are a lot more farm broadcasters from the 'I' states and the Corn Belt than there is from this neck of the woods so to be able to represent Colorado and already doing that through RFD-TV, the response has been great. To be able to talk about Colorado nationally is awesome."
— Gabel is an assistant editor and reporter for The Fence Post. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (970) 392-4410.