Each month the FMC Good to Grow podcast brings you new episodes that explore the latest trends facing U.S. growers. We sit down with university agronomists and researchers, crop consultants and FMC technical service team members who are on the forefront of the unique issues and solutions that matter most. And whether you’re a lettuce grower in the Salinas Valley or a soybean farmer in Bremer County, Iowa, we’ve got you covered with separate monthly podcasts – one for row crop and another for specialty. So, listen in as we explore these challenges head on.
Randy Koenen is a strong and steady voice for agriculture for the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains.
Randy was raised on a corn, soybean, spring wheat and sugarbeet farm in west central Minnesota, just north of Clara City. Randy began farming with his father while still in high school and continued to farm with his father and brother until 1998. Randy starting working part-time at a local radio station in Wilmar, Minnesota, eventually creating a farm broadcast department at K-95.3/KDJS. In 2001, Randy joined the Nebraska Rural Radio Association as farm director at KTIC/KWPN in West Point, Nebraska. Randy moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota and the Red River Farm Network in 2007.
Randy served as president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting in 2008. During his time with NAFB, Randy has also been a regional officer and chaired the resolutions committee, the news service committee and convention courtesy.
At the Red River Farm Network, Randy is a key member of a four-person farm broadcast team. Randy anchors the daily market newscasts on RRFN, hosts for the weekly Crop Watch broadcasts each spring. In addition, Randy co-hosts the RRFN Crop Tour and Harvest Hotline broadcast. For Randy, being a farm broadcaster is a natural progression from his time farming; he uses that practical experience to relay information to farmers to help them do their job better.
In addition to reporting agriculture’s business, Randy is a musician. He plays pedal steel guitar and dobro in a local band. Randy and his wife, Debbie, have two adult children and three grandchildren.
General Manager, AgNet West
Taylor Hillman is a news professional from Clovis, CA, where he was an award-winning technical director and assignment manager for the area CBS affiliate. He earned a Best Newscast award from the NorCal Radio and Television News Directors Association and received an AP Best Newscast award.
Hillman was raised in the state’s agriculture-rich Central Valley, where his grandfather was a cotton and alfalfa grower and his uncle continues the farming tradition. The Hillman family has also been actively involved in the World Ag Expo for several years. Hillman is an active member of the Old Town Clovis Kiwanis and helps plan several major community events each year.