Agricultural media in this country is pretty good. Some argue that it once was better when farm-state daily newspapers staffed Washinton D.C. bureaus.   But that was another day, another time.

There is still plenty going on, and Food Safety News pays close attention to what our friends in agricultural media are reporting. This late summer, I learned of an entirely new-to-me agriculture news source.

I might not have found out about were I not making a big cross country trip.

You see, that’s because when behind the wheel, I am always searching the radio dial for something unique. And I did not want to be out of touch with food and agricultural news while on the road.

I grew up listing to WNAX Radio in Yankton, SD long after it was already famous in the five states it served. What made it famous, you ask?

Well, the station made Gurney Seeds a household name, plugged a young musician named Lawrence Welk and crushed the Post Office with 250,000 letters a year to “The Neighbor Lady.” Wynn Speece was a 64-year phenomenon who made human connections through household tips.

Plus of course, WNAX provided farm news and political perspectives.

So for years, we listened the to 50,000 watt Missouri River powerhouse.

The trouble is that when you knew WNAX was out there, you spend the rest of your life searching the dial for a station like that. These days when you travel across rural America, you are usually lucky if you can find a Christian radio station to sing along with or some of that monotonous public radio.

But in doing this extensive cross country driving during these late days of summer, I found another option. I found out how easy and cheap it is to put SiriusXM on all one’s devices and tune it to RURAL RADIO on Channel 147.

You cannot outrun this satellite technology, and the range of programming is impressive. But, as I’ve crisscrossed the country, I’ve found my preference for RURAL RADIO. It has a mix of news, weather and commodity market reports “live” from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Afternoon programming on RURAl RADIO features talks shows around agricultural questions. Evenings and weekends showcase western sports, including coverage of bull-riding and rodeos from around the country.

RURAL RADIO has exclusively aired the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo,  The Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo, the California Rodeo SalinasThe Calgary Stampede, the Ellensburg Rodeo, the Pendleton Round-Up, the PRCA’s Wrangler Champions Challenge events, and the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December.

There’s probably no other broadcasting where there is a serious discussion of which bull riders would make good country singers and vise-Versa. Also, I learned about the “ag-tour” where government and industry experts traveling around the country, checking on crops ahead of the harvest. They make predictions based on findings like how many rows of kernels are in the corn.

I still don’t understand a lot of tile drainage, but it was an interesting discussion topic for those who did. Market reports are also something I will never fully understand, and I’ve been listing to them for more years than I’d like to remember.

What I do know is that RURAL RADIO can draw you into their discussions and get you 300 miles down the road without thinking about.    I think what RURAL RADIO is doing is drawing urban listeners into their line-up of rural topics.

RURAl RADIO is available to 34 million households. The 24/7 channel went live on July 14, 2013. Broadcasts originate from Nashville.

It is part of the Omaha-based Rural Media Group Inc., the world’s leading provider of multimedia content dedicated to the rural and Western lifestyle.

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