Profile: Career in farm broadcasting is full of opportunities

Imagine a career with new opportunities thrown at you around every corner. Would you take advantage of those opportunities and see where life leads you? Or just stay in one place because you are comfortable? Janet Adkison has taken every opportunity given to her in her farm broadcasting career.

“I think my career and life has been go-with-the-flow, but consider opportunities as they come along,” Adkison said. “You don’t have to take those opportunities, but fully consider them.

I’ve been blessed to learn something new at each stop. From smallest new skills to experiencing different management styles, there’s always something to take away and help you and your future employers down the road.”

That is how Adkison, president-elect for the National Association of Farm Broadcasters and current Farm Broadcaster for Rural Radio and RFD-TV, describes her career.

Adkison is originally from Houston, Mo., where she grew up on a beef cattle farm.

After high school, Janet attended Missouri State University where she earned a degree in agricultural communications. Her first stepping-stone after college was in Little Rock, Ark., where she was a farm broadcaster for the Arkansas Radio Network. Adkison said this is where she first was introduced to the NAFB.

“I worked with the late Stewart Doan who was farm director at the time,” Adkison said. “He was serving as president of NAFB so it was also my first introduction to the association.”

Then, after a year in Arkansas, Janet accepted a position with the Brownfield Network. This network happened to be the broadcast outlet Janet grew up listening to.

“I spent about four years there working with some great people, but I stepped out of the broadcast business for a couple years after that when I attempted to go back to college to pursue a master’s degree,” Adkison said.

When Adkison realized that getting her master’s was not something she wanted to do, she headed back to the broadcast world and accepted a position as a farm broadcaster for KFRM Radio in Clay Center, Ks.

After a year in that position, Adkison took another step and took the position as farm director for KMZU Radio in Carrollton, Mo.

After seven years at KMZU, Adkison said she is excited about where she is today. Adkison is now employed as a farm broadcaster at Rural Radio and RFD-TV.

When Adkison reflected back on her career she said: “I think each stop along the way was a great education, even a few that I didn’t mention certainly offered a lesson in something that helps me each day.”

Adkison has many notches in her career belt, though her most recent accomplishment will arrive in January when she becomes president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters.

“Over the years, the number of media outlets dedicated to agriculture programming has diminished,” Adkison said. “That’s why I think it’s important for members of any organization to be involved and help support the industry or cause they believe in. As with anything, you get out of it what you put into it.”

One of Adkison’s goals for NAFB is to get more college students involved in the program.

“Students looking to start a career can make connections,” she said. “NAFB can help young people learn about the industry so they can bring that connection into the workplace, wherever it may be.”

Current student member Madison Williams, MU science and agricultural journalism major, was able to meet Adkison recently at the annual NAFB convention..

“Janet is a very personable person who cares deeply about the future of the NAFB and ag communications,” Williams said. “It takes a special person to take so much time and help students with their career paths.”

Another student member, Sabrina Cope, MU science and agricultural journalism major, also recently just attended the NAFB convention for the first time.

“I thought Janet was organized and she kept in constant contact with the students at the NAFB convention despite her busy schedule as president-elect,” Cope said. “Janet made sure we had the best experience possible at the convention.”

As for Adkison, she still has many goals for her career and life. While working at RFD-TV and Rural Radio she hopes to expand her talents so she can develop more diverse skills. This is her first job involving television and not just radio.

“Adding TV to the mix has been fun but there’s so much more to figure out,” Adkison said. “I’m just getting started but looking forward to the task.”

Always focused on helping college students through NAFB and her career, Adkison shared some advice.

“Behave professionally and don’t burn bridges,” she said. “While you may never intend to work for ‘that’ company again, the impression you leave behind will follow you.”

Erin Boedeker

About the Author Erin Boedeker

My name is Erin Boedeker, I am a Agricultural Education – Leadership major at the University of Missouri. My emphasis within my major is Communications and Science and Agricultural Journalism. I am originally from Elsberry, Mo. After receiving my degree, my hopes are to take my passion and knowledge for agriculture into the city. I hope to work with a public relations or marketing firm, and work with clients to help the public understand the positive aspects of production agriculture. I am excited to continue writing for Corner Post, to help build my portfolio, network and get a more hands-on experience with writing in general.