Name and Title: Don Wick, President
Organization Name: Red River Farm Network
What Industry/Sector Do You Identify with? Ag Media
Number of employees, member patrons, growers, shareholders etc. in Minnesota:
RRFN is based in Grand Forks, ND. We serve 20 radio markets in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. RRFN has seven employees.
What about your organization or company’s work are you most proud of?
The Red River Farm Network is celebrating our 25th anniversary this year. RRFN’s tagline is ‘Reporting Agriculture’s Business’ and that has been our focus over the past 25 years. We concentrate on the policy and pocketbook issues impacting farmers and agricultural stakeholders. RRFN has traveled around the globe, including China, Brazil, Cuba, Russia, Europe and Japan to cover our #1 industry. We can also be found reporting from a legislative hearing in St. Paul, a farm meeting in Fergus Falls or a sugar beet field in Roseau. COVID-19 and its dramatic influence on the markets has stressed an already stressed population. RRFN’s news coverage has expanded to include stories about mental health and tying that information back to the uncertainties surrounding coronavirus. Since April of 2019, RRFN has also hosted a radio and podcast series called TransFARMation. This program is bringing awareness to the issues of farm stress and mental wellness to a broad audience.
Please highlight key trends affecting your industry.
Media consumption has only grown during the coronavirus pandemic. A recent Nielsen study found 83 percent of respondents are listening to as much or more radio as they were before COVID-19. Farm radio has maintained its leadership role as a daily news source for farmers. According to Millennium Research, farmers spend more than 70 minutes per day listening to farm radio news, markets and weather.
Talk about the key opportunities & challenges facing your business over the next 5 years.
Profitability within agriculture is a primary concern. When farmers are successful, we all benefit. In addition to radio, the Red River Farm Network utilizes electronic newsletters, podcasts and social media to inform our farm audience. Over the next five years, the use of technology will grow. RRFN sees opportunities to reach new audiences with these tools. RRFN delivers credible, trusted information, which is a vital commodity for the entire agricultural sector.