Ag Journalism In The Nation’s Capital

Here I am (left) at the National Portrait Gallery with Jonathan Knutson at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., as part of a tour with members of the North American Agricultural Journalists group.

The picture we’re standing near is called “The Farm,”  by Knjiro Namura, an oil-on-canvas made in 1934. The Washington state farm scene was part a Depression-era Publics Works of Art Project. Some of us also heard

Congratulations to Jonathan who on Sunday was elected Midwest regional vice president of the organization. I was president of the NAAJ in 1999-2000.

Nationally, South Dakota native Gil Gullickson, a native of the Aberdeen, S.D., area, who writes for Meredith Media at Des Moines, Iowa, was elected president, and Ed White, Winnipeg, who writes for the Western Producer magazine, was elected vice president.

Today, we’ll hear from numerous top national figures, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Robert Johansson, USDA chief economist, as well as top trade officials. Clint Raine of the National Corn Growers Association, will talk about the use of drones in agriculture.

Tonight , Jonathan and I are among the writing award winners  to be recognized at the National Press Club presentations. There, we’ll  enjoy music played by Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and congressional colleagues in the Second Amendments band.

The event also serves as a fund-raiser for the Sonja Hillgren Scholarship Benefit. The NAAJ has sponsored an agricultural journalism scholarship program through the University of Missouri School of Journalism at Columbia. The scholarship fund started with a goal of $25,000 and has raised more than $70,000.  Hillgren, a native of the Sioux Falls, S.D., area, was Agweek magazine’s first national correspondent in Washington. She went on to be editor of Farm Journal magazine and was a president of the NAAJ.