WCCO Radio to broadcast from local farm in June

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 5/16/01.

To honor June as dairy month, WCCO Radio will be broadcasting eight hours of live morning programs from Duane Burg's dairy farm north of Paynesville on Friday, June 15.

The broadcast will start at 5 a.m. with WCCO's morning show and will continue live until 1 p.m. Dark Star will be doing his two-hour show starting at 9 a.m., and Governor Jesse Ventura will do his weekly one-hour show at 11 a.m.

Each year, WCCO Radio does a day of programming from a farm to highlight agriculture. "It is a pretty good way to show nonfarm people what agriculture is all about," said Roger Strom, WCCO farm director, at an organizational meeting in Paynesville last week.

Last year, WCCO's broadcast from a farm near Hutchinson attracted several thousand visitors during the course of the shows, Strom said.

This year, WCCO contacted the corporate office for the Associated Milk Producers, Incorporated, to find a farm, and Matt Quade, local plant manager, and Neil Fischer, local office manager, selected Burg's farm. Then, with the hoof and mouth disease fears peaking, the local American Legion was suggested as an alternative site.

At the organizational meeting, Burg expressed confidence in safely hosting the event on his dairy farm, which is nine miles north of Paynesville and a mile south of St. Martin.

The logistics of the event are still being ironed out, but the public will be invited. Parking space will be limited at the farm, though, and bus transportation likely will be needed.

Breakfast will be served with WCCO's morning crew, including Dave Lee, Erik Eskola, Mike Lynch, Strom, and Dark Star. Governor Jesse Ventura bills his show as "Lunch with the Governor," so another meal may be organized at noon.

A packed audience at the American Legion in Paynesville greeted Gov. Ventura during a previous visit to town in February 2000. That visit was part of a tour of the state. This time, the governor will likely come for his show and head back to the Twin Cities.

"I wouldn't say (Gov. Ventura) was coming unless he personally said he was coming," said Strom.

The other WCCO personalities might be just as big a draw as the state's charismatic governor., organizers think. Strom said the audience a year ago was spread out, and changed throughout the day.

Strom also suggested organizing barn tours and petting zoos on the farm.

Leading the organizational efforts will be AMPI and the Paynesville Area Chamber of Commerce, but Strom suggested getting lots of community organizations involved. For instance, 4-H Clubs might put on a petting zoo.

Local dairy princesses will be invited, and Princess Kay of the Milky Way is expected.

The event will take place just before Town and Country Days begins, and could serve as a kickoff to the community festival. The event will better highlight the "country" aspects of the community, said Paul Bugbee, a local resort owner and Chamber of Commerce member.

As local organizational efforts focus on food, transportation, and other entertainment, WCCO will be looking for some local people to spotlight on their broadcast. Strom said they needed a programming list with interesting people and stories from the community. Not all of these stories will actually make the air, he emphasized.

WCCO's Good Neighbor Award that day will also go to a local individual.

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