Wisconsin Farmers Union: McCollum honored for excellence in agricultural communications

Contact: Danielle Endvick, 715.471.0398

[email protected]

WICHITA, Kansas – National Farmers Union (NFU) awarded Maureen McCollum of Wisconsin Public Radio with the Milton D. Hakel Award for Excellence in Agricultural Communications during its 113th Anniversary Convention March 14-17 in Wichita, Kansas.

“NFU greatly appreciates the role Maureen McCollum has played in covering stories important to family farmers and ranchers,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.

The award, named in honor of Milton D. Hakel, a longtime, well-respected Farmers Union communicator, is presented to reporters or news outlets that demonstrate exceptional reporting of agricultural issues.

“Maureen has a solid reputation for digging deep into issues that affect farmers in Wisconsin and around the country,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “She has educated farmers and consumers alike on topics like Country-of-Origin Labeling, the Farm Bill, farm income, changing farmer demographics, raw milk legislation, the impact of elections on rural issues, and challenges our farmers continue to face.”

McCollum was nominated for the award by the Wisconsin Farmers Union.

“Maureen is a breath of fresh air in the journalism industry,” said WFU President Darin Von Ruden. “Her reporting for Wisconsin Public Radio is not only accurate and fair, it is also timely, and she seems to truly care about educating farmers and the public about key ag issues.”

McCollum is based in La Crosse and covers a variety of topics in the southwest region of the state. She also hosts and helps produce a weekly regional WPR program, “Newsmakers.” She got her start in public radio working as a student at WPR in La Crosse while attending UW-La Crosse. After graduation she worked at KBIA as a reporter, anchor, producer and mentor to University of Missouri journalism students.

McCollum’s journalistic achievements have not gone unnoticed. She has also been recognized with awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association and the Associated Press.

Past Milton D. Hakel Award Recipients:

2014 Tim Marema, The Daily Yonder, Whitesburg, Ky., and Knoxville, Tenn.

2013 Al Gustin, KFYR and KBMR Radio, Bismarck, N.D.

2012 WisconsinEye News Team, Madison, Wis.

2011 No awardee

2010 Julie Harker, Brownfield

2009 Chris Clayton, DTN

2008 John Nichols, The Nation/The Capital Times, Madison, Wis.

2007 Michelle Rook and Tom Riter, WNAX Radio, Sioux Falls, S.D.

2006 Chuck Abbott, Reuters News Service

2005 Robert Pore, Grand Isle Neb.

2004 Ed Slusarczyk, Ag Radio Network, Utica, N.Y.

2003 Larry Steckline, Mid-America Ag Network, Wichita, Kan.

2002 Mike Hergert, Red River Farm Network, Grand Forks, N.D.

2001 Cheryl Tevis, Successful Farming, Des Moines, Iowa

2000 Jerry Hagstrom, National Journal, Washington, D.C.

1999 Judy Stratman, WNAX, agriculture reporter, Yankton, S.D.

1998 A.V. (Al) Krebs, The Corporate Reapers, author, Everett, Wash.

1997 Alan Guebert, Farm & Food File columnist, Delavan, Ill.

1996 Dave Russell, Tribune Radio Network, Indianapolis, Ind.

1995 Lee Egerstrom, St. Paul Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.

1994 Don Muhm, Des Moines Register, farm editor, Des Moines, Iowa

1993 Don Kendall, Associated Press, farm writer, Washington, D.C.

1992 Loren Soth, Des Moines Register, editorial page editor, Des Moines, Iowa

1991 Ron Hays, Oklahoma Agrinet, farm program director, Oklahoma City, Okla.

1990 Dan Looker, Successful Farming, Des Moines, Iowa