Ken Root, Emeritus
Ken has been an agricultural journalist for 46 years. With experience as a broadcaster in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Iowa, Ken was also the original host of AgriTalk, a daily talk show dealing with issues that affect rural America. From 2010-2013 he served as Farm Director for WHO-TV, and from 2005-2010 as the lead farm broadcaster for WHO Radio.
Since 1998, Ken has written a weekly column for the High Plains Journal. “The Root Zone” explores agricultural issues of past and present generations. Ken is also an Agri-Pulse Contributor, in addition to his work as a well- known public speaker and emcee.
As a reporter, Ken has traveled to over 30 countries, including the Soviet Union, China, Brazil, Turkey and Iraq. He has been part of the international press corps of two U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture: John Block and Mike Johanns.
He has twice won the top reporting award in farm broadcasting, the Oscar in Agriculture (1983 and 2008). In 2009, he was named Farm Broadcaster of the Year by the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.
Ken also served as Executive Director of the National AgriChemical Retailers Association (1988-1992) and as the Executive Director of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (2002-2005).
Dustin Hoffmann, Supervising Editor & Farm Broadcaster
Dustin has been in radio since 2007 and a farm broadcaster since 2014. In that short amount of time, Dustin’s work has been recognized at the local, state and national levels. Dustin was the 2016 Minnesota Farmer’s Union Ag Communicator of the Year and the 2017 recipient of the Doan Award. Dustin’s listeners have appreciated that he tells agriculture’s story from a personal and relatable point of view.
Dustin is the network’s broadcast supervisor and oversees all day-to-day programming functions. He is a member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.
Dustin lives in Ankeny with his wife Vanessa, daughter Jaydee, and son Mattox.
Anna Hastert, Digital Editor & Farm Broadcaster
Anna Hastert grew up on a row crop, beef cattle operation near Harlan, Iowa. She graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Multimedia Journalism.
She began her radio career as a Sunday news broadcaster for KSOM/KS957 in Atlantic, Iowa. In college, she worked at the university’s college radio station KZLX and NPR affiliate KXCV/KRNW. She also wrote for the school’s award-winning newspaper, the Northwest Missourian.
Since joining the Network in June 2017, Anna has covered a wide array of topics. She has attended the Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show, as well as the Alltech One Conference. Most recently, Anna completed a project called “Row Crop Run,” which featured eight Iowa farmers, who implement cover crops on their operations.
Brent Barnett, Field Editor
Brent Barnett grew up in a small rural community in Northwest Missouri and helped during his youth on his grandpa’s farm. Brent graduated from Northwest Missouri State in 2015 where he was the student manager of the University’s radio station while earning a Bachelor of Science in Mass Media degree.
After graduation, Brent was hired at KMA in Shenandoah, the area’s leading Ag radio station and pillar station for the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network. At KMA, Brent gathered and reported agricultural news on a regular basis, covering issues that impacted area farmers. He was also part of the team that
covered county fairs for live radio broadcasts and web content. His duties also included producing and airing commodity reports for grain and cattle markets for KMA’s large ag-based audience. In 2018 he was recognized by the Iowa Broadcast News Association as a winner of their “In-depth Series”.
Brent enjoys outdoor activities including bow hunting, slow pitch softball and golf. He’s also an avid Kansas City Chiefs and Royals fan. Brent currently resides in Shenandoah with his wife and child.
Chris Belisle, Network Manager
Chris has been with the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network since its’ inception. He is a New England Native who currently resides in Connecticut with his wife Michelle and their three children. In his spare time, you will likely find him at one of the kids extracurricular activities.