Every year the South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) recognizes outstanding communicators for the Ag industry. This year the SDCGA selected Jody Heemstra, farm broadcaster for KWAT radio in Watertown with its Excellence in Public Outreach Award, which was presented during the SDCGA’s 23rd Annual Meeting held Jan. 10.
The Excellence in Public Outreach Award is given to journalists who go the extra mile in representing the industry to the general public with fairness, accuracy and diligence.
“Jody’s passion for the industry is evident in all that she does and one would be hard pressed to find someone to represent agriculture with greater enthusiasm or accuracy,” said Bill Chase, president of the SDCGA. “Throughout the year at nearly every agricultural activity you can count on her being there and providing the best coverage possible of those events.”
A farm girl herself, Heemstra grew up near Bridgewater, S.D., the daughter of Dale and Eileen Heemstra. She has been working in the broadcast industry since 1998, and joined KWAT as a reporter in September of 2000. She was promoted to KWAT’s farm broadcaster in October of 2006.
Multiple accolades have been awarded to Heemstra by her industry peers as well as those organizations she so dedicatedly reports about and promotes. She earned first place for AP Commercial Radio News and was honored for Excellence in Ag Reporting from the National Association of Farm Broadcasting. In addition, she was bestowed an Honorary FFA Degree and received a Distinguished Service award from FFA.
Nearly everything Heemstra involves herself with has an ag component. She was selected as a member of the South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership Class 5; she is a member of the Watertown Chamber Ag Committee and is involved with the Watertown Winter Farm Show. She works with the Codington County 4-H Achievement Days and attends various industry conventions both at state and national levels.
Heemstra was chosen for this award by the producers she promotes based on her outstanding representation of the ag industry through her fair, unbiased and positive reports on Watertown’s KWAT radio!