Paul Hoverman
Paul Hoverman

The “Big O” may have different meanings to different people. To me, the “Big O” makes me think of basketball legend, Oscar Robertson. But to most of our friends in the farming community and those who have listened to radio over the last fifty plus years, there is only one “Big O” and that is Orion Samuelson. Orion Samuelson is that trusted, rich, baritone voice heard on the radio since 1960 over WGN in Chicago, providing the Midwest farmer with agricultural news and information. Why - just saying that last phrase, one can almost hear his voice. It is so recognizable.

Samuelson is without doubt, the best-known agricultural broadcaster in the country. Born on a dairy farm near La Crosse, Wis., Samuelson considered becoming a Lutheran pastor before deciding on six months of radio school instead. Today, Samuelson is heard over a syndicate of 260 stations airing his National Farm Report daily and with Samuelson Sez, a weekly series allowing him to offer opinions and observations on the agricultural community. Since 1975, he has produced and hosted U.S. Farm Report, a weekly television program seen on 190 Midwest stations.

Samuelson has been the recipient of countless awards and honors including the American Farm Bureau’s Distinguished Service Award in 1998; the Nation 4-H Alumni Award; and he is the only broadcaster in the nation to receive two Oscar’s in Agriculture- one each on radio and television. He topped it all off by being inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2003.

Our Speaker and Lecture Committee felt it was important to bring such an illustrious person to our region because of our deep roots and importance of agriculture throughout our area. I am sure whether you are a farmer or not, you will find the plethora of stories Samuelson can share to be most enlightening, informative and entertaining.

You can get tickets in advance or at the door Sunday for this 3 p.m. engagement. What else are you going to do on a Sunday afternoon? Football is over, March Madness has yet to begin and baseball is just getting started down south.

On the heels of Samuelson will be a concert on March 1. It feels good just to be able to say March! Maybe it will finally start warming up outside. Regardless of what the weather is outside, it will be “hot” in the Niswonger for this Saturday night concert when the legendary R&B recording artists, The Spinners come to Van Wert. With songs like “I’ll Be Around,” Rubber band Man,” “Then Came You,” and so much more, it’s guaranteed to be an exciting night.

This one could yet sell out, so don’t delay on getting tickets if you haven’t already. Relive those great memories with the music of The Spinners. You know how a song can take you back; well this concert will take you back over and over again!