“Hello. Kelly Lenz suggested we call you to come and work for the radio.”
Of course, Kelly had been a longtime friend in the media business and had assisted with personal ranch event promotions.
The surprising opportunity call came exactly a decade ago four days after being fired from previous employment. Assistant farm director Greg Akagi heard that personally defeating news, sharing it with Kelly who made recommendation to radio management.
Initially taken back, first reaction was quite indecisiveness, yet with prodding interview was scheduled and before long a new job.
It must all be credited to now even closer friend and daily work cohort Kelly Lenz. There’ve been a number of airwave and print reports in recent days about Kelly’s retirement as a farm broadcaster.
That’s after a remarkable career serving agriculture around the world for nearly half a century with 41 years in Kansas.
Mention the name Kelly Lenz anywhere and eyes immediately light up appreciatively recognizing Kelly for his knowledge and engaging congeniality. That’s from every local farm and ranch home to state, national and worldwide agriculture and political affiliations.
More than four decades Kelly was up at 4 o’clock, soon live on the radio reporting analyzing agriculture news and markets. Leaders in every phase of the industry, government programs and decision making were interviewed willingly trusting sharing with Kelly.
Making Kelly even more of a household personality was his daily noontime television show for two decades. Further immediate recognition of the renowned agriculture broadcaster came from service at farm events throughout the country.
Kelly organized literally hundreds of educational meetings, and served as master of ceremonies countless times for programs around the Midwest. That on top of a tight calendar filled with requested speaking engagements just about everywhere.
Personal affiliations earlier had been print reporting programs Kelly planned and on the air just a couple times discussing agriculture.
Since officially working together, supporting advertising campaigns have been developed for Kelly’s radio shows and farm seminars he coordinated.
Retirement had been Kelly’s conversation for a time, but official announcement created an immediate void for all.
Thank you Kelly Lenz, personal comrade and friend of agriculture everywhere; best wishes for you and sweet wife Mary always.
Reminded of Galatians 6:18: “May what the Master gives freely be deeply and personally yours, my friend.”