So Long to Farm Broadcaster Evan Slack

Cindy Zimmerman

Heaven has gained another farm broadcaster.

The legendary Evan Slack passed away on Saturday, September 19, at the age of 86. His radio career spanned 68 years including most recently as owner of the Evan Slack Network based in Denver, Colo. During that time, he broadcasted from 45 states, 4 Canadian Provinces and Australia.

Russell Nemetz purchased Evan’s network earlier this year after helping him do the broadcasts for the past four years. “The agriculture and broadcast industries have lost one of their biggest advocates. Not only did he have a positive impact on me, but Evan touched the lives of millions of people during his amazing career and we can all be thankful for that.” Read Russell’s tribute to Evan.

Evan was a leader in the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) and served as president in 1987. He was inducted into the NAFB Hall of Fame in 2009 and won tons of other awards from various industry organizations. Evan was born in Missouri and received a degree in Agriculture with a minor in Journalism from the University of Missouri. After that, he moved westward, into the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, establishing Farm and Ranch departments at two different radio stations and eventually becoming a farm radio network pioneer in the west, working to establish network programming specifically targeted for the farmers and ranchers of that region in the early 1970s. After getting his pilot’s license in 1967, Evan was able to cover the entire western farm and ranch territory and quickly became a well-loved radio personality with the slogan On the Air and In the Air.

He was early to adopt new technology, taking his network on-line in 2006 to distribute his programming to radio stations. He was a Mac man and bought the first iPhone that came out and was quick to see its uses for broadcasting in the field.

He was also a very dear friend of ours and we will be missing that joyful greeting we always received from Evan when we met him at events like the Cattle Industry Conference and NAFB. So long, good friend. Fly high.


NAFB

Comments 10

  1. A great gentleman and friend. Never forgot the name of the many people he met over the years. Honest agriculture reporter.

  2. At conferences and conventions Evan Slack had a nose for news, casually moving about from circle to circle. I think he was a gentleman Ag newsman. Evan always asked me two things: he asked me about tobacco, the quota buyout, though he really didn’t cover it in his network coverage area; and, he asked me for any new jokes. He would laugh at everyone.

    As a former broadcaster and owner/operator, I found Evan entertaining, if not intriguing. I can’t speak to whether God has livestock and crops in Heaven, but if He does he might give a turn at the mic to Evan.

    Rest in Peace, good guy.

  3. I’m just learning about this and will truly miss my LONG-time friend. He and I met in 1957 at the spring Regional NATRFD meeting in Tulsa, OK and became fast friends for years. We both started learning to fly about the same time…he earned his Airman’s Certificate in 1967 and I earned mine in 1968. We enjoyed so many good times exchanging experiences about flying as well as broadcasting. He started the Evan Slack Network only a very few years after I started the Voice of Southwest Agriculture Radio Network. We made a lot of cross-country flights in our separate planes (he always let me take off first because myu plane was somewhat slower than his, and so we would arrive at the destination about the same time). We shared a room at the NAFB meetings in recent years, up until 2019, when he told me he just was not up to the trip. He’d had a light stroke several months ago and was recovering and rehabilitating in Arizona at the time of his death. Evan was a GREAT guy and I loved him dearly, and will genuinely miss his company and companionship.

  4. Evan was a great man! Never will I forget the “Higher, Higher, Higher ” when the market was going up. My parents listened to him religiously. I remember when I was younger we stopped in at his station to visit and on our way home he mentioned that we had stopped by and I am sure I had a grin from ear to ear hearing that over the radio. He had a voice that one will never forget.. along with his great personality and his passion for agriculture. Prayers for you Evan! Thank you for the great reports!

  5. Got to know Evan at the Montana Broadcasters Association conventions.
    Great guy and always a gentleman. His start in Missouri radio stations helped connect us since I had radio stations in Joplin, Missouri some years ago. Rest In Peace, Evan…..

    John David
    Senior Advisor
    National Association of Broadcasters

  6. My acquaintance with Evan Slack began shortly after his departure from KOA in the early 1980s, as our radio station in Colorado became one of his early signees on his own broadcast network. We went from live countdowns on the air to automatic feeds over the years as his members grew. That increase was due to his open personality, coupled with his professionalism. When time allowed, he always stopped to visit one of our county fairs and then would hit the airways (in both aspects of the word) to bring his knowledge to our listeners. Higher, Higher, Evan.

  7. One of a kind for sure. J. Evan Slack always took the time to engage everyone and had great stories to share about all of the people he crossed paths with. Had the privilege of serving in his NAFB leadership crew as Chats Editor and then as VP when he was President of NAFB. We traveled together a few times, flew with him several times, shared a room when one of us forgot to make a reservation early. Evan was a techno-leader in many ways from his broadcasts to his flight panels – always top notch and/or very high quality and reliable — just like Evan.

    Evan was an industry leader, a highly regarded broadcaster and steady voice for farmers and ranchers throughout US agriculture. His tenacity, wit and genuineness will always be remembered. RIP..

  8. Always loved when Evan attended our MBA conventions. Never quite sure when he might arrive due to flying conditions, but he was always fun to have with us. Rest well old friend.

  9. I remember his first small radio station outside of Fort Collins CO which
    he started in 1958 and how he wanted to follow in the footsteps of a famous
    farm broadcaster from Kansas City. I was working for a lumber company there
    and one or two times we would go to Denver and visit friends. He was real
    and focused and a pleasure to be around.

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