CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today appointed legendary broadcaster Orion Samuelson to the Illinois Racing Board. Samuelson was the host of the “U.S. Farm Report” for 30 years and is an expert in agribusiness. Today’s announcement continues the Governor’s commitment to making Illinois government more accountable, transparent and effective.
“Orion Samuelson is the best-known agricultural broadcaster in the country and an expert in his field,” Governor Quinn said. “The people of Illinois will benefit from his knowledge, dedication and commitment to the people he serves.”
Orion Samuelson of Huntley is heard six days a week on WGN Radio in Chicago, where he has served as Agribusiness Director since 1960. He is also heard daily on radio stations with his syndicated National Farm Report and syndicated “Samuelson Sez” commentary programs.
In 1998, the American Farm Bureau Federation honored Orion with the AFBF Distinguished Service Award. In 1997, the State Fair Junior Livestock Building was renamed the Orion Samuelson Junior Livestock Building as a tribute to Orion’s four decades of service to the agricultural youth of Illinois. In 2001, the University of Illinois conferred Orion with the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters.
Samuelson has also received the highest award in the radio industry when he became the first Agribusiness Broadcaster to be inducted into the National Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Samuelson is also in the Illinois Broadcaster Hall of Fame, the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame, the National 4-H Hall of Fame, the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame and the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He is also a recipient of the Lincoln Medal, the highest award the state of Illinois bestows.
Samuelson is past chairman of the Board of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation, a member of the Farm Foundation Bennett Round Table, a member of the Board of the Agriculture Future of America, a member of the Board of Farm Safety 4 Just Kids, a member of the Board of Directors of the Foods Resource Bank, a Trustee of the Cornerstone Foundation of Lutheran Social Services in Illinois and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the National 4-H Council.
As a result of Governor Quinn’s efforts to make the executive appointment process more accessible and transparent, residents who are interested in serving on boards and commissions can now apply online. For more information on all of the state’s boards and commissions, or to apply to serve on a board, please visit Appointments.Illinois.gov.