Remembering farm broadcaster Glenn Powell
Glenn Powell interviews a Nebraska rancher during a stop on an International Federation of Agricultural Journalists bus tour 1976.
From his early years in southwestern Ontario, listening to hockey over the radio on Saturday nights, to a career at CBC that would last well over three decades, Glenn Powell was no stranger to radio.
Glenn began his career in broadcasting with the CBC in 1963 after graduating from the Ontario Agricultural College. Our founder, George Atkins, counted him as a friend, and thought of him as a talented agriculture journalist. His work took him around the world, reporting from all 10 provinces, parts of the U.S., Mexico and Western Europe covering a range of topics, from Parliament to agriculture, food and the environment.
One photo we have on file features Glenn “interviewing a tractor” on location.
“You never know when you will need the sfx [sound effects] of a tractor running!” the caption reads.
Glenn brought that same humour, dedication to agriculture and love of radio to Farm Radio International.
From 2009 to 2018 Glenn served as a board member for Farm Radio International. An early contributor to our work (Glenn wrote and recorded agricultural scripts that would be sent across the developing world as early as 1987), Glenn kept Farm Radio true to our mission of serving small-scale farmers with excellent farm radio programming. He was always a willing — and very capable — coach and advisor to African broadcasters.
Glenn brought that experience from his time as a farm broadcaster with the CBC, the last veteran of the separate team of agriculture reporters on CBC Radio. In his retirement, he continued that work as a regular freelance contributor to Ontario Farmer.
Glenn died on Tuesday, Sept. 29. He would have turned 80 on October 17. He will be dearly missed.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Glenn’s family has opened a memorial online at https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/2aMUKOqK for friends and family to leave a message or a story about Glenn.