Orion Samuelson and Max Armstrong bring WGN Radio 720 listeners comprehensive news on current financial and agricultural trends. From up-to-the-minute market reports and coverage of trading action to agricultural developments at local, state, national and global levels, Orion and Max deliver the information Chicagoland and the Heartland want and need.
WGN, in addition to co-hosting The Morning Show, WGN Radio's agriculture program, with his longtime colleague Max Armstrong on Saturdays at 5am.
Orion is also heard daily on stations across the Midwest with his syndicated National Farm Report and Samuelson Sez. Orion and Max are seen weekly on rural channel RFD-TV, carried on Dish-TV and DirecTV on This Week in Agribusiness.
His life-long commitment to agriculture has been recognized by organizations in all segments of agri-business. In May of 2001, Orion was named a Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois and received the Lincoln Medal, the highest award bestowed by the state of Illinois. A week later the University of Illinois presented Orion with the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters. In January of 1998, the American Farm Bureau Federation honored Orion and Bob Dole with the AFBF Distinguished Service Award. At the 1997 Illinois State Fair, Governor Jim Edgar changed the name of the Junior Livestock Building to the Orion Samuelson Junior Livestock Building as a tribute to Orion's nearly 4 decades of service to the agricultural youth of Illinois. In October of 1994, Orion was honored as "Man of the Year" by Heifer Project International on its 50th anniversary. He has received the National 4-H Alumni Award and the Honorary FFA American Farmer Degree and is an honorary member of Alpha Gamma Rho, the agriculture fraternity.
In 1985, Orion was inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame, the NAFB Hall of Fame and in November 2003, Orion received the highest award in the radio broadcasting industry when he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. Hall of Famer Paul Harvey presented Orion with the award on the national broadcast hosted by Larry King.
Orion has traveled internationally to 43 countries to cover agricultural production and trade for his radio and television shows, including Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Scotland, England, Hungary, France, Denmark, India, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand, Peoples Republic of China, Brazil, the former USSR, Vietnam and Indonesia. He has also been involved in four official government trips. In October 1989, Orion traveled to Taipei to receive the International Communicator of the Year Award from the President of the Republic of China.
Samuelson is also active in areas outside broadcasting. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation, a Trustee of the Cornerstone Foundation of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI), and a Trustee of the National 4-H Council. He serves on the Board of Directors of Agriculture Future of America, Foods Resource Bank, and Farm Safety 4 Just Kids.
Max Armstrong is one of the most widely recognized and highly regarded agriculture journalists in America. His broadcasts have been seen and heard by millions of farmers and consumers for nearly 30 years.
From the WGN Radio Studios in Chicago, Armstrong co-hosts WGN Radio's agriculture program, The Morning Show, heard Saturdays at 5am, with his longtime colleague Orion Samuelson. In addition to his duties at WGN, Max is the Director of Broadcasting for Farm Progress and oversees their broadcast business unit, which provides radio, television and enhanced web programming for the agricultural market.
As co-host of the weekly television show This Week In AgriBusiness, Max is seen each weekend on local commercial television stations and the RFD-TV satellite channel via DirecTV and Dish Network.
In pursuit of the news of agriculture, Max has originated broadcasts from every state in America and at least 30 different nations. His work has earned dozens of honors from agriculture groups, trade associations, professional organizations and fraternities.
He has twice been awarded The Oscar In Agriculture presented for excellence in agriculture journalism. In addition to being recognized as Agriculture Communicator Of The Year by the National Agri-Marketing Association, Max was also presented the Master Writer recognition by the American Agricultural Editors Association. In 2001, he was given the Farm Broadcaster Of The Year Award by the National Association Of Farm Broadcasters. And in 2003 he was recognized with the highest civilian honor given by the Governor of Indiana, the Sagamore Of The Wabash Award.
A graduate of Purdue University, Max was in honored in 2005 in the school's Old Masters program. A year later he was presented the Honorary Master Farmer Award by Indiana Prairie Farmer Magazine, the first journalist so honored by the publication.
Max is proud of his Indiana roots, having grown up on a farm in Southern Indiana. He has maintained close ties with agriculture and proudly displays at parades, fairs and festivals the 1953 Farmall Super H tractor on which he learned to drive. Max and his dad's old tractor have been featured on calendars, videos, playing cards and collectible farm toys. Many of those items were donated or sold to benefit the 4-H and FFA youth organizations.
Since 1990 Max has contributed his time as a Fire Commissioner in the Western Suburbs of Chicago. In that role he hires and promotes firefighters and paramedics for the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District, one of the highest rated fire departments in the United States. It is here that Max resides with his wife, Linda, and daughters Kristi and Lisa.