Posted on June 5, 2012 at 12:56 PM by Iowa Corn
Agriculture and Iowa in general lost a good friend on Sunday. Mark Pearson, co-host of the Big Show on WHO Radio and host of Market to Market on IPTV passed away of a heart attack on Sunday afternoon. He was 54 and survived by his wonderful family. Mark came from a farm background in Indiana. He was a Vietnam veteran. He attended college in Arizona before coming to Iowa. He was hired by Keith Kirkpatrick at WHO radio and became a fixture at the station. He also worked as an editor at Successful Farming magazine. He and Gary Wergin started the Big Show on WHO Radio more than a decade ago and the show has been the voice of agriculture ever since. The allure of the show is the AG information and the entertainment. WHO wanted the show to reach the farm audience as well as the urban audience and the show succeeded in doing just that. Mark was a staunch advocate for Agriculture, not only in Iowa, but around the world. He was a positive influence for ethanol and corn grower policies. As an organization we will always be grateful.
I joined the cast of the Big Show in 2002. I was immediately made welcome by both Gary and Mark. We had some great times on the show together all while giving the farm community the information they needed and covering the hard news. Gary was the ultimate reporter and Mark was great with marketing experts. I learned so much from both of them! Mark gave Gary and me so many laughs and smiles I can’t remember them all; suffice it to say, Mark was the life blood of the show in those days and Gary was the glue. I was just along for a great ride! I am proud to say I will always have the memories of working daily with Mark Pearson and Gary Wergin and not many can say that. I am blessed to be in that company.
WHO radio has been the top radio station in the nation for reporting agriculture issues and markets over the years and they still do a great job. The legends of farm broadcasting have worked there from Herb Plambeck, Keith Kirkpatrick, Lee Kline, Gary Wergin, Mark Pearson and now Bob Quinn. While I don’t include myself in that elite group, I am proud to have been part of it for several years. I miss Gary Wergin everyday and I will miss Mark Pearson the same. Rest in peace Mark and thanks for the memories.
Iowa Corn Growers
Bruce Gaarder is a grower service representative with the Iowa Corn Growers Association. He travels the state working with county volunteers, businesses, and attending local events. He also is the voice for many Iowa Corn commercials as well as for the Iowa Speedway. He has an extensive radio background spanning many different states and stations including most recently WHO radio in Des Moines, Iowa, where he was lucky enough to work with former broadcasters Gary Wergin and Mark Pearson.