SAN FRANCISCO – At the 121st Anniversary Convention of National Farmers Union (NFU), Luke Runyon of Greeley, Colorado was awarded the 2023 Milt Hakel Award for Excellence in Agricultural Journalism.

Luke Runyon is a reporter covering the Colorado River Basin for public radio station KUNC. His investigations show how water issues can both unite and divide communities throughout the Western United States.

Runyon produces feature stories for KUNC and a network of public media stations in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Kansas, Arizona, California, and Nevada. Before covering water at KUNC, Luke covered the agriculture and food beat for five years as the station’s Harvest Public Media reporters.

“As the climate crisis continues, strong and accurate reporting on issues like water access will be paramount to family farmers,” said NFU President Rob Larew. “Luke’s reporting has helped amplify the unified message of Farmers Union members and brought the story of western water issues to the nation. Telling this story will become even more important as farmers and ranchers across the country deal with the impacts of climate change.” 

The Milt Hakel Award for Excellence in Agricultural Journalism is presented to reporters or news outlets that demonstrate exceptional coverage of agricultural issues. The award was named in honor of Milton D. Hakel, a highly respected Farmers Union communicator.

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