The 2016 Grand Marshal -  Orion Samuelson

The Sycamore Pumpkin Festival is pleased to annonce that Orion Samuelson will be the Parade Grand Marshal for 2016. 

Orion Samuelson is heard  six days a week on WGN Radio in Chicago, where he has served as Agribusiness Director since 1960.  Orion presents seven stock market/agricultural reports daily on the station and is also heard daily on radio stations across the country with his syndicated National Farm Report and Samuelson Sez commentary programs.  In addition, Orion and Max Armstrong host the one-hour Saturday Morning Show on WGN Radio and are seen weekly on RFD-TV as co-hosts of This Week in Agri-Business.

Orion’s life long commitment to agriculture has been recognized by organizations in all segments of agribusiness. In 1998, the American Farm Bureau Federation honored Senator Robert Dole and Orion with the AFBF Distinguished Service Award, it’s highest honor. In 1997, Illinois Governor Jim Edgar renamed the State Fair Junior Livestock Building the Orion Samuelson Junior Livestock Building as a tribute to Orion’s decades of service to the agricultural youth of Illinois and the nation.

In 2001 the University of Illinois conferred Orion with the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters.  In 2003, Orion 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.  Hall of Famer Paul Harvey presented the award to Orion on the national radio broadcast hosted by Larry King.

Orion is also in the Illinois Broadcasters 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.

Orion has traveled with his television crew to 46 countries to cover agriculture; four of his trips were official agricultural trade missions with the Secretary of Agriculture.

Orion is active outside broadcasting. He is a member of the Farm Foundation Bennett Round Table. In past years has served as Chairman of the Board of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation, on the Board of the Agriculture Future of America, a member of the Board of Farm Safety 4 Just Kids, a Board member of the Foods Resource Bank, a member of the Board of Trustees of the National 4-H Council and a Trustee of the Cornerstone Foundation of Lutheran Social Services in Illinois.

November 1st, 2012 saw the successful launch of Orion’s autobiography, “You Can’t Dream Big Enough,” which is an inspiration to young people everywhere.

June 27th, 2014, Orion was inducted into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame which can be seen outside the studios of WGN Radio at the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue.

January of 2016 Orion was honored with the National Lifetime Achievement award by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.