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AgweekTV Full Show: WOTUS, Green Plains, better bread, faster growing cows

This week on AgweekTV, we look at a new WOTUS, an innovative ethanol company, and how researchers are looking into more digestible bread and faster growing cows.

We are part of The Trust Project.

This week on AgweekTV, the EPA makes a ruling on the controversial waters of the U.S., ahead of Supreme Court decision. A Midwest company is turning ethanol into other, non-fuel products. Minnesota researchers are working on a better bread, that everyone can eat. And, we hear how faster-growing cows can be good for livestock producers and the environment.

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WELCOME TO AGWEEK TV, I'M EMILY BEAL.

THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY AND U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS RELEASED A FINAL RULE ESTABLISHING A DURABLE DEFINITION OF WATERS OF THE U.S.

AGRICULTURE AND OTHER INDUSTRIES HAVE BEEN CONCERNED ABOUT THE REGULATORY PROBLEMS FROM THE RULES OVER THE YEARS BECAUSE OF UNCERTAINTY AS TO WHAT QUALIFIES AS A WETLAND. FARMERS HAVE HAD ISSUES WITH WHETHER THEY CAN DRAIN TILE IN FIELDS WITH SEASONAL WETLANDS. THE AGENCIES SAY THE NEW RULE WILL HELP REDUCE UNCERTAINTY, BUT NATIONAL CORN GROWERS ASSOCIATION SAYS THEY'RE DISAPPOINTED THAT THE EPA WENT AHEAD WITH ITS FINAL RULE, WHEN THE SUPREME COURT WILL SOON MAKE A DECISION ON IT IN THE SACKETT VS EPA CASE.

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A MIDWEST COMPANY THAT HAS MADE ITS MARK IN ETHANOL IS INNOVATING NEW NON-FUEL PRODUCTS, INCLUDING FISH FOOD. MIKKEL PATES HAS MORE ON GREEN PLAINS' EFFORT TO ADD VALUE TO CORN, IN THIS WEEK'S AGWEEK COVER STORY.

Todd Becker: A CORN KERNEL CAN MAKE A LOT OF STUFF

GREEN PLAINS IS THE FOURTH-LARGEST PRODUCER OF ETHANOL IN THE WORLD... ITS ELEVEN PLANTS ACROSS THE MIDWEST PRODUCE A BILLION GALLONS OF ETHANOL A YEAR. TODD BECKER, THE CEO OF THE OMAHA, NEBRASKA-BASED COMPANY, SAYS THAT THEY ARE TURNING THEIR DRY MILL ETHANOL PLANTS INTO BIOREFINERIES THAT TO PRODUCE INNOVATIVE NEW PROTEIN, YEAST, FIBER AND OIL PRODUCTS -- ALL OUT OF THE SAME KERNEL OF CORN. AND THE PRODUCTS PROMISE TO BE MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY, TOO,

Todd Becker: OVER THE LAST FIFTEEN YEARS IN THE EVOLUTION OF GREEN PLAINS, WE'VE TRIED MANY DIFFERENT THINGS. WE REALLY HAD A DIVERSIFICATION STRATEGY, WHICH WAS LET'S DIVERSIFY AWAY FROM JUST ETHANOL.

ONE NOTABLE ETHANOL BY-PRODUCT THEY'RE WORKING ON IS HIGH-PROTEIN FISH FOOD. BECKER SAYS THE GOAL IS REDUCING THE VOLATILITY OF THE ETHANOL MARKET.

Todd Becker: WHAT WE CAN CONTROL, WHICH IS HIGHER VALUE PRODUCT MARGINS, WHAT WE CAN CONTROL IS CONTROLLING OUR COSTS, ET CETERA. ONCE WE GET INTO THAT, IT REDUCES THE VOLATILITY OF THE ETHANOL BUSINESS.

GREEN PLAINS PLANS TO SPEND UP TO FIVE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS TO DIVERSIFY BEYOND THEIR DEPENDANCE ON ETHANOL FUEL, AND EXPAND THEIR PRODUCT LINES.

Leslie van der Meulen: YOU ADD REFINING CAPABILITIES THAT NOW ALLOW YOU TO MAKE A DIFFERENT SUITE OF PRODUCTS. AND ON TOP OF THAT, IF YOU WOULD INSTALL CLEAN SUGAR TECHNOLOGY, YOU PROVIDE OPTIONALITY FOR TAKING THOSE STARCHES, NOT HAVING TO TURN THEM INTO ETHANOL, BUT ACTUALLY CAN TURN THEM INTO SUGARS THAT CAN BE USED FOR A WHOLE HOST OF OTHER APPLICATIONS.

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DUSTIN SCHULZ IS VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS FOR "OPTIMAL" -- GREEN PLAINS FISH FOOD AND FEED COMPANIES THAT HE STARTED AS A GRADUATE STUDENT IN BROOKINGS, SOUTH DAKOTA. SCHULZ THE GREEN PLAINS 'BIOREFINERIES' ARE A GREAT WAY TO TAKE ETHANOL BYPRODUCTS AND CREATE HIGH VALUE PROTEIN FOR FISH.

Schulz: NOT ONLY IS IT A GOOD SUSTAINABLE WAY TO GROW FOOD FOR THE WORLD, BUT VERY FEW PEOPLE GET A CHANCE TO DEVELOP PRODUCTS THAT ARE PRODUCED ON THE KIND OF SCALE THE ETHANOL INDUSTRY IS.

IN OMAHA, NEBRASKA, THIS IS MIKKEL PATES FOR AGWEEK.

YOU CAN READ MORE IN THE NEXT AGWEEK MAGAZINE, OR AT AGWEEK.COM .

RECENTLY, IN A SERIES OF SPECIAL REPORTS, AGWEEK HAS BEEN TAKING A CLOSER LOOK AT THE FUTURE OF FOOD, AND THEY WAY TECHNOLOGY IS ADVANCING AG.

THE COW OF THE FUTURE COULD EAT LESS, AND GAIN MORE, FASTER. AS JENNY SCHLECHT REPORTS, THAT COULD BE GOOD FOR CATTLE PRODUCERS, AND THE ENVIRONMENT.

Jerry Yates: I CAN RUN ELEVEN COWS WHERE I USED TO RUN TEN, AND THAT IS A TREMENDOUS, TREMENDOUS VALUE.

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JERRY YATES IS THE FARM MANAGER AT WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY'S REYMANN RESEARCH CENTER. HE CAME TO NDSU'S RESEARCH CENTER AT STREETER TO TEACH ABOUT HIS CATTLE FEED INTAKE MONITORING. HE SAYS THEY'RE BREEDING CATTLE THAT EAT LESS, BUT PRODUCE AT A RATE SIMILAR TO, OR HIGHER THAN OTHER ANIMALS.

Jerry Yates: IT'S A DIRECT LINK TO PROFITABILITY AT THE RANGE, WHICH LEADS TO SUSTAINABILITY. THE CONSUMER UNDERSTANDS THAT WE'RE DOING A BETTER JOB, AND WE'RE GOOD STEWARDS OF RESOURCES. THE THIRD THING WE GET FROM THAT IS, IT'S JUST BETTER FOR THE PLANET.

YATES SAYS THE EASY-KEEPING TRAIT IS HERITABLE AND ISN'T LINKED TO OTHER TRAITS.

Jerry Yates: AND AS WE SELECT FOR CATTLE THAT ARE MORE BIOLOGICALLY EFFICIENT IN WATER UTILIZATION, AND MORE FEED EFFICIENT, THEIR WATER UTILIZATION FOOTPRINT AND THE LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT GOES DOWN, THAT'S A BIG BENEFIT.

NDSU LIVESTOCK SPECIALIST LISA PEDERSON SAYS THE RESEARCH MAY BE VITAL IN PLACES WHERE DROUGHT CONTINUES TO IMPACT FEED AND WATER AVAILABILITY FOR LIVESTOCK.

Lisa Pederson: YOU KNOW, IF WE CAN IMPROVE THE FEED EFFICIENCY ON THESE COWS SAY TEN PERCENT, THAT'S A COUPLE BALES OF HAY A DAY, AND YOU DON'T THINK ABOUT THAT EITHER UNTIL YOU LOOK AT FEED COSTS AND FUEL COSTS, AND IF YOU'RE IN A DROUGHT HAVING TO BUY HAY.

Jerry Yates: IF WE CAN BE PROFITABLE AND WE'RE SUSTAINABLE, THEN WE GET TO PUT THE NEXT GENERATION ON THE FARM OR RANCH, AND THAT TO ME IS SUSTAINABILITY.

IN STREETER, NORTH DAKOTA, THIS IS JENNY SCHLECHT FOR AGWEEK.

UP NEXT ON AGWEEK TV, MINNESOTA RESEARCHERS ARE WORKING ON A BETTER BREAD, THAT ANYONE CAN EAT.

WHY ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO HAVE TROUBLE DIGESTING WHEAT ABLE TO EAT SOURDOUGH BREAD, OR WHEAT PRODUCTS MADE IN EUROPE OR ASIA? UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA RESEARCHERS ARE STUDYING THE FERMENTATION OF SOURDOUGH BREAD, AND THE WHEAT VARIETIES USED IN MAKING DOUGH, IN HOPES OF MAKING A BETTER BREAD. JEFF BEACH GIVES YOU A TASTE.

Brian LaPlante: THERE'S MORE THAT WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT FERMENTATION THAN WE DO KNOW, AND IT'S A WONDERFULLY COMPLEX WORLD.

BRIAN LAPLANTE'S JOURNEY INTO FOOD RESEARCH BEGAN WHEN HIS YOUNG SON STARTED HAVING HEALTH ISSUES.

Brian LaPlante: WITHIN 15-20 MINUTES OF EATING HIS BLOOD SUGARS WOULD SPIKE, AND THEN TWENTY, THIRTY MINUTES LATER IT WOULD CRASH...

LAPLANTE AND HIS WIFE STARTED RESEARCHING THEIR SON'S DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS. LAPLANTE'S BROTHER CRAIG GROWS WHEAT ON THE FAMILY FARM NEAR CROOKSTON, MINNESOTA, SO HE GREW SOME ANCIENT GRAINS THAT THEY USED TO MAKE SOURDOUGH BREAD. ALONG WITH OTHER FERMENTED FOODS, THEY SAW A DRAMATIC IMPROVEMENT IN THEIR SON'S HEALTH.

Brian LaPlante: WHEN YOU HAVE FERMENTED FOOD IN YOUR DIET, IT HAS A PROFOUND IMPACT ON YOUR MICROBIOME. AND I THINK THAT WILL BE THE TREND, IS FOOD WILL BECOME YOUR MEDICINE AGAIN.

LAPLANTE STARTED A BUSINESS CALLED "BACK WHEN FOODS" THAT DEVELOPS "SLOW FOODS" WITH LESS PROCESSING, THAT LAPLANTE SAYS ARE HEALTHIER. HE'S BEEN WORKING WITH RESEARCHERS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA. THEY'RE LOOKING INTO HOW FERMENTATION TIMES AND VARIETIES OF WHEAT AFFECT DIGESTIBILITY.

James Anderson: IT WOULD BE, YOU KNOW, A QUALITY OF LIFE ISSUE IF THEY COULD GET BACK TO EATING FOODS THAT THEY ENJOY.

U OF M RESEARCHERS ARE GROWING ABOUT TWO HUNDRED VARIETIES OF WHEAT NEAR CROOKSTON AND ST. PAUL. WHEAT BREEDER JAMES ANDERSON ACKNOWLEDGES WHEAT SENSITIVITY HAS INCREASED OVER THE LAST FEW DECADES, BUT HE SAYS THEIR RESEARCH SHOWS NO INCREASE IN FODMAPS AND ATI'S.

James Anderson: RIGHT NOW, WE'RE KIND OF POINTING THE FINGER MORE AT THE PROCESSING SIDE OF THINGS FOR THE INCREASES IN WHEAT SENSITIVITY, BUT WHEAT BREEDING CAN CONTRIBUTE TO REDUCING THIS PROBLEM TOO, JUST BY LOWERING FODMAPS AND ATI'S IN FUTURE VARIETIES.

ANDERSON SAYS FOOD COMPANIES AND GROWERS ARE ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT THE POTENTIAL FOR NEW VARIETIES OF WHEAT THAT MORE PEOPLE CAN EAT.

*sounds of bread being taken out of oven*

LONI LARSON HAS BUILT A SMALL BUSINESS SELLING SOURDOUGH BAKED GOODS. SHE SAYS SHE LOVES HEARING FROM CUSTOMERS WHO CAN ENJOY BREAD AGAIN.

Loni Larson: THAT'S LIKE THE BEST FEEDBACK, THE BEST NEWS I CAN HEAR, IS PEOPLE WHO COULDN'T EAT BREAD BEFORE CAN NOW EAT THIS BREAD.

THIS IS JEFF BEACH FOR AGWEEK.

THESE STUDIES HAVE BEEN FUNDED BY THE MINNESOTA AG DEPARTMENT.

A NEW PROGRAM WILL HELP FARMERS ADOPT PROFITABLE STEWARDSHIP PRACTICES. THE 'TRUSTED ADVISOR PARTNERSHIP', OR 'TAP' PROGRAM, WILL BE ADMINISTERED BY THE SUSTAINABLE FOOD LAB. THE FOOD LAB IS A NON-PROFIT THAT HELPS ORGANIZATIONS TEST AND IMPLEMENT INNOVATIONS IN SUSTAINABILITY. THE TAP PROGRAM WILL START IN NORTH DAKOTA, BY BRINGING TOGETHER A GROUP OF CERTIFIED CROP ADVISORS TO WORK WITH FARMERS. PEPSICO, KING ARTHUR BAKING, GENERAL MILLS, ANHEUSER-BUSCH, UNILEVER AND THE WALMART FOUNDATION HAVE INVESTED IN THE PROJECT, IN AN EFFORT TO LOWER THEIR GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND AGRICULTURAL FOOTPRINT.

Elizabeth Reaves: It's really important for the food lab to serve as that translator and that partnership builder so that we can help translate what soil health means to a farmer in North Dakota, to a company like PepsiCo or Unilever or General Mills who are investing in the trusted advisor partnership.

THE MISSION OF THE FOOD LAB IS TO CREATE A SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEM BY HELPING ORGANIZATIONS TURN IDEAS INTO ACTION.

FIELD DRAINAGE IS A PROBLEM FOR MANY LANDOWNERS, BUT THEY SHOULD KEEP IN MIND THAT CERTAIN PROJECTS MAY AFFECT A WATERSHED.

JARED HOUSE, WITH MINNESOTA'S GRANT COUNTY SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT, DEMONSTRATED HOW WATER CAN MOVE SEDIMENT AND CAUSE EROSION OF THE SOIL AT A RECENT SOIL MANAGEMENT SUMMIT IN WAITE PARK, MINNESOTA. HE SAYS ANYTHING THAT IS DONE TO A PIECE OF LAND WILL HAVE SOME SORT OF IMPACT ON THE LAND'S WATER STREAM.

Jared House: Our office can come in and help you look at what you can do with your soil to help amend it so that effectively, you'll have higher infiltration rates or water penetrating that ground and getting to your tile systems and then out to the river or stream wherever it needs to go.

LANDOWNERS THAT HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT FIELD DRAINAGE AND OTHER SOIL AND WATER TOPICS SHOULD CONTACT THEIR LOCAL SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT.

AHEAD ON AGWEEK TV, IT MAY BE WHITE OUTSIDE, BUT ONE MINNESOTA FARM IS GROWING GREENS...

SNOW IS PILING UP IN SOME AREAS OF THE REGION.

HERE'S JOHN WITH OUR AGRI-WEATHER OUTLOOK.

LAST WEEK WE TOLD YOU ABOUT ONE OF THE WORLD'S BIGGEST AG INNOVATORS... IN OUR OWN BACKYARD. JOHN DEERE'S "INTELLIGENT SOLUTIONS GROUP" IN FARGO INNOVATES ELECTRONICS FOR FARMING. AND THE FARGO GROUP BOASTS FIVE HIGH-TECH STARS. MIKKEL PATES INTRODUCES YOU TO THE FELLOWS OF EXCELLENCE.

JOHN DEERE HAS SEVENTY-FIVE THOUSAND EMPLOYEES WORLDWIDE. JUST THIRTY OF THEM HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE DISTINCTION OF JOHN DEERE "FELLOWS" OF EXCELLENCE... AND FIVE OF THOSE ARE IN FARGO. DEERE INSTITUTED THE PROGRAM IN 2015. IT HONORS SOME OF THE EMPLOYEES MAKINGTHE BIGGEST IMPACT FOR THE FUTURE.

Kent Wanner: I CARE A LOT ABOUT WHAT I DO.

ELECTRIFICATION ENGINEER KENT WANNER -- THE ONLY NON-PHD AMONG FARGO'S HONOREES -- SAYS THE AWARD SIGNIFIES ACCOMPLISHMENT, AS WELL AS DEDICATION AND SERVICE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE COMPANY. HE SAYS IT'S HUMBLING TO BE SO HONORED.

Kent Wanner: THE IDEA OF, YOU DON'T NECESSARILY HAVE TO LEARN EVERYTHING IN SCHOOL, AND YOU CAN BE RECOGNIZED FOR HARD WORK AND CARING EVERY DAY AND KEEPING LEARNING.

NOEL ANDERSON IS KNOWN AS ONE OF DEERE'S MOST PROLIFIC INVENTORS. HE HOLDS 154 U.S. PATENTS, WITH ANOTHER 70 MORE PENDING, AND EVEN MORE INTERNATIONALLY. MANY DEAL WITH AG AUTOMATION AND AUTONOMY. HE PRIDES HIMSELF ON PROMOTING AN INVENTIVE CULTURE AT DEERE.

Noel Anderson: I WORK WITH OUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY COMMITTEES THAT EVALUATE INVENTIONS FOR THE BEST WAY TO PROTECT THEM, AND THEN I DO A LOT OF INVENTING AND MENTORING OF INVENTORS.

BRIJ SINGH WAS EDUCATED IN HIS HOME COUNTRY OF INDIA, WHERE HIS FAMILY HAS FARM RECORDS DATING TO THE 1300S. SINGH WORKED ELSEWHERE IN CANADA AND THE U.S. BEFORE COMING TO FARGO.. HE'S HONORED AS A POWER ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING FELLOW, FOR HIS WORK ON MAKING ENGINES MORE EFFICIENT.

Brij Singh: HIGH VOLTAGE POWER, ELECTRONIC DESIGN, TESTING, PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT, PUTTING THIS ON THE SYSTEM.

IT'S WILL COOPER'S JOB TO MAKE SURE DEERE PRODUCTS ARE RELIABLE, DURABLE, AND ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY. HE SAYS IT'S NICE TO BE RECOGNIZED BY THE COMPANY.

Will Cooper: IT WAS JUST A LITTLE BIT FLATTERING BECAUSE I HAD NO IDEA THAT PEOPLE THOUGHT WHAT WE WERE DOING WAS EVEN WORTH... IT'S NOT VERY GLAMOROUS, RIGHT? SO IT WAS INTERESTING TO ME THAT PEOPLE RECOGNIZED THAT WE HAD MADE THOSE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THESE THINGS.

LONG WU CAME TO THE U.S. FROM CHINA FOR HIS GRADUATE STUDIES IN ENGINEERING. WU MANAGES DEERE'S ELECTRIFICATION CONTROLS AND SOFTWARE MODULE IN FARGO. HE AND HIS TEAM MAKE SURE PROSPECTIVE PRODUCTS ARE SOUND, EVEN BEFORE A PHYSICAL PROTOTYPE IS BUILT. WU WAS THE FIRST JOHN DEERE "FELLOW" NAMED IN FARGO IN 2018.

Long Wu: TO ME, THIS IS A HUGE RECOGNITION OF MY CONTRIBUTION TO THE COMPANY.

DEERE'S CEO GIVES OUT ONLY A FEW OF THESE AWARDS ANNUALLY.

IN FARGO, THIS IS MIKKEL PATES FOR AGWEEK.

YOU CAN SEE MIKKEL'S STORY ON THE WORK BEING DONE AT INTELLIGENT SOLUTIONS AT AGWEEK.COM .

IT MAY BE COLD AND WHITE OUTSIDE, BUT IT'S WARM AND GREEN INSIDE, AT A SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA BUSINESS.

PAUL AND SARAH FREID MANAGE THE INDOOR LAKE CITY CATHOLIC WORKER FARM. ITS SOUTH-FACING WALL IS MADE ENTIRELY OF GLASS, SO EVEN WHEN IT'S THIRTY DEGREES OUTSIDE, THE TEMPERATURE IS BETWEEN SIXTY AND SIXTY-FIVE INSIDE. IT HOUSES A GREENHOUSE WITH A SOLAR HEATING SYSTEM, AND A COMMERCIAL KITCHEN. THE FREIDS GROW A VARIETY OF GREENS, HERBS, FRUIT AND OTHER PRODUCE, AND THEY MAKE KOMBUCHA. THEY

HAD ORIGINALLY PLANNED A WINERY FOR THE SITE, BUT THEN EXPANDED THEIR VISION.

Sara Freid: WE WANTED TO DO A POLY-CULTURE, WE WANTED TO MIMIC NATURE MORE, SO WE HAVE TONS OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF FRUIT TREES AND BUSHES, AND CANES AND WE GROW HERBS. SO WE HAVE A LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS GOING ON, AND THAT FELT BETTER.

THE LAKE CITY CATHOLIC WORKER FARM'S GREENHOUSE STARTED AS A UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA EXTENSION PROJECT TO BUILD FIVE DEEP WINTER GREENHOUSE PROTOTYPES ACROSS THE STATE.

STILL AHEAD, A FARMER'S GROWING PASSION FOR CONSERVATION GETS HIM STATE HONORS...

A FARMER NEAR ST. CLOUD MINNESOTA IS NAMED MINNESOTA'S OUTSTANDING CONSERVATIONIST.

DANIEL JANSKI GREW UP ON HIS FAMILY'S FARM AND DAIRYING WAS HIS PASSION, UNTIL HE DISCOVERED REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE. THE JANSKIS IMPLEMENTED NO-TILL FARMING AND COVER CROPS TO THEIR OPERATION, WHICH CONSISTS OF BEEF CATTLE, A DAIRY AND CASH CROPS.

THE JANSKIS HAVE WATCHED AS THE REGENERATIVE PRACTICES GREATLY IMPROVED THEIR YIELDS AND SOIL'S HEALTH.

Daniel Janski: I think over the last four years I've transitioned towards having more of a passion for regenerative farming. I think that's just something I never experienced growing up. And now that I've experienced it, it's revitalized the way we farm, to me. I enjoy it. And every part of me wants to just be actively involved in regenerative agriculture.

THE JANSKI'S USE ABOUT TWENTY-FIVE DIFFERENT COVER CROPS ON THEIR ACRES.

STORIES YOU'LL ONLY SEE ON AGWEEK.COM AND IN AGWEEK MAGAZINE THIS WEEK...

A MINNESOTA COUPLE WILL HAVE A NATIONAL VOICE IN FARM BUREAU PROGRAMMING FOR YOUNG FARMERS AND RANCHERS.

AND WE CHECK IN AT THE LAKE REGION EXTENSION ROUNDUP IN DEVILS LAKE, NORTH DAKOTA

WE APPRECIATE YOU WATCHING AGWEEK TV.

NEXT WEEK WE BEGIN OUR 9TH SEASON ON THE AIR, AND WE HOPE YOU'LL JOIN US. HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK EVERYONE.

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