The host of WILL AM-580's Closing Market Report and Commodity Week loves agriculture. Todd Gleason grew up on a Logan County, Illinois farm. He is the fifth of six sons and in high school recognized it was unlikely the family farm held his future. The four older boys and Todd's dad still operate that farm near Elkhart. Todd and his family visit often to spend time in the cornfields and under the stars.
Todd's broadcasting career has always been in the public sector and in the service of agriculture. His first on air job was with the State of Illinois. He spent three summers during his college years broadcasting on the Illinois State Fair Network and a seven-month stint here at WILL in 1985 and 1986. That's the year Todd graduated from the University of Illinois with a BS in Agricultural Communications, the broadcast option.
It seems Todd's professional career has always had a link to the station. WILL AM-580 analysts Paul Coolley and Paul Bates wrote a letter of recommendation in the spring of 1986 that caused another WILL analyst to hire Todd to write his newsletters. In 1986 Todd went to work for Dan Zwicker. There, Todd says he was immersed in the commodity markets. That fall Zwicker and Associates and DTN delivered its first premium service. While it was Dan's advice, Todd wrote and delivered the electronic information for distribution by DTN. He's very proud to have played a small role in a great achievement.
It was 1989 when Todd first returned to WILL to become a market reporter. He spent nearly five years here learning the trade of journalism from one of the very best in the business, the late Charles Lindy. In 1994 Todd moved across campus to the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) and University of Illinois Extension.
He still works for ACES and U of I Extension. There he produces a weekly radio and television feed highlighting the people, the science, and the technology of Illinois agriculture. The feeds are picked up and used in one way or another by about 70 broadcast outlets reaching more than three million listeners or viewers each week.
Thanks to a cooperative agreement between U of I Extension and AM-580 Gleason returned to WILL in July 2003. He says he has always considered AM-580 his home. Today Todd hosts two programs for the station. The Closing Market Report airs at 2:06 p.m. CST every business day of the year. Commodity Week, which airs at 11:30 a.m. CST, is a thought provoking half-hour long weekly review of the action at the Chicago Board of Trade, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and all other activities politically or economically tied to the price of agricultural commodities.