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Boyd Huppert, a farm boy turned TV reporter

KARE 11 TV reporter and Pierce County native Boyd Huppert attends a journalism seminar at UW-River Falls

RIVER FALLS - How does the son of a well-known River Falls dairy farmer go on to become one of the most recognized TV reporters in the Twin Cities? KARE-11 TV general assignment reporter Boyd Huppert said that upbringing is more important than one might imagine.

Yet he admits he was never cut out to be a farmer like his dad, Andy, or even his brother, Jay.

"It needs to be in your blood," said the 47-year-old Huppert, a 1980 River Falls High School graduate. "There was never any pressure to farm or follow in their footsteps, though my brother Jay and his wife Lisa have done a remarkable job with the farm since my folks retired. We were all encouraged to strike out on our own."

A journalism class taught by Don Richards (current River Falls mayor) sparked his interest back in the late 1970s. The teacher later helped Huppert land a part-time job at local radio station WEVR.

Today Huppert has been at KARE-11 for 13 years. He's won numerous awards, including 33 regional Emmys and five national Edward R. Murrows.

The most recent -- another prestigious national Murrow award -- was for a feature called "Duck in a Truck." Huppert and photojournalist Jonathan Malat, a co-recipient, will go to New York this September for the honors.

Huppert said he loves the storytelling aspect of his job, considering it both a privilege and creative outlet. He also enjoys collaborating with all the other people who help make the stories happen.

"Yes, I do get ribbed about the amount of stories I do for Pierce and St. Croix counties that I bring back," Huppert said. "The videotape editor will say, 'Let me guess, you were in River Falls today.'"

The reporter and former UW-River Falls student says family influences helped him learn a strong work ethic and good listening skills. He worked at a TV station in Wausau, met his wife, Sheri, at the Pierce County Fair and went on to work at Omaha and Milwaukee TV stations before starting at KARE-11 in 1996.