America’s Heartland, the award-winning national television series celebrating American agriculture, begins its seventh season on public television and the RFD-TV cable and satellite channel starting the week of September 5. The American Farm Bureau Federation is the program’s only “legacy sponsor” that has supported the show during each of its seven seasons.
In addition to AFBF, two new sponsors—Farm Credit and the United Soybean Board—have thrown their support behind the program for season seven. AFBF has supported the series since its launch in 2005, and this year its sponsorship aligns with renewed educational outreach efforts through the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture.
“We are proud of the fact that we have been supporters of America’s Heartland since day one, and we are especially grateful to Farm Credit and the United Soybean Board for helping us make season seven a reality,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “America’s Heartland is the only national program that shares in-depth stories of America’s farm and ranch families with a key consumer audience, and that is even more important now than it was seven seasons ago.”
The show is produced by KVIE Public Television in Sacramento.
“Consumers today take greater interest in where their food is coming from, as well as issues that touch on agricultural sustainability, environmental concerns and animal welfare,” said Michael Sanford, vice-president of content creation at KVIE. “We’re extremely grateful that Farm Credit, AFBF and USB are providing the essential support needed to help us share agriculture’s positive and pro-active efforts with non-farm viewers.”
The first of 22 half-hour episodes of America’s Heartland’s seventh season begins airing on more than 230 public television stations the week of September 5. While each PBS station sets its own airdate and time, RFD-TV viewers will see episode 701 at 8 p.m. (Eastern), Wednesday, Sept. 7, and again at 8:30 p.m. (Pacific), Sunday, Sept. 11 (see schedules and PBS station carriage at www.americasheartland.org and www.rfdtv.com).
Season seven will take viewers all across the heartland to meet the people who play a critical role in the well-being of all our lives. In addition to long-form stories on farm families and production agriculture, America’s Heartland serves up special consumer segments like Farm to Fork, Fast Facts about Food, Off the Shelf and Harvesting Knowledge.
Farm to Fork takes nationally-known chef Dave Lieberman into the heartland for cooking ideas that viewers can use at home. Fast Facts about Food delivers detailed information about nutrition. And, new for season seven, Ask a Farmer gives viewers a chance to ask questions that touch on many aspects of agriculture today.
The www.americasheartland.org website also gives consumers easy connections to topics, educational resources, search functions and video offerings. To give viewers immediate access to stories and special segments, America’s Heartland has expanded its social networking outreach with updated features and information on Facebook and Twitter. Video plays an increasingly important role on the America’s Heartland YouTube Channel, currently welcoming more than 90 thousand visitors each month.
Currently, America’s Heartland episodes reach close to 1 million viewers per episode, or 44 million viewers per season. The series is available on public television in 20 of the top 25 U.S. television markets. It receives in-kind production support from many prominent agriculture organizations, including the National Corn Growers Association, U.S. Grains Council, American Soybean Association, FFA, National Association of Wheat Growers and the National Cotton Council of America.
America’s Heartland is still seeking additional funding support for season seven. For more information, and to learn more about the series, contact Michael Sanford at (916) 641-3546 or email@example.com, or Series Producer Jim Finnerty at(916) 641-3516 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- American Century Farms: Meet America’s Farm Families that have farmed for More than 100 Years! (fillyourplate.org)
- Focus on Agriculture: Cutting Farm Programs Would be a Pyrrhic Victory (fillyourplate.org)
- Focus on Agriculture: Farmer Engagement Must Move Beyond Feeding the World (fillyourplate.org)