Heartland Nears 150th Episode About Farm People, Places

December 1, 2011 Bookmark and Share

America’s Heartland – the only national TV show about American agriculture – is nearing its 150th episode, the capstone of its seventh season on the air.

Members of the America’s Heartland Advisory Board met in Washington, D.C., this week to get updated on and provide feedback about the show’s new season, which began airing in September.

The show runs on PBS stations around the country and RFD-TV. To date, about half of the season’s episodes have aired, though each PBS station independently decides when to start and end a show’s season on its channels.

Producers told Advisory Board members this week that the 150 episodes that make up seasons one through seven encompass 800 stories of approximately 700 farm families. Over the years, the show has visited every state – many over and over – and done multiple segments on practically any commodity or food imaginable.

The show’s TV presence is supplemented by robust online offerings, including a website that hosts every Heartland segment and episode; a YouTube channel viewed more than 3 million times; active Facebook and Twitter feeds; and a blog and e-newsletter to keep fans up to date.

At the meeting this week, Advisory Board members heard updates on the show’s carriage and new media strategy and about promotional activities undertaken by show sponsors Farm Credit, the American Farm Bureau Foundation and the United Soybean Board.

Outside speakers included Jose Fernandez, the assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, and Tad Segal, communications director for agriculture coalition AGree.

The Advisory Board meets twice a year, along with a smaller group of farm organizations that serve as promotional partners for the show. NAWG is part of both bodies, and NAWG Director of Communications Melissa George Kessler attended the meetings this week on growers’ behalf.

Much more from America’s Heartland is available online at www.americasheartland.org.