About the Show - Reporters
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Jason Shoultz

Jason Shoultz
Producer/Reporter, America’s Heartland
Jason brings a solid news background and a great storytelling style to his role as reporter/producer for America’s Heartland. Jason has been with the program since its first broadcast in 2005. He has traveled the world capturing stories about the impact and importance of American agriculture. In 2010 Jason was honored to get an exclusive tour of the White House Kitchen Garden from First Lady Michelle Obama. Jason also plays a key role in shaping America’s Heartland’s social media outreach.

An Iowa native, he graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with an emphasis on political science. Jason began his television career as a reporter for KWQC-TV in Davenport, Iowa. His exceptional journalism and storytelling skills soon helped his career evolve into the academic world, as he became a member of the adjunct faculty for Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. There, Jason was the instructor for a graduate-level broadcast journalism course. At the same time, Jason worked as a general assignment and special projects reporter/producer for the Fox affiliate in Hartford, Conn.

In 2004, Jason and his wife moved to the Sacramento area, where he became a reporter for the Fox affiliate. His work is known for being exceptionally creative, accurate, and entertaining.

Rob Stewart

Rob Stewart
Reporter, America’s Heartland
Rob Stewart is an award winning national reporter and producer for America’s Heartland. Rob is thrilled to travel nationwide telling the stories of American agriculture. After being in television for 15 years, Rob has launched his own television series Rob on the Road, covering the stories that capture the great spirit of Northern California.

Rob joined KVIE in the summer of 2008 as a reporter and producer for both America’s Heartland and California Heartland. In 2009, Rob received two Silver Telly Awards for reporting and producing on California Heartland and America’s Heartland.

Rob joined KVIE after four years with PBS sister station WHYY in Philadelphia where he anchored and produced the nightly news. In 2007, Rob was picked Best TV News Anchor by Delaware Today magazine for his work at WHYY.

Rob has extensive television anchoring and reporting experience, including live coverage of the terrorists attacks in Manhattan on September 11th and the plane crash that killed John F. Kennedy, Jr. With years of entertainment reporting experience, Rob’s national exclusive stories have aired many times on CNN.

Rob has received two California Silver Telly Awards, won the Philadelphia Society of Professional Journalist Award four times, the Associated Press Award twice and the national Gracie Allen Award for entertainment reporting.

 

Kristen Simoes Kristen Simoes
Reporter, America’s Heartland
Kristen Simoes comes from an agricultural background. Her family operated a dairy farm in northern California which, at an early age, meant chores for this young woman each morning. But it was journalism that attracted her as a career choice. After working as a reporter and anchor in several smaller markets, she was chosen as part of the reporting staff for the NBC affiliate in California’s capital of Sacramento. Her work there won her an Emmy nomination and honors from the Radio & Television News Directors Association.

Before joining America’s Heartland as a reporter and producer, Kristen’s broadcast work included hosting for a top rated local magazine program and additional duties as the host for a program that focused on the work of America’s first responders in police and fire departments.

Kristen approaches all of her stories with a keen interest in those who work on America’s farms and ranches and provide the food, fuel and fiber so important to our everyday lives.
Paul Robins Paul Robins
Reporter, America’s Heartland
Call it a desire to learn or just to know more than the other guy, but Paul Robins relishes the opportunity to be “harvesting knowledge” and sharing it with viewers on America’s Heartland. Paul’s adventures in television include years on The Discovery Channel as one of “The Answer Guys” along with his role as a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated Evening Magazine.

This family man has been married to his wife, Bridget, for more than thirty years and they share family time with their three daughters, sons-in-law and beautiful grandchildren. And one agricultural note: In the interest of full disclosure, Bridget is the REAL gardener in the house.
Akiba Howard

Akiba Howard
Reporter, America’s Heartland
Akiba Howard has brought his unique style of reporting to America’s Heartland, bringing viewers insights on everything from an “Art Farm” in rural Nebraska to a town where the community’s agricultural products are used to create one-of-a-kind sausages. He’s also gone on the road with Michael Martin Murphey whose “America’s Heartland” song is used as the theme for the program. Akiba began his career in radio in the San Francisco Bay area. Moving to the California state capital, his work included news reporting and documentary narration as well as a stint as a television news anchor in the Lake Tahoe market.

Akiba studied journalism at Hampton University in Virginia and has been involved in program development focusing on volunteerism. His proudest achievement? Akiba says that would be his two lovely children.

 

Sarah Gardner

Sarah Gardner
Reporter, America’s Heartland
Sarah Gardner grew up on her family’s farm in Wisconsin then went on to a broadcasting career in radio, sports entertainment and news anchoring. She was the prime anchor for one of the top rated TV news stations in Northern California and came to America’s Heartland, bringing with her a keen interest and background in the rural lifestyle.

Traveling the back roads of America meeting citrus farmers, rice growers, bull riders, and coastal fishermen reconnects Sarah with people for whom a 15 hour work day and wrestling with Mother Nature are part of the job. She finds their commitment, can-do attitude and passion an inspiration. Sarah says helping to share their stories with America’s Heartland viewers is one of the most enjoyable parts of her job.

 

Yolanda Vazquez

Yolanda Vazquez
Reporter, America’s Heartland
Yolanda Vazquez is an award-winning reporter with extensive experience in television. The Puerto Rican-born journalist spent six years as a correspondent for the regional program Direct Connection on Maryland Public Television. She has also been a reporter for WJZ Television, the CBS affiliate in Baltimore and has been a regular contributor for the nationally syndicated Motor Week program on PBS. She has been honored with a local Emmy award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for reporting while working as a newscaster in Louisville, Ky.

Yolanda graduated from Boston University with a degree in television and film production. She is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Association of Black Media Workers.

 

Amy Henry

Amy Henry
Reporter, America’s Heartland
Amy Henry loves good food. Sharing “Fast Facts about Food” with viewers on America’s Heartland gives her a chance to have some fun with nutrition. Amy brings 15 years of media experience to America’s Heartland. Amy kicked off her broadcast career hosting a gospel radio program while studying communications at Biola University in Southern California. She then worked for several radio stations in Sacramento, California as a program host and voice over talent. She has been an on camera host and voice over talent for a number of television stations. Amy also keeps busy with a variety of commercial projects in which she has been the spokesperson.

Married with two children, Amy also enjoys performing in musical presentations.

 

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan
Reporter, America’s Heartland
Paul brings more than 35 years’ television experience to his role as host of America’s Heartland. Most recently, Paul served as host of the popular travel series, Experience America.

Paul spent his early years in the small farming town of Wyoming, Illinois and moved with his family to California in the mid 1950s. He attended San Francisco State University where he majored in television and radio production. His strong journalism skills and natural aptitude for television lead to reporting and anchoring jobs at WBBM/CBS in Chicago and KRON/NBC, San Francisco. He was also the host of PM Northwest; a top-rated nightly half-hour on KOMO/ABC in Seattle and the face of Rendezvous, a popular travel series on the Discovery Channel. In addition, he anchored Travel NewsNow and Holiday USA, two long-running series on the Travel Channel.

In the early 1980’s, Paul joined News Travel Network in San Francisco, where he became senior reporter/writer for a company that produced and syndicated daily consumer travel reports for more than 75 local newscasts across the U.S. His duties took him to places as diverse as Japan, Hawaii, Alaska, Ireland, Portugal, Thailand and Australia.

Among Paul's awards are seven Emmys. Paul proudly served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps in its aviation division.