Episode 201 begins with a visit to the Sims cattle ranch, a 21-thousand acre spread outside Laramie, Wyoming. Jason Shoultz travels to Florida to learn how grapefruit growers are banding together to address a basketful of new challenges: recent storms decimated many of their groves, they’re battling a tough kind of fruit disease, and fewer people are consuming grapefruit than in years past. Then, Jason heads to another, more unusual farm in the Sunshine State: these folks are among the nation’s largest producers of tropical fish for pet stores. Paul discovers that some of the juiciest watermelons are found, surprisingly, in our desert southwest. Finally, Paul’s back in Wyoming to meet a very different kind of rancher.
We meet renowned country singer Willie Nelson, who’s emerged as one of the nation’s most visible proponents of soybean bio-diesel fuel. Pat McConahay travels to Kentucky for one of the Heartland’s biggest machinery shows. Jason travels back to the past as he meets a California man whose passion is restoring classic farm equipment. As Pat learns at a gathering of mule breeders in Tennessee, the supposedly-stubborn critters may be mostly gone from the farm scene, but there are still many folks in the Heartland who have great affection for them.
Finally, an unusual profile of some unique young women.
Jason Shoultz profiles an Iowa woman who transformed her own sorrow into action following such a loss – and created a nationwide movement to make farms safer for kids. Pat McConahay visits a Tennessee corn farmer who’s busy planting this year’s unique crop. Paul learns how farmers are making money with a sustainable and sought-after product. Paul then meets a craftsman who’s using much of Indiana’s renowned hardwood to make his own popular products. Finally, Jason seeks and finds another unusual Florida product: alligators.
Coming back from disaster is the challenge facing farmers, fishermen and timber land owners in Louisiana and Mississippi who felt the wrath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Jason Shoultz discovers farm families who are facing the future determined to begin again and triumph over Mother Nature. Ranchers from all across the west head for Denver and The National Western Stock Show. America’s Heartland host Paul Ryan finds out that it’s a lot more than just ridin’, ropin’ and rodeo. Pat McConahay finds a Kentucky farm family who traded their tobacco crop for fields filled with tomatoes. Buffalo once roamed the plains by the tens of thousands. But Paul Ryan says a good place to find them today…is Denver! And then a big roundup in Louisiana.
Jason Shoultz discovers that ethanol is making a difference in how people drive from the highway to the race track. Paul Ryan shows you how beer makers in St. Louis transform barley, rice and hops into some of America’s most famous beverages. Jason Shoultz heads into the Gulf of Mexico for a roundup of some tasty crustaceans. Pat McConahay travels to Tennessee and a visit to RFD Television. And then the story of a Missouri dairy farmer with a fresh approach to marketing milk.
Paul Ryan takes us to Illinois to see how activity on the Chicago Board of Trade determines the price you pay for food on your table. Then Jason Shoultz visits a very special spot in Iowa where moviemakers from Hollywood transformed two family farms into a "Field of Dreams."
We'll show you how modern windmills are generating energy for consumers, and cash for farmers and ranchers, all across the country.
Jason Shoultz heads for some very special Texas towns that are using a new approach to agriculture to save their cities.
And Pat McConahay introduces us to some "farmers in training." These young folks are harvesting much more than good grades in their school gardens.
American agriculture has long depended on the hard work of those who plant and harvest our nation’s crops. Paul Ryan looks at a unique program that helped feed America during the darkest days of World War Two as Mexican farm workers were invited north to work as braceros. Jason Shoultz rides the range in Texas with the descendents of early Spanish settlers who opened the Lone Star State to cattle ranching and farming. He discovers some rich traditions as these "Spanish Ranchers" work the land as their ancestors did. Then Pat McConahay travels to the "Peach State" of Georgia to see how farmers grow and harvest this sweet tasting delight. She also takes us to "Peach County" where they celebrate the peach in an annual festival that draws visitors and peach fans from all across the country. And meet a California farmer for whom the peach is more than just a fruit. Mas Masumoto is an orchard owner and author who celebrates the land in a very special way.
The story of agriculture in America and those who work the land has often been told in song. Jason Shoultz takes us to California to discover the farms, fields and honky tonks that form the roots of one branch of American country music. Then America’s gulf coast is home to a hard working group of men and women who harvest the sea for shrimp. But damage from hurricanes and competition from foreign fisheries are challenging a way of life as old as the country itself. And the buzz on bees! They may be tiny, but they play a “big” role in American agriculture. Jennifer Quinonez says honeybees are under attack by a new predator and their survival affects many of the foods you eat every day. And Pat McConahay takes you to Tennessee where they’re harvesting a very different kind of crop in the waters of Birdsong Creek: small and precious freshwater pearls.
We’ll see how farmers, ranchers and preservationists are working together to protect precious farm land and save a bit of history as well as a way of life. Then Pat McConahay explores the dramatic growth in farmers markets in towns and cities from Maine to California. We’ll sample some of the best at farmers markets in Georgia and California. And a Kentucky couple pursues a winemaking dream by growing grapes in an surprising place.
Paul Ryan takes us down the Mississippi to meet the farmers who depend on the river for the success of their farming efforts. Pat McConahay travels back in time to explore the rich agricultural past of one Missouri town. We’ll see how the river provides rich opportunities to explore nature for those who want to wander its banks. And Jason Shoultz follows the Mississippi to its mouth to see how the Port of South Louisiana plays a vital role for farmers and ranchers.
An Ohio entrepreneur created a “farmers only” website designed to help ag folks find their heartthrob in the heartland. The Fulton Fish Market’s been providing the freshest seafood to New Yorkers for more than a century. We found one Florida farm family that’s been observing America’s growing ethnic diversity, and they’re finding success growing dozens of herbs and vegetables rarely found anywhere else in the U.S. We visit the California farm where the ancient sturgeon is raised, and a gourmet San Francisco restaurant where diners are introduced to many varieties of domestic caviar. Finally, we continue the specialty foods theme with visits to two places in Ohio and Pennsylvania where savvy entrepreneurs are tapping into Americans’ growing love for gourmet foods.
On this episode of America’s Heartland, Pat McConahay visits a close knit farming community in South Carolina whose roots date back hundreds of years. Then Jason Shoultz discovers how Iowa farmers keep tradition alive with crops and crafts from the Heartland’s Amana Colonies. We’ll show you a honey of a harvest in the heart of New York City. Urban Beekeepers! We’ll meet a farm family in Tennessee whose method of raising livestock takes them, “Back to the Land” And, if you don’t have a “green thumb”, maybe you’re not picking the right plants. We’ll show you how researchers are taking a whole new look at horticulture.
Jason Shoultz discovers there’s an amazing number of farmers’ markets throughout New york City's five boroughs, offering fresh goods straight from nearby farms. We found one South Carolina farmer who’s growing rice; something that hasn’t been done commercially in the state for more than a century. In Arkansas, Pat McConahay found the biggest rice producer in the world. A Connecticut farm family who may have found the secret to saving their 240-year old farm. Finally, Pat travels to Ohio to discover a herd of perhaps one of the prettiest critters you’ll ever meet.
Paul Ryan visits a Washington wheat farm to witness harvest time. How do you also help your local farmers? Farmers' markets. Paul Ryan found one remarkable food festival success story in northern California. In Charleston, South Carolina visit our country’s only tea plantation. Finally, Paul discovers another beverage we’re seeing more of these days: hard apple cider.
Running his harvester in Madison, Alabama is usually cotton farmer Stuart Sanderson’s favorite place to be. Jason Shoultz discovered “Tractorcade,” an odyssey across Iowa featuring some of their heartland’s mightiest machines, along with some classics. One South Carolina livestock farmer harvests his animals a different way. We meet a female aquaculture farmer who’s part of a third generation of shellfish harvesters making a living in the rich waters of Puget Sound in Washington. Finally, celebrate the end of the season with a harvest fair.
This edition of America’s Heartland comes to you from the Matanuska valley outside Anchorage, Alaska. It’s not the first place you’d think to find American agriculture but as we’ve learned, it doesn’t matter where you travel in our United States the lower forty-eight, the islands of Hawaii, or here in Alaska. We found a vivid example in the fertile Matanuska Valley, where we met some of descendants of a bold Depression-era farming experiment.
We ride the range in this episode of America’s Heartland. City folks and ranch hands test their skills at riding and roping at a one of a kind cowboy university in Arizona. We’ll learn about the role that cowboy poetry played in the story of the old west. Meet cowboy author Baxter Black whose unique spin on western life has made him a popular speaker and commentator. Capture the scenes of the American West in the work of two artists who climb down from the saddle to pick up paint and brush. And visit the home of, perhaps, the most famous western writer ever Zane Grey.
America’s farmers are using “high tech” to bring in the harvest in the heartland. They’ve planted trees in one of the harshest environments on earth, adjacent to Death Valley. We’ll visit with some California growers whose delicious dates are the pick of the crop.
We travel to Wisconsin to explore a unique and uplifting program that helps farmers overcome disabilities to stay on the land.
Plus, you’ll be “A-Mazed” by a Utah farmer who’s come up with artistic creations in his cornfield. And one Oregon Farm family looks at a healthy harvest in Hazelnuts.
Utah, Beehive State, turns up plenty of evidence that agriculture is alive and well, even among the salt flats and red rock country. Only about two percent of all Americans work in professions directly involved in agriculture. Helping farmers out by buying their produce is one thing; saving the entire farm is something else entirely. Farmers have been forced off their land for many a reason, both natural and man-made, but few have had to give up because of something that happened in the Jurassic Period.
Jason Shoultz travels to Alabama to visit three successful poultry growers. Then host Paul Ryan visits one of the largest egg producers in the nation. Pat McConahay learns that Wisconsin is a major player in the production of cranberries (pictured here in a cranberry bog). A trip to California reveals how almonds play a major role in that state’s agricultural economy. In Washington, we discover a family raising more than 350 varieties of Dahlias.