(Posted Wed. Sep 11th, 2013)

Sept. 11: The popular television series America’s Heartland features new themed episodes and the return of popular features and hosts as it premieres the ninth season of its public television series celebrating U.S. agriculture starting this week. The series is produced by KVIE Public Television and receives promotional support from the National Corn Growers Association, among others.


This season, the 22 episodes will focus on agriculture-related topics designed to address consumers’ questions and concerns about food safety, animal welfare and environmental sustainability. Other themed episodes will celebrate a particular crop, commodity, or farm animal.  


“We’re delighted to provide our viewers new episodes that really address their questions about the origins of their food, fuel and fiber,” said series producer Jim Finnerty. “We want to help each of them become savvy, better informed consumers, and we think we do that by focusing on a specific agriculture topic in each program.” 


“We’ve been a longtime supporter of America’s Heartland because it helps farmers bring their story before an importance audience that has become more removed from the farm,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson. “The direction that the program is taking in its ninth season is a perfect fit for a lot of our work with many of our programs aimed at educating urban and suburban people about today’s farming.”


Each episode is hosted by reporters Jason Shoultz, Sarah Gardner, or Rob Stewart.  Like last season, America’s Heartland will also feature Sharon Vaknin, video host and editor at CNET and a popular online chef.  Sharon returns as the host of ‘Farm to Fork’, where she prepares innovative and tasty meals made with ingredients fresh-picked from the field or farm. All of the recipes will be posted on the America’s Heartland website.


Another popular returning feature planned for America’s Heartland’s ninth season will be ‘Off the Shelf’, which looks at food choices that consumers make at the supermarket.


Launched in 2005, the award-winning America’s Heartland travels the United States, introducing non-farm viewers to the men and women who provide the food, fuel, and fiber we use and consume daily.  The half-hour weekly series is seen on more than 240 public television stations, including stations in 21 of the top 25 U.S. markets, as well as three times per week on RFD-TV, the national cable and satellite channel available in more than 40 million households.


The America’s Heartland website 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 200,000 views each month. 


Farm Credit has generously renewed its full funding support for season nine of America’s Heartland. Farm Credit is joined by CropLife America as the series’ other sponsor. CropLife is one of the many organizations supporting the Pollinator Project, a nationwide effort to restore native bee populations throughout the United States.  The America’s Heartland website will include a link to a specially designed CropLife pollinator landing page. The page is filled with information and resources about this important environmental and scientific effort.


America’s Heartland also receives in-kind production support from many prominent agriculture organizations, including NCGA, United Egg Producers, U.S. Grains Council, American Soybean Association, FFA, National Association of Wheat Growers, and the National Cotton Council of America.


For more information on episode schedules on PBS stations and RFD-TV, go to and