It’s the start of the 6th season for ‘Maryland Farm and Harvest.’
Owings Mills, Md (KM). A local attraction will featured next week when the TV show “Maryland Farm and Harvest:” begins its 6th season. One segment of the half-hour programs will show the bi-annual tractor pull put on by the Libertytown Volunteer Fire Department.
“If you’re never been to a tractor pull, than this is kind of the next best thing. You can see the sights and the sounds,” says Sarah Sampson, the Producer/Director of “Maryland Farm and Harvest” which is broadcast on Maryland Public Television. Those “sights and sounds” include roaring engines, smoke and wheels that leave the ground.
Sampson says the MPT crew filmed the tractor pull on the ground and in the air using a drone. She says it provides a unique perspective to the story. “For, example, we want to show a farm and its proximity to the water. Or you just want to get above a tractor pull event and you want to see the crowd, and you want to see these big tractors and the smoke they’re putting off. That sort of bird’s eye view is something you can’t get any other way,”: she says.
Other segments on the show, which will air on MPT on Tuesday, November 13th at 7:00 PM, include how the blue catfish, an invasive species which is taking over the Potomac River, is being fished and processed, and prepared by a Washington DC restaurant for its menu. There’s also a segment on breeding bees in Prince George’s County. And one on a grass fed beef operation in Mount Savage in Allegany County.
The program has been in production for six years, and Sampson says there’s a lot of stories to tell about farming in Maryland. She says the crew gets a lot of its story ideas from farmers they’ve featured. “We’re fortunate that in our sixth season, we’ve made a lot of connections with farmers across the state, and they continue to introduce us to different people, and kind of talk to us about things that we never would have known about if it wasn’t for those connections that we’ve made,” she says.
Since the program premiered in 2013, more than six-million viewers have tuned into to “Maryland Farm and Harvest.” “We try to keep it upbeat. We try to keep it lively. We try to entertain people but also inform them at the same time. And I think that’s worked out really well,” says Sampson.
She says another Frederick County farm, Brookfield Pumpkins of Thurmont, will be featured in a Thanksgiving edition of “Maryland Farm and Harvest” later this month.
Agriculture is Maryland’s largest commercial industry, generating more than $17-billion in revenue each year. MPT says the state currently has about 12,200 farms, 84% of them are family owned. There are 6,000 full time farmers n the state, tilling more than 2-million acres of land, which is 40% of the Maryland land which is used for agriculture. There are approximately 350,000 people employed in some aspect of agriculture in Maryland.
In addition to airing on Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, “Maryland Farm and Harvest” is also re-broadcast on MPT Thursdays at 11:30 PM, and Sundays at 6:00 AM. Each show also airs on MPT2 on Fridays at 7:30 PM.
By Kevin McManus