MPT Brings Back ‘Maryland Farm & Harvest’ For 4th Season

It will once again highlight Frederick County farms.

Ownings Mills, Md (KM)  It’s back! “Maryland Farm and Harvest” begins its 4th season next month on Maryland Public Television.

Producer and director Sarah Sampson says the program highlights agriculture which is the largest industry in the state, and  accounted  for $4.7-billion in direct output in 2010. “We know a lot of people go out to farmers’ markets on the weekends. They’ll try and buy from local farms if they see things at the grocery store that comes from a local farm. Our goal is to show where that food is coming from,” she says.

In addition, Sampson says the program also tries to show the diversity Maryland agriculture. In the premier episode in November, “Maryland Farm and Harvest” will showcase the Hutchinson Brothers Farm in Talbot County, which NASA satellites monitor the farm’s soil to enhance sustainability efforts, according to a news release from MPT.

Another farm being featured on the first episode is the Triple-R Bull Company in Boonsboro. “They train bulls for bull riding and bull riding competitions,” says Sampson. “Normally , you hear that and you think out west like Colorado or someplace like that. We’ve actually got a couple of farms here in Maryland that do that.”

Another program will feature the Catoctin High School FFA’s country butchering, where students who members of the FFA get together with community members that  teach them how to butcher animals for meat. “This episode actually shows how sausage is made. But we try to keep it TV appropriate,” says Sampson.

The MPT camera crews also visited  the Sweet Farm in Woodsboro during the 4th season. “The segment explains how you make sauerkraut. You can see the cabbage being grown and the farmers themselves fermenting their own sauerkraut,” she says.

And MPT will feature the Teabow Farm in Walkersville. Sampson says that farm provides milk to a Nestle’s ice cream plant in Laurel. “I believe what we highlight is cookies and cream ice cream,” she says. “If you watch that episode, you want to make sure you have some ice cream nearby because it’s going to make you hungry.”

“When we first started, we’d call farmers and they said ‘who; who are you with; where are you from; what do you want to do?’ But now  they know who we are and they’re very excited to have us come out to their farms and feature their farms,” says Sampson.

But, she says, it’s often difficult to schedule a time to come out and shoot video. In addition, many farmers are very busy. But the camera crews follow them around, and ask them questions as they’re working.

The 4th season of “Maryland Farm and Harvest” begins on Tuesday, November 15th at 7:00 PM on MPT. The program is rebroadcast on Thursdays at 11:30 PM, an Sundays at 6:00 AM. The show also airs on MPT2 on Fridays at 7:00 PM.

Maryland has more than 12,200 farms which totals about two-million acres and nearly 6.000 full time farmers. The agriculture industry alone employs more than 22,000 workers and stimulates additional employment of 36,000 workers.

By Kevin McManus