UT Extension News: Area Farmers to be Featured on PBS

November 19, 2020

By Chris Hicks, County Director – UT Extension Smith County

WCTE-PBS is partnering with UT Extension Upper Cumberland county offices to bring attention to issues related to farming in the Upper Cumberland and across the nation. The format will be a Town Hall discussion broadcast live at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 24.

The Town Hall will feature a number of Upper Cumberland farmers including Smith County’s George McDonald of Catesa Farms and Rebecca Paschal of Cellar 53 Winery & Hickory Hill Vineyards. The panel, moderated by UT Extension’s Katie Martin, will discuss issues such as farm succession planning, agriculture technology, opportunities for beginning farmers, and much more. Viewers will also be able to call in or submit questions via social media.

The panel discussion will immediately follow the 7:00 p.m. screening of “Farmers for America”, a documentary narrated by Mike Rowe, the host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs. “If you share my addiction to chewing and swallowing, you’ll want to watch Farmers for America,” said Rowe, who travels the U.S. during the film following the lives of young farmers – their joys, everyday successes, and the challenges they face trying to make ends meet while pursuing their dreams.

Despite the pride many farmers take in producing food for their communities, less than 2% of this country’s population feed 300 million Americans each day. With the average age of today’s farmer at 60 and rural America facing rising cost of land and equipment, this film reveals the people waiting to take their place, the practices they’re championing, and the obstacles they must overcome.

We hope you will tune in to your local WCTE-PBS station and join us on Tuesday, November 24 for the “Farmers for America” screening at 7:00 p.m. followed by the Live Virtual Town hall at 8:00 p.m.