FRESNO – ValleyPBS is producing a new show that will air this fall based on issues concerning agriculture in the United States. The show is “American Grown: My Job Depends on Ag” and producers say the goal is to give a voice to farmers who often don’t feel heard or understood by the majority of the non-farming public.
“Right now, a lot of the farmers feel like they don’t have a voice. We want them to know this show is their voice and we are telling their stories. We are also looking for stories and want them to submit their ideas to us,” Jill Aiello said. She’s an owner and executive producer with 18THIRTYEntertainment that is co-producing the series.
Producers say the program will take an unbiased, in-depth look at the issues that inspired the Facebook group-turned-movement and the future of the industry. The stories will touch on how agriculture affects everyone beyond the table, from the clothes we wear to the roof over our heads.
The show is slated to start in September and will air at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays after “Valley’s Gold.”
“American Grown” will follow PBS’ trusted journalistic standards to tell the stories of people in agriculture, giving voice to multiple sides on important matters affecting the industry.
“With a movement so big in our backyard, evoking passionate emotions from all points of view, ValleyPBS wanted to impartially explore these issues and the thread that binds seemingly unconnected jobs to this driver of our nation’s economy,” ValleyPBS CEO Jenny Toste said. “It fits perfectly with our mission to tell the Valley’s stories in an uninterrupted, long-form way that educates our viewers to make their own informed decisions.”
Co-producer will be 18THIRTY Entertainment’s writer and director Jeff Aiello. This production company previously partnered with ValleyPBS on the series “Outside” and the documentary “Silent Sacrifice,” both of which have been distributed nationally in more than 230 markets.
“American Grown is a show that we believe will go national as well. We’re giving a voice to the untold stories of agriculture because it touches all of us in ways we don’t even know,” Aiello said. “When I saw how quickly the ‘My Job Depends on Ag’ movement spread, I knew it had hit on something that resonated with a lot of people and we needed to do a television show exploring those issues.”
Each episode will tackle different topics, such as women in agriculture, water bills, immigration, the future of family farms, and the rise of industrialized agriculture. “American Grown” will complement the many ways ValleyPBS is covering ag in the Valley, including airing national ag shows on Sunday mornings, producing water documentaries like “Tapped Out” and the upcoming “Sinking Cities,” and ag education in conjunction with “Valley’s Gold.”