In this day and age when reality television and talking heads seemed to have taken over the airwaves, my husband Kevin and I have struggled to find programs and news that are informative and shows we can relate to.

We’ve done quite a bit of channel surfing.

One channel Kevin has come across that piqued my interest in RFD-TV (or Rural Free Delivery, which is the United States Postal Service’s system of delivering mail directly to rural customers.) According to RFD-TV’s website they feature programming devoted to rural issues, concerns and interests.

Where they are different from other news sources is that they really delve into agriculture news. Below is a sample of their programs:

n Ag Day has been on the air 34 years and features news, weather and market headlines and spotlights people and places unique to rural America.

n AG PhD features Darren and Brian Hefty. They cover a wide range of agronomic information as in fertilizer programs, tiling, insects and crop diseases to help farmers have more productive yields.

n Market Day Report delivers “live” coverage of agribusiness news, weather and commodity market information from across the world which is updated every half-hour.

n Rural Evening News catches up on that day’s news surrounding agriculture and markets from across the world. Along with market news the show covers topics including: auctions, cattle, farm equipment, ranch, real estate and much more.

Besides news there are so many human interest programs that are very educational.

n FarmHer is hosted by photographer, Marji Guyler-Alaniz, who goes coast to coast to tell stories of women and their connection to the land through her camera. FarmHer shares the stories of the women who live and lead in agriculture to change people’s perceptions of a farmer.

n FFA today — a fast-paced show featuring stories about amazing kids and unique agriculture industries.

Rodeos, tractor pulls, music, comedy, old classic shows and cooking shows are also in their programming.

You can even watch Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, which was a great Sunday evening show when I was growing up.

This is reality TV I really respect and appreciate watching because it shows people doing what they do to try to make a difference in the rural world and the world around us.

The CEO of RFD-TV, Patrick Gottsch, has said they want to connect the city with the country. He wants to educate people in urban America about agricultural news. In past years agricultural news has been squeezed out by urban-based cable companies.

In the next infrastructural bill millions of dollars will be awarded for rural broadband. Gottsch is asking people to contact their representative to attach the Agricultural News & Rural Content Act to the Infrastructure Bill. The Agricultural News & Rural Content Act amends the Communications Act of 1934 to require multichannel video programming distributors to carry rural video programming. This way cable companies and networks would have to make rural news content available to urban areas also. See for more information.

I thank Premier Communications in Sioux Center for carrying this informative channel that I’m sure a lot of people in the area can relate to and enjoy as much as we do.

Debbie Nibbelink is an editorial assistant at the Sioux Center News. She may be reached at