American Farmer

American Farmer was a public affairs radio program featuring farm news and information of value to listeners in rural America.

It was heard on the ABC radio network from 1945 to 1963, airing on Saturdays and heard in a variety of timeslots on different ABC affiliates throughout the day. One of the contributors was Layne R. Beaty, as noted in his obituary by Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb in the Washington Post (May 28, 2007):

Layne R. Beaty, a pioneer in farm reporting who oversaw the U.S. Agriculture Department's radio and television broadcasts for more than 25 years, died May 11 at Collington Episcopal Life Care Community in Mitchellville. He had cutaneous lymphoma, complicated by congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 93. Mr. Beaty, who broadcast his first radio farm program in Oklahoma in the late 1930s, was chief of radio and television for the USDA from 1955 to 1980. He also edited a USDA newsletter distributed to farm broadcasters across the country; broadcast a live weekly report for five years on The National Farm and Home Hour on NBC radio when its Washington studios were in the old Sheraton Park Hotel; and was a regular contributor to ABC's American Farmer and CBS's Columbia's Country Journal...
Mr. Beaty played a key role in expanding the use of the media to reach farmers and others in rural areas. In their book, "The Broadcast Century and Beyond" (2005), authors Robert L. Hilliard and Michael C. Keith highlighted Mr. Beaty's early work in radio:
"It may be coincidence that the first use of 'broadcast' was agricultural, referring to the sowing of seeds," Mr. Beaty wrote in a first-person account in the book. "It is nonetheless fitting because in the early days of radio when rural people lived in varying degrees of isolation, radio became a link to the outside world and a live-in companion for farmers and their families."

A typical American Farmer program was described in the Portsmouth Times of Portsmouth, Ohio when it covered Saturday programming in its Friday "Tuning in the Airwaves" highlights for July 13, 1947. The column noted that "government experts will report on the status of the nation's corn crop" during the next day's broadcast of American Farmer.

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