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Legislators honor “Kentucky Afield” TV show

Friday, 03 28, 2014

Scott Moore
1-800-858-1549, ext. 4502

FRANKFORT, Ky. “Kentucky Afield” television host Tim Farmer and video producer Nathan Sangster left the show’s studio Friday morning to film an upcoming segment about sauger and muskellunge fishing on the Kentucky River in downtown Frankfort.

It was business as usual less than 24 hours after Kentucky legislators adopted resolutions honoring the longest, continuously-running outdoor TV show in the United States and a winner of seven regional Emmy awards. Audiences have enjoyed the show for 61 years.

Joining Farmer and Sangster on Thursday at the state capitol were “Kentucky Afield” Executive Producer Scott Moore, Video Producer Nathan Brooks and “Kentucky Afield” Producer and Radio Host Charlie Baglan.

“People in this Commonwealth can tune in to each episode to see outstanding chronicles of some of the greatest accomplishments in wildlife and fisheries restoration,” read the state Senate and House resolutions. “’Kentucky Afield’ also teaches viewers about their Kentucky heritage, and rightfully celebrates the history of this Commonwealth and its people in unique, entertaining ways.”

The television show was born from the “Kentucky Afield” radio show and was first broadcast on WAVE television in Louisville in 1953. The program has appeared statewide on Kentucky Educational Television weekly since 1985.

Farmer is one of six hosts in the show’s storied history. Preceding him were Ron Rhody, Hope Carleton, Jeremy Drier, Tim Michaels and Dave Shuffet.

“In my mind, the secret to ‘Kentucky Afield’ is Tim Farmer,” Moore said. “I see what Tim can do, what he does and the way people react to him as a sportsman. Tim portrays the love of what he’s doing, and that’s very important to Kentuckians.”

He continued: “It’s one thing just to be out there doing it because it’s a job, but when they see this guy believes it, he understands it and he loves it, that’s the key. We’re very fortunate to have Tim as our host.”

Farmer has become the face of “Kentucky Afield” and an inspiration to sportsmen and sportswomen during his 19 years as the show’s host.

A motorcycle accident in 1984 left him without the use of his right arm, but he refused to let it stop his outdoors pursuits. Farmer learned to shoot a bow with his teeth, tie fishing knots with his mouth, and shoot a shotgun cross-shouldered.

“We are here for a reason: we love the outdoors,” Farmer said. “It’s our job to show people what they can do with our resource. That’s our job. Everybody who works for ‘Kentucky Afield’ takes that seriously. These guys are dedicated.”

“Kentucky Afield” airs at 8:30 p.m. Saturdays and 4:30 p.m. Sundays on KET. Segments are viewable online at youtube.com/kyafield. The show’s YouTube channel has generated more than 20 million views since 2007 while its Facebook page has registered more than 8,500 likes.

This Saturday, March 26, Farmer will be joined on set by Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Wild Turkey Biologist Steven Dobey and Conservation Officer Rufus Cravens for the spring turkey season call-in show at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time.

“It’s great that we can win awards and be recognized,” Moore said. “But at the end of the day, if you don’t have people that watch what you produce and enjoy the things you talk about, what do you really have? We’re in our 61st year. That means Kentuckians have embraced the idea of the enjoyment of hunting and fishing. None of this exists without the support of our sportsmen and sportswomen. They have to believe in what we do to support what we do.”