Farm Bureau, Arkansas PBS Put Spotlight on Ag in ‘Good Roots'

Farm Bureau, Arkansas PBS Put Spotlight on Ag in ‘Good Roots'
Rich Hillman (Kerry Prichard)

Arkansas PBS will celebrate the state’s largest industry, agriculture, and the people it touches in a new partnership with Arkansas Farm Bureau of Little Rock, a “Good Roots” series to be seen online and as a regular segment on the statewide public media network’s civic affairs program “Arkansas Week.”

Starting April 16, the news and issues program hosted by Steve Barnes will broadcast a monthly feature exploring rural community life in Arkansas, agribusiness and how the two are evolving together.

The “Good Roots” segments, which will also be available for streaming at, will be broadcast starting in May on the second Friday of each month, Arkansas PBS said in a news release.

“As Arkansans, we all have a proud, emotional tie to this unique place we call home,” Arkansas PBS Executive Director Courtney Pledger said in a statement. “‘Good Roots’ will shine a light on the agriculture backbone of the state and share the essential stories, experiences and news of our rural communities.”

Pledger said the partnership is “for the good of the community,” and Farm Bureau Board President Rich Hillman said the program intends to offer the rich context of farm business and life. “Arkansas is built on the foundation of farming, and that story is much more complicated than what is often portrayed,” he said in the news release.

Farm Bureau is providing “major funding” for the effort, the release said in signature PBS language. The nonprofit, private advocacy organization, representing almost 190,000 families in Arkansas, is devoted to education, economic opportunity and social advancement.

Arkansas PBS, which now offers programming on multiple platforms, was formerly known as the Arkansas Educational Television Network. It is a participating station in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s collaborative series “Coming Home: Connecting to Community.” The project “showcases local stories about the diversity, traditions and richness of small towns and rural life,” the network said. It seeks to reach “all Americans as public media stations elevates stories about what home means, the contributions and significance of America's small towns, and about shared values across communities.

“Arkansas Week” is broadcast at 7:30 p.m. each Friday and 10 a.m. on Sundays and is aired in audio form at 5:30 a.m. Saturdays on KUAR-FM, 89.1.