Friday, April 18, 2014 7:30 PM
Published on: Thursday, January 16, 2014
By Donna Broadway
POOLESVILLE- from the growing popularity of farmer’s markets, the interest in knowing where our food comes from, and the emphasis on eating local food, there is a strong interest in the farming industry. Maryland Public Television’s newest series Maryland Farm and Harvest is taking viewers inside Maryland’s $1.3 billion agriculture business. The Jamison family, who are fourth and fifth generation farmers, who grow 5,000 acres of corn, soybeans, and turf in Poolesville, will be featured on the January 14 episode.
“It’s a story that’s never been told before, what farmers go through and what it takes to really keep the stores filled and keep us all fed and that became the spine of the show. We are so far removed from where how our food is produced that 95 percent of us really don’t know anything about farming or where food comes from so this series is to fill that knowledge gap,” said Maryland Farm and Harvest producer, Robert Neustadt.
Mike English is the executive producer and creator of the show. English, who is also the creator and producer of the long running series, Outdoor Maryland was inspired to create the show after finding many of his outdoor stories involved agriculture. According to statistics from the state of Maryland, 32 percent of the land in the state is used for farming and an estimate 350,000 Marylanders are involved in the agriculture business. Montgomery County currently has 93,000 acres of farm land. Corn is one of the state’s top crops.
The producers, Neustadt and segment producer Sarah Sampson, spent the day with the Jamison family in their north county farm.
“I think the Jamison’s are just an interesting family, very friendly and very welcoming to us and our cameras. They were willing to open their life to us for an entire day and we were there from seven o’clock in the morning till five o’clock in the evening and they kept working because they work these marathon days during the harvest,” said Sampson.
The Jamison family cultivated livestock, chicken, cows, pigs, etc for two generations before moving to grain farming.
Michael Jamison, 32, who is the youngest son of Jamie Jamison, says the family sends their grain to feed mills on the eastern shore and Pennsylvania, and to Baltimore to be sent domestically or internationally. The family sometimes sells to deer hunters but the grain is not available to the general public. The family also uses modern technology including smart phones and tablets while farming.
“I think the farming that we do and what goes in Montgomery County, we don’t get as much money per acre and we have to do a lot more acreage to sustain a good business model. I think some people were intrigued and unaware that the farming that we do goes on in their backyard and we’re not the only ones out here doing this. There are a tremendous amount of farmers out there doing this as well,” said Jamison.
The Jamison’s episode of Maryland Farm and Harvest will air on January 14, 2014 at 7p.m. The show will be rebroadcast on Thursday at 11p.m., Sunday at 6p.m.