|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2011)|
|Created by||Gerald Badeaux and Neal Nussbaum|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Farm Journal Media|
|Original run||August 16th, 1982 – present|
AgDay is a syndicated daily half-hour television program presented in magazine format focusing on agriculture news, agribusiness, and country living. It generally airs in early morning timeslots on stations throughout the country and also airs weekday mornings on the digital cable and satellite channel RFD-TV. It is taped at WNDU studios in South Bend, Indiana. It is hosted by Clinton Griffiths.
It was on August 16, 1982 morning agribusiness news stepped into the space age. It was on this date that the first daily nationally syndicated farm news show "AgDay" debuted. The first of its kind to be broadcast via satellite directly into homes and television stations across the United States. Hosted by Wayne Jenkins (WTHI-AM/FM/TV) and Bob Jenkins (ESPN), the half hour ag-report featured a national news segment, "The Helming Report" (a market segment), "Money Matters" with Jim Wilson, CPA (a financial segment), and the morning "AccuWeather Forecast Farm Weather Report" with meteorologists Terry Kelley, and Mike Nelson. The show was taped in the studios of WTHI-TV in Terre Haute, Indiana, and broadcast from the uplink facilities at WISH-TV, Indianapolis, Indiana via video tape.
The original anchor team Wayne and Bob Jenkins, were not related. Wayne a long time farm director and weatherman for WTHI-TV, would later give the weather reports as the show evolved. Bob Jenkins was the farm director for Indianapolis radio station WIRE, and was a broadcaster on the fledgling cable network ESPN, while also working for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. The anchor team was supported by reporters Jayne Dula, Ralph Seely, Bill Pemble (USDA) and Craig Maurer (Washington, DC bureau chief); producer Al Dowbnia; director Jay Strasser; coordinating producer Jim Berry; field producer Heidi Gutman; additional meteorological support from Valarie Jones and Barbara Robertson; production manager Rod Garvin; production assistants Shawn Terrell, Don Green and Kevin Badeaux; camera operators Bob Baskerville and Lucie Horst; graphics Lonnie Bailey; audio Bart Pearson and John Matthews; and secretarial support by Lynn Shanks and Julie Mounts. It was originally the property of Creative Farm Media and Creative Media Productions, and was controlled by executive producers Gerald Badeaux and Neal Nussbaum.
In December 1982 the show moved its office and production to Indianapolis, producing and up-linking AgDay from the studios of WFYI TV. From their new offices at Keystone at the Crossing, it launched into covering the agriculture around the world, traveling to Canada, Rome, Brussels, Paris, and Hong Kong to bring US viewers international developments in key farm issues of the day. It also relied on a network of stringer reporters and videographers to gather news from across the US. As Bob Jenkins slowly moved away from farm broadcasting to concentrate on motor-sports coverage for ESPN and to anchor "Speedweek", reporter Brian Baxter replaced him as the co-anchor, with Bob Jenkins appearing from time to time as his ESPN schedule would allow. Jayne Dula also found a new career path and was replaced with Kathy Shew and Lisa Jackson.
AgDay changed production facilities several more times as the staff evolved. Jim Berry, Shawn Terrell and later Brian Baxter would serve as the show's producer. AgDay's production moved to Nova Production Studios, then to WPDS (later becoming WXIN), and eventually back to WFYI Television. A bankruptcy eventually forced the split and sale of assets. This put the program back under the control of Neal Nussbaum, who decided to re-locate the production to WLFI-TV in Lafayette, Indiana. At that point, the remaining Ag Day staff, including anchors Wayne Jenkins and Brian Baxter, remained at WFYI to create and produce a new syndicated program called the "Morning Ag Report". Following the stint at WLFI-TV, with Garth Clark anchoring the show, the "AgDay" production was again moved, this time o South Bend's WNDU with entirely new staff and on air-talent, with one key exception, former production assistant Don Green returned after leaving the show at the time of its initial move to Indianapolis, returned to produce the new look show, featuring Al Pell.
Publisher Farm Journal Media acquired AgDay in 1998.
The show is distributed on RFD TV and through a network of broadcast stations. As it was with the cutting edge of technology satellite launch in 1982, AgDay continues to ride the technology curve, branching into the Internet and other newly emerging media outlets.
The first segment consists of daily news information related to farm policy as well as producer and consumer news.
The second segment is devoted to agribusiness, and contains market news as well as a market discussion between agribusiness director & host Al Pell and a professional involved in agriculture marketing and trading. Tuesday's shows also contain a cotton report from the National Cotton Council.
The middle segment is Weather with WNDU meteorologist Mike Hoffman. The report focuses on drought conditions as well as precipitation estimates, and also includes daily temperatures and a look at the jet stream for the week ahead. Monday's weather also includes a 30-day outlook for temperatures and precipitation. The segment concludes with daily forecasts for three random small towns each day.
The fourth segment is "In The Country". This features a report often from either colleges of agriculture or government agencies on programs or events and human interest stories occurring throughout farm country.
The final segment varies from day-to-day. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday's shows contain "Ag For Your Health", a report on a health breakthrough or results of a study. This report is often produced from the Ohio State University hospital system. Tuesday's show contains "Ag on the Net", a visual tour of a website related to farming, nutrition, health, etc. Thursday's show contains a garden report, often "Gardening In the Zone" produced at Iowa State University.
On selected holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day, special AgDay programs will air, highlighting features and holiday-related stories from farm country. The Thanksgiving special is known as "Harvest of Thanks", and the Christmas special is titled "Christmas in the Country."
AgDay is the sister program of U.S. Farm Report, a weekly farm program also produced at WNDU. Pell and Hoffman also appear in this show along with host John Phipps. AgDay episodes are available free of charge via the Internet.