U.S. Farm Report
|U.S. Farm Report|
|Created by||Orion Samuelson|
|Production company(s)||Farm Journal Media|
USFR is currently hosted by John Phipps and is based in South Bend, Indiana. The program is owned by Farm Journal Media, a Philadelphia based company that owns a number of agricultural media properties including Farm Journal magazine.
Streaming full USFR episodes are available on the station's web site.
Common topics covered on USFR include market forecasts for various agricultural commodities, weather, agricultural business profiles, and some environmental conservation. The U.S. Farm Report is commonly broadcast in the early mornings on Saturdays or Sundays, but some stations show the program at different times.
Each week, two separate half-hour versions of USFR are produced, each with a different focus. Television stations can air either one of the half-hour shows as a stand-alone program or air both shows back-to-back as a single one-hour program. Most stations air the full-hour show.
The first half-hour is aimed at producers (particularly those who produce the "cash crops" of corn, wheat, and soybeans) and focuses heavily on agribusiness and the discussion of market futures, along with a precipitation forecast. The five segments consist of top stories with news anchor Scott Kinrade, two market-related discussion segments in a roundtable format with Agribusiness Director and Substitute Anchor Al Pell, a seven-day weather and climate forecast (geared at farmers and focusing on precipitation) with WNDU meteorologist Mike Hoffman, and commentary by host John Phipps.
The second half-hour is aimed at consumers, with stories on current events, discussion of agriculture-related consumer items, and rural life, as well as a more general weather forecast. The five segments consist of top stories with Scott Kinrade/weather with Mike Hoffman, a feature story known as "Spirit of the Heartland", Machinery Minute, Tractor Tales/Country Church Salute, and a mailbag response from John Phipps.
USFR was founded in 1975 by longtime Tribune farm broadcaster Orion Samuelson, who produced and hosted it until 2005. At that time, the show changed its name to U.S. Farm Report - Town and Country Living, attempting to expand into such items as outdoor sports and recreation, but it soon reverted to its original title and format.
Tribune acquired agricultural magazine Farm Journal in 1993; when Farm Journal was acquired by its management in 1997, Farm Journal Media became the new producer of USFR.
USFR was distributed by Tribune Entertainment and carried on Superstation WGN until the end of 2007; at that time, Tribune Entertainment ceased operations, and Superstation WGN became WGN America, replacing the show with sitcom reruns; its time slot (Saturday at 6 a.m. Eastern) is currently held by Singsation!, another long-running WGN program that originally aired on Sundays.
In 2009, RFD-TV picked up the show, and airs the program twice weekly, on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons. Orion Samuleson and Max Armstrong have had a longtime working relationship with RFD-TV even before the move of USFR.
Samuelson now co-hosts a similar show, This Week in Agribusiness (TWA), on RFD-TV and in syndication. The similarities between TWA and USFR prompted the producers of USFR to sue Tribune for breach of contract. The USFR producers lost the lawsuit, however, since judges determined that Samuelson, although primarily working for Tribune, was not working for Tribune when producing TWA.