Educational Video Recordings

John Porter
Extension Educator/Assistant Professor
Nebraska Extension

Porter, J.*1, , Mills, B.2,
1 Extension Educator/Assistant Professor, Nebraska Extension, Omaha, NE, 68124
2 Producer, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, 68583

Backyard Farmer, produced by Nebraska Extension and NET Nebraska (public television) is the longest running educational program in the US and one of the highest rated public TV shows in the state.  Extension educators serve as guests on the live tv show with a question/answer format as well as record educational segments throughout the season. Appearing on the show establishes educators as well-known experts in the community and builds awareness of extension as a trusted brand.

One of the most popular garden crops in the state (perhaps country) is tomatoes, and many questions are submitted to the show each year.  To meet the demand for tomato information, I worked with the show producer to develop a season-long 5 part series on growing tomatoes.  The segments were envisioned as a fun and simple look at many of the most-asked questions.  The first segment, seeds starting, kicked off the series in an episode with over 20,000 viewers.  The segment was shot at the county extension office by show producer Brad Mills and aired on April 11. The 5-part series was broadcast to nearly 150,000 viewers.  The segments are also published on YouTube (currently 180 views).  

Viewers who see me at events or in the public have given feedback on the segments -sharing their excitement for tomatoes.  One even shared that it was her favorite part of the season.  It has also established me as the "Tomato Guy on Backyard Farmer"