In a world where people carry email-ready cell phones that play the latest ringtones, drive GPS-equipped cars showing DVD movies to the rear seat passengers, and serve their families processed foods enriched with high-fructose corn syrup that’s packaged in cellophane and plastic, a growing number of people are bucking the trend. They seek an alternative lifestyle that fosters a genuine respect for the land and recognizes the value of family and community. They’ve found that by learning and helping preserve the skills and technology common in our great-grandparent’s day, they can achieve a sense of self-satisfaction and fulfillment unavailable in the typical life of reality TV shows, big box stores and frantic after school schedules.
Rural Heritage programs celebrate this way of life. They showcase people who till, plant and harvest their fields with horses providing the sure, steady power; who fell trees by hand, selectively harvesting a stand of timber to improve its long-term health and carefully skid the logs through the woods with a team of oxen; and who saw blocks of ice from clear river water to be hauled up the sledge and stored under sawdust in the ice house until summer. These activities and lots more like them are recorded and shown on RFD-TV to an audience that appreciates more than just their nostalgic aspect, but also recognize their usefulness in today’s modern world.
While more and more people are becoming interested in these and other activities like them, there are fewer and fewer people every year with experience to show them how. By filming them in action, whether it’s hammering hot iron on the anvil or adjusting the traces of a workhorse harness, Rural Heritage preserves their expertise for the rest of us to learn. By complementing each segment with voiceover interviews, the programs reveal informative insights that might otherwise be missed.
Many of the segments shown during the Rural Heritage program on RFD-TV are pulled from longer, complete commercial videos offered by Rural Heritage as DVDs. A bimonthly publication about farming and logging with horses, mules and oxen, Rural Heritage magazine features informative and entertaining how-to articles about training, caring for, and working with draft animals.