The Farm Monitor tells the story of Georgia agriculture. Georgia’s climate, fertile soil, and abundant water create tremendous opportunities for farmers. Virtually any crop or animal can be grown successfully somewhere within the state. Georgia is known for its sweet peaches, peanuts, signature Vidalia onions, pecans, poultry, cattle and blueberries.
The Farm Monitor has a long history, dating back to 1966, and is produced by the state’s largest general farm organization – the Georgia Farm Bureau.
Georgia TV Monitor
1960s Advertisement for the Georgia TV Monitor
- The Farm Monitor begins as a joint production between Georgia Farm Bureau and WMAZ-TV in Macon. Its purpose is to provide farmers in central and south Georgia with the news and information they need for their operations. At that time, it is called the Georgia TV Monitor and is hosted by John Johnson.
- Johnson also hosts a radio show about Georgia agriculture called the Georgia Radio Monitor.
Georgia Farm Monitor
Jimmy Lee, the first host the Georgia Farm Monitor, reports on crop prices during one of the first shows taped at the studios of WMAZ-TV in Macon.
Jimmy Lee provides the Farm Report.
Steve Malone hosted the "Georgia Farm Monitor" from 1985-2002.
Rick Treptow logged thousands of miles while reporting for the Georgia Farm Monitor & the Georgia Farm Radio Network from 1985-2013.
(L to R) Jimmy Lee, Steve Malone, Denny Moore, and Paul Beliveau
- Jimmy Lee takes over as host of the show in May 1967, and two years later the name is changed to “Georgia Farm Monitor.” “It had been a joint effort between WMAZ and Georgia Farm Bureau,” Lee says. “I thought it might be something other stations might want. And they really did.”
- In 1978, with the show and staff growing, production moves to dedicated facilities in the Georgia Farm Bureau state headquarters building in Macon. A spin-off show, The Georgia Farmer, begins airing in 1983. That program airs for three years on Georgia Public Television.
- In 1985, Steve Malone takes over producing and hosting duties, a position he holds until he retires in 2002.
- At the time, news and information isn’t always readily available for farmers and agribusiness professionals, so the Monitor becomes a valuable source of news for these professionals. “When it started, it was maybe the only show like that about agriculture,” Malone says. “It was something new for the farmers. As it went along, it became more important for them.
- The Farm Monitor network continues to grow during the 1990s, adding more stations and cable systems across the state.
Today, the Farm Monitor can be seen on 11 television stations around Georgia, as well as on GPB. Click here to find your local station.