A new television show airing on History was filmed in part at the Baskerville farm of John Boyd Jr. “The American Farm” docu-series tracks the year-long experiences of five families from across the United States, including the Boyds, and Boyd is hopeful that many people will watch the show and gain a deeper appreciation for where their food comes from and for the people who are growing it.
“You really don’t see a lot on television … about farming or agriculture,” Boyd said.
Boyd is a fourth-generation farmer who raises cattle and grows wheat and soybeans on his farms, all of which are in Mecklenburg County, with the main farm located in Baskerville.
Boyd’s wife, Kara; sons, Wesley and Braven; and daughter, Sydni Faith; are in the show, and his parents, John Boyd Sr., who retired from Peebles but was also a farmer, and Betty Boyd, who worked at the hospital, were also present for some of the filming. Boyd said the series is exploring the question of which of his sons will begin to take a more active role in farming, and he credits the show with helping to get more of his family involved in the operation.
Boyd hopes people in the community will watch the show and enjoy seeing some familiar faces from the area. He said he does not know what scenes have made it into the show until he watches it on Thursday nights along with the rest of the country, but the film crew did visit local businesses, such as a parts store and tractor dealership, with him.
“They followed me all around the area,” Boyd said.
He said that it was challenging at first to open up his life to a film crew, though he did get used to it. The crop season itself presented another challenge, as he dealt with wet weather, equipment issues, and poor crop prices, and he said the show will reflect both high points and his frustrations, but he hopes viewers will overlook that.
“That’s what farming is about, you know. It’s about timing, and having a friendship with Mother Nature,” Boyd said.“Got to be able to work with Mother Nature, you got to be able to work on your machinery, and get everything done on time.”
“The American Farm” airs Thursday nights at 10 p.m. EST on History.