“I’ve been from Tucson to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah…”
— Little Feat, “Willin’”
For the last dozen years, I have burned up the highways and byways of North America from my home base in Tampa traveling to farms and fields across North America.
I started off in the print world as a syndicated columnist with The Chicago Tribune — 20 years of that showed me my future was back home in the country.
I started covering the farming world in 2009 and traveled nonstop learning the ropes. Five years ago I started a new media company with the express intent and purpose of making Where The Food Comes From.
In 2018 I was privileged to begin serving as a correspondent and producer with the RFD-TV Network on Market Day Report and Rural Evening News.
That same year I also produced and hosted the Network Christmas special, Larry’s Tree: A Christmas Journey to The White House.
I’ve busted watermelons in the fields of the Rio Grande Valley and eaten Vidalia onions straight out of the ground in Georgia. I’ve seen hothouses that look like spaceships in Canada and Mexico, and smelled Gilroy, CA in the summer when the garlic’s in the air (smells like money). I’ve hit all the big farming shows from Atlanta to Chicago to L.A. but I’ve spent way more time than that in small towns and places where the nearest hotel is so far away it just makes sense to stay with hosts who long ago became friends (Thanks, folks).
I’ve been in university laboratories looking at what innovations are coming next and talked to legislators who are making the rules to govern that. I’ve learned the difference between a sweetpotato (yes, it’s one word — look it up) and a yam. I know what a jackfruit is. I’ve ridden a ship filled with South African citrus up the Delaware River to Philadelphia and watched in wonder as fresh fruit poured forth from the hold on the 4th of July.
Like the Johnny Cash song says, I’ve been everywhere, man.
It’s been an astonishing and eye opening educational experience to see this remarkable network that you all have constructed, to go out and meet you where you work and live and to see just where the food comes from and how it gets to our tables — and to now have the opportunity to share those stories with countless others.
As a native Georgian, the son of a small-town Southern preacher, I’ve been delighted to get to come back home and honor my roots. I also still pick a little music now and then — you’ll even hear some of it in the show (including the theme song — which I got to play on the same 1961 Fender Telecaster that played on Roy Orbison’s “O, Pretty Woman”).
But my focus these days is telling the remarkable stories of farming and food and where we all fit into this amazing life that literally keeps the world fed.
I’m pretty much always out there on the road — and I’m heading where you live. There’s still a whole lot for me to learn. My phone is always on, my door is always open, and I do hope you won’t hesitate to let me hear from you about ways I can make Where The Food Comes From the best it can be to represent the true Heartbeat of America.