Launched in fall 2005, Dayton public television station ThinkTV has produced Our Ohio with support from Ohio Farm Bureau and Nationwide for the last 10 years. This year, the Emmy Award-winning program welcomes new underwriter DP&L (Dayton Power & Light). The Turner Farm Foundation continues to support the program.
We asked Our Ohio Executive Producer Kitty Lensman for her thoughts on the program after 10 years.
1. YOU HELPED LAUNCH OUR OHIO TO PUBLIC TELEVISION VIEWERS. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT THE PROGRAM SINCE THAT TIME?
We will never run out of fascinating stories about Ohio. The success of this program has been built on the everyday stories that celebrate the culture, the lifestyles and the people that make Ohio such a great place to live.
2. WHAT CAN VIEWERS EXPECT TO SEE THIS SEASON?
Many of this season’s stories celebrate the industrious-ness, work ethic and value of Ohio businesses. One story called “All American Clothing” will introduce viewers to the All American Clothing Co. in Darke County. Another segment will feature Shane Wood and the work of the Farmer Veteran Coalition and another will focus on some of the science in farming and feature farmer Matt Aultman and Ohio Certified Seed.
3. YOU LIVE ON A FARM IN CHAMPAIGN COUNTY. HOW HAS THAT HELPED YOU PRODUCE OUR OHIO?
I am certainly a hobby farmer. But it makes me appreciate the ground, the ability to grow my own food and the hard work that farmers—large and small—put into it. The stories of my own family and friends in my own community have been an inspiration to me for the show.
4. TELL US ABOUT THE PRODUCTION TEAM.
You’ll never want to play Ohio trivial pursuit with them! They are creative, dedicated and have put their heart and soul into telling the stories of Our Ohio. Producing this show means long hours and hard work – yet they all have shared fun stories and have enjoyed the experience.
5. WHAT DO YOU HEAR FROM VIEWERS?
So many positive comments! Most of all, viewers call wanting to share how a segment impressed them, inspired a memory or enticed them to visit a new place. I also get a lot of suggestions for new segments.
6. IS THERE A STORY THAT YOU ALWAYS WISHED COULD BE TOLD BUT HAVEN’T GOTTEN TO YET?
Each season there are stories that we want to tell but can’t get to. You know, I love horses. And Ohio is ranked high in the national horse community. However, there was one of the most famous steeple chasers, Jay Trump, who beat the odds and became an international legend. Jay Trump was a Cinderella horse story and came from a small community right on the outskirts of Cincinnati. I’ve always wanted to tell his story.
7. WHY SHOULD FOLKS WATCH OUR OHIO?
Because it is a great show. Of course, I’m biased. But it’s local, fun and it shares a lot of interesting facts about food, animals and agriculture.
8. WHY DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE MISSION OF PUBLIC TELEVISION?
There is nothing else that compares to it. Public television is a community treasure, and I’m proud to be a part of it. The dedication public television has to local content, quality programs and education for both adults and children cannot be found anywhere else. It is a necessary resource for our teachers and students.
9. PEOPLE CONSUME MEDIA IN SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS THESE DAYS. HOW HAS PUBLIC TELEVISION ADAPTED TO THE NEW MEDIA ENVIRONMENT?
We are no longer just broadcasters. Our educational tools require use and expertise in the highest digital realm. We teach technology to teachers in the classroom and develop multi-media curricula for our students. We blog, we tweet, we Facebook and we email. And we will continue to adapt to an ever-changing media environment.
10. HOW CAN OUR OHIO READERS SHARE THEIR SEGMENT IDEAS WITH YOU?
We love to hear from folks who have story ideas. Anyone with an Our Ohio idea or story to share can contact us via email at [email protected] or send a card or letter to Our Ohio c/o ThinkTV at 110 South Jefferson St., Dayton, Ohio 45402. You can contact us through social media too on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ or online at thinktv.org
Having trouble fitting Our Ohio’s broadcast schedule into your schedule? Not a problem. Remember to set your DVR to record Our Ohio or visit Our Ohio on YouTube to view many of the segments from the past 10 years.
And thanks for your support of Our Ohio. Your Farm Bureau membership and the investment of Nationwide, DP&L, the Turner Farm Foundation and contributions from public television viewers make quality programming like Our Ohio possible.