Host Ray O'Canto of "Beyond the Harvest" interviews Agustin Cardenas of Cardenas Farms, an organic citrus grower in Fresno County. Photo Courtesy NTD Media.
A new show from what some may know as a familiar face in the Central Valley is highlighting the diversity of agriculture in the area.
From Executive Producer Ray O’Canto of “DineOut Along the Road,” “Beyond the Harvest” features the stories about the network of relationships it takes to get food from the farm to the table.
“Beyond the Harvest is really just trying to illuminate the farm-to-table phenomenon that everyone talks about,” said O’Canto. “Twelve to 14 different types of companies will touch a piece of fruit before you’re able to enjoy it at the dinner table.”
In that journey are the stories, he says.
One of the episodes centers around Natalie Soghomonian-Chooljian, who is the vice president of Three Sisters Organic in Fresno County. Soghomonian inherited her family’s farm that grows 500 acres of grapes and was one of the first to be certified organic. In the show, Soghomonian tells of her family’s history and how it grew from 40 acres to where it is now.
“We’re excited about telling these stories and we’re proud about the legacy of agriculture in the Central Valley,” O’Canto said. “There’s nothing hostile about our show. It’s not about immigration or water rights, our show is about elevating the small farmer who has global impact.”
The season is in the midst of its run, which started in the middle of November. On KFRE CW 59, it airs on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. Episodes also run on KMPH FOX 26 on Saturdays at the same time. The season’s second run will be begin Feb. 10. Episodes can also be seen at the show’s website, bth-tv.com.
It takes 10 people to produce the show, all of them from here in the Central Valley, he said. Filming and editing is done as locally as the businesses they feature. Partnering with O’Canto is Producer Steven Paul, a farmer and category director with Homegrown Organic Farms out of Porterville.
The show airs in Fresno, Bakersfield, and Chico/Redding, but O’Canto hopes that viewership will cross the Rocky Mountains.
Producers are working with Sinclair Broadcast Group and their goal is to double from five markets to 10 by next year.
The contract has already been signed for the second season and filming will begin in May.
“Anyone who is concerned about how food gets to their table is our target audience,” he says. O’Canto believes people in the Midwest and on the East Coast will tune in to the show, who are already the biggest consumers of Central Valley products, he says.
Beyond the Harvest is a spin-off of O’Canto’s other show, which airs on KMPH 26. “DineOut Along the Road” is about the end point of food, telling stories about restaurants throughout the Valley. “Beyond the Harvest” is about its starting point, said O’Canto.
“DineOut” may be more “whimsy,” but “Beyond the Harvest” has a more documentary feel, following what O’Canto calls the “farm-to-table phenomenon.”
“It’s probably the most popular phenomenon in food – the farm-to-table organic experience,” said O’Canto. “Millennials are driving that. Millennials are driving the way organics are growing and changing how food is being harvested and cultivated.”