Farmer to speak
about natural history
and hunting in Kentucky
features Kentucky Afield host
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. Tim Farmers love of the
outdoors has drawn those who dont even like to fish and hunt to
sit in front of their TV every Saturday night at 8:30 to watch his segments
filmed in the woods or on the water. His fascination with
Kentucky has introduced viewers to new sites they didnt know existed
in their state, and to new faces that seem like old friends.
watch Tim Farmer
night on KETs
But life hasnt always been so rosy for Farmer, who
was born in Louisville and grew up in Mason and Carter counties in Kentucky.
He lost the use of his right arm in a motorcycle accident in 1984 at
the age of 20. He had just completed 13 weeks of U.S. Marine Corp boot
camp and was on his way to Louisville to travel with friends to Millington
Naval Air Base near Memphis, Tenn., when he lost control of his motorcycle
and struck a guard rail, throwing him over an embankment.
Life changed that fateful June day for Farmer, but his positive outlook
on life didnt. He eventually landed a job as a fisheries technician
with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. The job would lead
to the best job of all, hosting KETs "Kentucky Afield."
He was hired by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife in 1989
never dreaming Id host the show one day, said Farmer,
Farmer applied for the job to carry on what he labeled a wonderful
tradition, he said. I watched it at my grandfathers
house in Louisville in the '70s, and then later when his parents
moved to northeastern Kentucky.
He got his big career break in 1994 when Dave Shuffett stepped down
from hosting Americas oldest outdoor show, "Kentucky Afield."
Thirty-six candidates applied for the job, said Nancy Theiss, who was
to become Farmers boss until she left the Fish & Wildlife
Department in 1998.
I required the applicants to submit a videotape, said Theiss,
who is now executive director of the Oldham County History Center. I
took them home because there were so many.
After she popped Farmers tape in, her family heard him and
then saw him on the tape and said, Mom, hes the one. Hes
great! Theiss said he had a lot of presence and energy
that comes across television, so I hired him. Plus, hes a tremendous
athlete and sportsman.
Farmer will be speaking about his experiences as host of "Kentucky
Afield" at 6 p.m. on Feb. 10 at the Irish Rover, Too for the Souper
Supper Series. This series is presented by the Oldham County History
Center with proceeds funding student archaeology summer camps.
"The audience will get to meet a Kentuckian that cares about the
conservation of our state and be inspired to hear Tims story about
the challenges he faces as host of 'Kentucky Afield,' said Theiss.
Farmer said there are so many memorable experiences he could speak about.
Some instances that stand out while filming "Kentucky Afield"
include finding a monkey on Kincaid Lake, and having the opportunity
to meet people such as Don Everly of the Everly Brothers, the Mandrel
sisters, Ted Nugent and Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry.
Farmer appreciates most the opportunity his job gives him to travel
and meet people. We make it all about the people we meet,
he said. Farmers charismatic personality has won two Emmy awards
for the show.
Farmer cant pinpoint a favorite place to hunt or fish in Kentucky.
It changes from week to week. I like it all, from Maysville in
the north to the southeastern part of the state. Everything is different.
Growing up in rural Mason County, where his family moved in 1970, Farmer
developed a love for the outdoors from his parents, Jerry and Sherry
Farmer. He especially remembers fishing with his dad, who would
always make time to take me.
Farmer does a lot of volunteer work and has many speaking engagements
every year at places such as Cardinal Hill Rehab in Lexington, Ky. He
has a passion for helping others with disabilities to make adaptions
for hunting and fishing sports, such as recently helping a Cardinal
Hill patient find a fishing brace like the one he uses.
Farmer said he is never starved for stuff to do on the show.
He invites viewers to email or call with suggestions. Im
always open to ideas, a thought which mirrors Farmers outlook
Reservations are required for this program
and can be made by contacting the Oldham County History Center at (502)
222-0826. Tickets are $20 for members, $25 for non-members.
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