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Manuscript Collections

Howard Langfitt "Farm Family of the Week" Collection

From 1954-1961, WLBT-TV in Jackson, Mississippi sponsored a program which was the creative product of Howard Langfitt (1919-1997), Farm Services Director. "RFD Televisit", an agricultural news and educational program, aired from 12:25-1:00 P.M. Monday through Friday and was sponsored by Hercules Powder Company, Monsanto, various rural electrification systems, and other companies that had an interest in the rural television market. Each program included farm news, agricultural weather and some type of demonstration of an approved farming or homemaking project. Langfitt relied heavily on county agricultural extension agents for projects and suggestions that went into producing the show.

After leaving WLBT in 1961, Langfitt retained the film negatives and scripts which make up the collection. 366 families are represented in the collection by 342 television scripts, and some 16,600 negative images. Most of the images are of Caucasian families, but there are images of African-Americans working on the farm and in the farm houses. Thirty-eight Mississippi counties and the Louisiana parishes of Madison and Tensas are represented. In addition, two educational institutions are represented: the French Camp Academy farm (September 7, 1956, script and 87 images) and the Hinds Junior College Agricultural Department (September 11, 1959, script and 72 images). Two meetings were the subjects of programs: a Delta Council meeting, May 26, 1961 (script only) and the Mississippi Association of Soil Conservation Districts annual meeting (undated, 11 images). The Livestock Market in Jackson, Mississippi was the subject of the August 18, 1961 (script only). Two recap stories featured a portion of the families (scripts, January 2, 1959 and December 30, 1960). 178 images are as yet unidentified.