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In what may be an industry first for a produce tradeshow, the Southeast Produce Council Southern Innovations Organics and Foodservice Expo Sept. 6–8 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN will be broadcast live in part on national television on the RFD-TV Network Thursday and Friday.

SPW and RFD-TV are teaming up to bring America live coverage of Southern Innovations from the network’s hometown of Nashville.

“We couldn’t be more excited about having that exposure from SPW and RFD-TV and being in Nashville adds to that excitement,” says SEPC President and CEO David Sherrod. “And being televised nationally is such a thrill. To know our organization is making that type of impact – it’s a testament to the SEPC.”

Sherrod says the national television interest shows just how far beyond the Southeast the Council’s reach extends.

“It’s not solely Southeast-based companies that are in our membership — all of these companies do business in or with the Southeast. What we’re here to do is promote business and produce consumption in the Southeast whether that product is grown here or not. Being able to televise that nationally is a blessing to us and we’re excited to have that and see that exposure.”

SPW Editor and Publisher Chip Carter — also a regular RFD-TV correspondent — will anchor the network’s live coverage from the show.

SPW Director Alex Williams will be handling the technical side of things for the Nashville broadcasts

“We’ve already done dozens of features on great Southeastern farms and companies that have aired hundreds of times on RFD-TV since our partnership began earlier this year,” Carter says, “but this is the first time we’re going live-to-air so I’m sure there will be some nerves and yips. But we’ll get through it and I’m really looking forward to being in the middle of it all.”

RFD-TV’s live coverage will begin Thursday morning in the network’s Music Row studios on the Market Day Report newscast. Starting at 9 a.m. Eastern and continuing through 2 p.m., SEPC officers will be live in the studio hourly with RFD-TV anchors to talk about the Council and the show.

Segments are scheduled in these half-hour blocks Thursday (meaning they’ll appear somewhere around these times if not precisely at): 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m., and 1:30 p.m., all Eastern time

Scheduled SEPC staff and volunteer guests include:

  • Bobby Creel of the L&M Companies, who’ll talk about SEPC legacy and history
  • Andrew Scott of the Nickey Gregory Company, who’ll discuss SEPC’s structure and growth
  • Harold Paivarinta of Red Sun Farms, who’ll review education and conference events in Nashville
  • Faye Westfall of DiMare Farms, current SEPC Chairwoman
  • Steve Pinkston of Sunny Valley International, incoming SEPC Chairman of the Board
  • David Sherrod, who’ll talk about SEPC’s 20th anniversary and the future

Starting Friday morning, Carter will be on the air hourly with live reports from Southern Innovations headquarters at the Gaylord Opryland conference center, with interviews with keynote speakers and others throughout the day.

Look for pre-recorded coverage of the show on RFD-TV’s Rural Evening News.

Coverage will continue next week with reports from key events at Southern Innovations, like the keynote addresses from U.S. Undersecretary of Agriculture Jim Northey and legendary football coach Steve Spurrier, as well as a look at the tradeshow floor, the Southern Roots women’s reception and the Southern Innovations social scene.

And of course you’ll be able to see it all here on SPW as well as we post up those segments from the network throughout the week.

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