Cowboy Boots at the Capitol

As Emily Buck (RFD-TV, Washington, D.C.) went for a walk around the National Mall and stood under the Washington Monument, it hit her just how blessed she is to be here.

“I’ve hit the ground running in my cowboy boots, and hopefully I can do the job proud as Washington News Bureau Chief for RFD-TV.

“When I was an FFA state officer, I spent much of my time travelling the state. At each event, I would standup in front of the crowd and say, ‘I’m Emily Buck from the Wilson Central FFA Chapter in Lebanon, Tennessee. I attend the University of Tennessee, where I study animal science, and I hope to pursue a career in functional genomics with a focus in ruminant nutrition.’

“Sitting in my college genetics class two years later, I realized it wasn’t the career for me. That spring, I took the semester off to be an intern in Washington, D.C., with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. I followed it up with another public policy internship with Tennessee Farm Bureau. The fast-paced world of politics sucked me in and inspired my career path.

“After graduation, I was hired as a field representative for Congresswoman Diane Black. I worked with schools, hospitals, businesses, and state legislators in eight of her 19 counties. The job gave me the chance to work with local ag groups on grassroots policy for farmers and ranchers. As much as I loved my boss and our work in the district, the political life was exhausting. Everyone wanted something, and no one was ever happy. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I knew I wanted something different for my life.”

In 2017, RFD-TV had an opening for its markets  producer, so Buck applied, interviewed, and accepted an employment offer.

“They were willing to take a chance on a farm girl who knew a lot about agriculture and almost nothing about broadcast television. In time, I learned enough to write news stories and took on the responsibility of producing FFA Today. Many of my friends were FFA advisors and would reach out to me with incredible stories, so I asked our RFD-TV videographers to teach me a thing or two. Armed with a camera, a tripod, and a mic, I started reporting FFA stories for the show,” she said.

“In August, the position of Washington News Bureau Chief for RFD-TV opened, and I jumped at the chance to return to my passion for ag policy. Now, I spend my days covering Congressional hearings, interviewing lawmakers about new legislation, and crafting election coverage on-air and online.

“Moving to a new city in the middle of a pandemic has been quite the adventure, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I hope the world will return to normal soon, so I can return to in-person interviews; but in the meantime, we all are becoming professionals at video calls.

“At the end of the day, whether it is an in-person or virtual story, the job of a farm broadcaster has never been more important than it is today. Farmers need to know the hard-hitting news of the day, consumers need to know about how their food is produced, and we all need a heartwarming story from the heartland to remind us that there is joy even in the middle of a global crisis.”