Every month or so, John Deere does a live call-in show on RFDTV called, appropriately enough, John Deere Live. It's hosted by Max Armstrong, and we get a team of Deere employees to serve as a panel of experts. They field calls from viewers related to the show's topic, from our new machines to pre-season maintenance.
This shot is from a lighting check before a show on hay equipment. Max doesn't keep the ornate goblet during the actual show. Everyone wears make-up on the air because of the lights on the set, although the guys do tend to be less than thrilled about it.
I'm always a little surprised at how many calls we get during the shows. There usually are more than we can get on the air, even ruling out the off-topic ones (we try not to deal with combine questions on a show about tractors and vice versa).
The factory folks who have been on the air said that they get recognized in public, too. Oddly enough, it seems to happen the most at airports. One factory rep told me that he had someone more or less shouting hello from across the terminal after a show.
The trickiest part of doing live tv is that, well, it's live. For the most part, people call in with the kind of questions you'd hear at a farm show- trouble shooting, crop questions, and things like that. Every once in a while, weird calls do get through the screeners. We've had people ask about how much a toy would go for on eBay, compliment Max on his wardrobe, and tell Bart Simpson-inspired jokes.
It's crazy, but it's a lot of fun. Especially when you're lucky enough to stay behind the scenes.