A COMMON lament among farmers is that the general public has little understanding or appreciation of the realities of modern agriculture. A small step toward changing that starts in September, when a new weekly television show called America's Heartland will appear on 300 public television stations across America.

The half-hour programs take a closer look at how American farmers do the job of feeding the world and providing raw materials for industry. The program, which is sponsored by the American Farm Bureau, Monsanto Company and several commodity associations, will feature a diversity of American agriculture, from row crops to dairy and meat animal production. Watch your public television listings in September, or visit www.americasheartland.org.