Consortium for the History of Agricultural and Rural Mississippi


Howard Langfitt WLBT "Farm Family of the Week" Exhibit

About Howard Langfitt

Howard Langfitt

Howard Langfitt (1919-1997) was born in Iowa and attended the State University of Iowa, majoring in Speech and Radio. He was the son of a farmer, grew up on a farm, and was familiar with county agricultural extension programs. His older brother, having heard some agricultural radio shows, encouraged Howard to go into agricultural broadcasting in the late 1930s. Howard was on a scholarship at the University of Iowa, but ended up enlisting in the Army before finishing his degree. He did work for a hybrid seed corn company for a while before entering the Army, an experience which further broadened his interest and abilities in agriculture.

After serving in the Army Air Force in Missouri, Illinois, and Jackson, Mississippi, Langfitt obtained a job as Farm Services Director at KSO-KRNT, Des Moines. Next, he went to KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana, and eventually was made Program Director of KWKH. He developed the farm programming for that station as a part of his job from 1943-1945.

Because his wife wanted to return to her native state of Mississippi, Howard took a job as announcer at WJDX radio in Jackson in 1945, and stayed for seventeen years. He served fifteen years as Program Director and did the farm broadcasting at the same time. Lamar Life, owner of both WJDX Radio and WLBT-TV offered Langfitt a position as Farm Services Director when it first licensed the station in 1954.

Howard Langfitt

Because of his great interest in agriculture and a desire to promote farming, Langfitt talked WLBT into letting him develop the "Farm Family of the Week" segment as a part of his Monday through Friday agricultural program "RFD Televisit".

Howard Langfitt left WLBT in 1961 to accept as position as manager of the Mississippi Coliseum. Later he served as Executive Vice-President of the Rural Electric Power Association of Mississippi until his retirement in 1984.

For all of his adult life, Langfitt was active in agricultural organizational work, including 4-H, the Mississippi Council of Farm Cooperatives, the Mississippi Agriculture Workers Coordinating Council, and the FHA Advisory Committee. He was also active in national utilities organizational work, in veteran's organizations, and an active volunteer for libraries and other causes. He was the second recipient of one of only three Life Membership Awards given by the Mississippi Association of County Agricultural Extension Agents. In 1983, Langfitt was named "Friend of Extension" by Epsilon Sigma Phi, the honorary fraternity of the Cooperative Extension Service and is also an honorary alumnus of MSU.