Sanpete County Farming Family Set To Star In New Reality Show ‘The American Farm’
Apr 4, 2019, 10:23 AM | Updated: 10:24 am
CHESTER, Utah – If you don’t stop to ask for directions, you could hold your breath the whole way through Chester.
However, it’s the Sunderland Farm, and its views, that could really take your breath away.
“I kind of want to share it with everyone else,” said Jenna Madsen, who lives at, works at, and is one of the owners of the farm.
Farming is passed on here.
Madsen and her husband are inheriting it from her father, and her young children are already showing an interest in the farm life.
“I love that I was raised here, and I want to have that lifestyle for my children,” she said.
But for as pretty and peaceful as it is here, it’s certainly not easy.
“It’s not a 9-to-5 job. It’s 24 hours a day worrying about your livestock and your crops,” said Jenna’s husband, Brett Madsen. “With the drought last year, we only harvested about 30-40% of our crop of what we typically harvest.”
When you have to rely on weather to grow hay, and you also raise cows, turkeys, and lamb, you just never know.
“There are years when you just don’t know if you’re going to make it, honestly. It’s stressful,” said Jenna Madsen.
He’s been doing it for nearly 40 years in Sanpete County, and several years before that in Lehi, back when his old sayings were in style.
“I’ve been in farming since I was knee high to a grasshopper,” said Sunderland with a laugh.
What they all feel is really going out of style, though, is the understanding of where food really comes from.
“It doesn’t come from Walmart. It doesn’t come from McDonald’s. It comes from the farm. And McDonald’s gets it from farms,” said Sunderland.
The family wishes more people would understand the “farm gate to the dinner plate” cycle of food because, if they did, the family feels more people would appreciate farmers.
That’s also why they’re excited about a new reality show they’re about to star in.
The show is called “The American Farm.”
It will air beginning this Thursday on The History Channel.
The series takes a look at the struggles and challenges farming families face all across the country through the eyes of five different farming families.
The production crew spent eight months living with the Sunderland family capturing every moment to tell their story.
“It’s kind of a weird feeling, you know? I’m just a dumb farmer from Sanpete County, but we’re going to be in the national spotlight,” said Brett Madsen with a laugh.
Of course, the family is a little nervous about how they’re going to look to a national audience, but they’re also happy to share their story.
“That’s what I hope people get out of this,” said Jenna Madsen. “To see where their food comes from, what it takes to get it here, and that we care about what we do and what we’re growing and what we’re raising.”
It also just might help put Chester on the map.
“We’ll see,” said Jenna Madsen. “I’m just excited for others to see our story and maybe they’ll understand what farming families go through.”