KROF in Abbeville differed from nearby Acadiana radio stations for its unique programming geared towards agriculture and farming: the main occupation of many of its listeners. Indeed, the importance of agriculture to the formation of the station is suggested by the station’s call sign KROF, the last three letters standing for “rice, oil, fur,” which Abbeville “is the official or unofficial capital” for (1). In 1947, the station was in the Bank of Abbeville before moving to a newly constructed building in 1948 where it went on air July 9. On March 19, 1948, the Vermilion Post advertised that KROF would broadcast “farm programs” as part of its radio schedule (2). These programs were Good Morning Farmer Friends, which aired daily except on Sundays, and The Farm Forum, which aired Monday through Friday.
Notably, The Farm Forum on Wednesdays broadcasted the Institutional On-Farm Training Program which was a part of the Louisiana Institutional Farm Training Program that began in 1946. The training program was started by state officials for Louisiana’s World War II veterans returning from the war who owned farms in the state. The goal of the program was to “train veterans on their own farms, to return qualified veterans to the land through the benefits of specialized training and not to direct new people into Agriculture” (3). The Vermilion Parish division of the program, headed by Elton J. Prejean, broadcasted over KROF to listeners, including non-veterans, for farm training and information. A reported example of the success of the training program was John Dore of Erath, who credited the program for the success of his dairy barn and his farming capabilities (4). The farm training program ended with the other benefits of the G.I. Bill of Rights in 1956, but other local efforts followed later to promote farm training.
Though KROF may be considered unconventional regarding what most people associate with the radio, the station and its programs were all but unconventional for its community of listeners. The farming programs of KROF, especially, reflect the station’s connection to the land of rural Acadiana which, for the people of that area, was their home and way of life.
1. “KROF Is Name For Abbeville Radio Station,” Daily Advertiser, Aug. 18, 1947, newspapers.com.
2. “Station KROF Building Nears Completion,” Vermilion Post, Mar. 19, 1948, newspapers.com.
3. “Explains Plan For Self Proprietorship Training In Farming,” Abbeville Meridional, Jul. 20, 1946, newspapers.com.
4. “Vets Success Illustrated,” Abbeville Meridional, Jan. 7, 1950, newspapers.com.