The next edition of KET’s Kentucky Life explores the remote Martin’s Fork wilderness area, captures the fanfare of dragon boat racing in Paducah, visits Tewes Poultry in Erlanger and traces the history of Kentucky’s William Whitley House near Stanford. The program airs Saturday, Jan. 23 at 8/7 pm and Sunday, Jan. 24 at 4/3 pm on KET and Monday, Jan. 25 at 7/6 pm on KET2.

First, Kentucky Life travels to the Martin’s Fork Wildlife Management Area, a scenic yet remote 1,600 acres of wilderness that encompasses parts of Bell and Harlan counties. Because the area has witnessed little development, the Martin’s Fork River watershed is nearly pristine, teeming with crystal clear water and an abundance of wildlife – including several species, such as the green salamander, which are threatened or endangered. Kentucky Life captures the breathtaking beauty of the area, which looks much the same today as the forests that would have been traversed by early pioneers on their way across the Cumberland Gap.

Next, the program travels to Paducah, where the city’s annual Dragon Boat Festival attracts more than 7,000 visitors annually to cheer on teams as they pilot colorful, elaborately designed dragon boats – 41-foot-long boats, each carrying up to 16 paddlers and a drummer – in races along the Ohio River. The Chinese history of “dragon boats” dates back more than 2,000 years, but this modern event is held as a fundraiser for Paducah’s River Discovery Center, which is dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of America’s river systems.

Then, the program makes a stop at the Tewes Poultry Farm in Erlanger, where the Tewes family has been growing top quality poultry for more than 70 years. The family uses no hormones and no cages in raising 3,000 turkeys a year – and as a result has attracted hundreds of dedicated customers who wouldn’t consider buying their holiday dinner birds anywhere else.

Finally, Kentucky Life explores the history of the William Whitley House in Crab Orchard, Ky., near Stanford. Constructed between 1787 and 1794, the Georgian style home was one of the first brick homes built west of the Allegheny Mountains. Known as “Sportsman’s Hill” during the time it was home to Whitley – a noted Kentucky pioneer, sportsman and soldier – the home was constructed with protection from attack in mind. It features two-foot-thick walls, with windows set too high to climb in from outside, plus an interior “safe room” and a secret staircase. It was used as a frequent gathering spot for early Kentuckians, including George Rogers Clark and Daniel Boone.

Kentucky Life is a KET production, produced by Brandon Wickey. Segment producers for this episode are Paul Smith, Frank Simkonis and Matt Grimm.

KET is Kentucky’s largest classroom, serving more than one million people each week via television, online and mobile. Learn more about Kentucky’s preeminent public media organization on Twitter @KET and and at

Watch the full episode here: