A Tribute to Patrick Gottsch

Celebrating a pioneer of rural broadcasting, champion of American agriculture and family man.

Patrick Gottsch grew up on his family’s farm in Elkhorn, Nebraska, where he learned firsthand the importance of rural America in the lives of everyday Americans. These early experiences instilled in him a deep appreciation for the agricultural community and its values, shaping his future endeavors.

Patrick began his journey into broadcasting in 1991 with Superior Livestock Auction. This venture was the stepping stone to his most significant achievement: RFD-TV. What began as a dream turned into reality on August 31, 1988, when RFD-TV started broadcasting across North America. This network quickly became rural America’s most vital television superstation, offering six full hours of live news, market updates, weather reports, business features, and special reports each day.

Patrick’s extensive background in farming, ranching, and his experience as a commodity broker on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange gave him unique insights into the needs and interests of his audience. His commitment to success and dedication to a previously unserved audience made RFD-TV a cornerstone of rural American media. Over the next 35 years, the network spotlighted America’s farmers, ranchers, and Western sports, consistently serving the needs and interests of rural America.

Patrick’s vision didn’t stop with RFD-TV. He expanded Rural Media Group Inc., the parent company of RFD-TV, to include The Cowboy Channel, The Cowgirl Channel, and Rural Radio. His innovative approach and willingness to think outside the box significantly contributed to the growth of the rural and Western way of life. Patrick always focused on family, involving his daughters in the business from a young age and enabling them to flourish in leadership roles. He welcomed the cameras to showcase his love of family, making it a central theme in his networks.

Even at 70 years old, Patrick lived life to the fullest, packing more experiences into a week than most people do in a lifetime. His determination to serve rural America was unwavering, ensuring that rural voices were heard and valued. Reflecting on his journey, Patrick often remembered running around Omaha with a business plan, trying to convince someone to fund his vision. Despite the challenges, he built a studio and launched a network that profoundly impacted millions.

Patrick’s legacy is a testament to his passion, innovation, and dedication. His contributions to broadcasting have ensured that the stories and needs of rural America continue to be highlighted and celebrated. As he once said, his life’s work has been devoted to RFD-TV, a network born from a dream and sustained by his relentless drive to connect and uplift rural communities.