Nebraska farmer in "Farmland" film
A documentary film featuring agriculture today has made its debut. Farmland features six farmers and ranchers, all in their 20s, in various regions across the U.S. In a conference call Oscar®-winning filmmaker James Moll told KNEB/Rural Radio Network, he wanted to capture the lives of the next generation of farmers and ranchers.
"I grew up in the city and I have never stepped foot on a farm and now I have had that opportunity and I wondered who was growing our food and I now know," Moll said. "I know that sounds that sounds almost over simplified but it's true and if other people can come away that they have stepped on a farm, then than I feel really good about it".
Some of the those cast for the film were skeptical of the process like Brad Bellah, a sixth generation Texas cattle rancher says he wasn't sure if he wanted to be apart the film.
"The first call I made was to the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association to see who these people were and if they we ok," Bellah said. "I feel many people in agriculture feel tend to feel like they burned a time or two or know someone who has when it comes to the media even if it is your nearby newspaper in your home state, sometimes things have been twisted before".
After seeing the finished project, the entire cast is completely behind the film and they are encouraging any critics of agriculture to see the film. Ryan Veldhuizen, a fourth generation farmer from Minnesota raises hogs, corn and soybeans. Veldhuizen says he felt it was a honor to be in the film.
"I would do it again anytime," Veldhuizen said. "I feel this is a very excellent way to tell my story of agriculture without getting in anyone's face and presenting the true story of agriculture as it is".
With consumers several generations removed from the farm, there are a lot of misconceptions about agriculture and misinformation on how food is produced. Sutton Morgan, a fourth generations produce farmer from California says it was important for him to share the truth about food production.
"It's been my goal, my mission in my farm and business to utilize the age of I what I think as the age of information to reach reach the consumer," Morgan said. "Be as close to the consumer within a supply chain and information chain type of area and basically tell the story of about where food comes from".
Nebraska corn, soybean and dairy producer David Loberg says the film builds a connection between the farmer and the consumer.
"All they view is someone stamping out food and they don't realize that we are just like them, we have families, we have kids, I mean we go home every night," Loberg said. "We have bad days, we have good days and they actually get to see there is an living human person behind what they see at the grocery and that person cares very much so about they put on that grocery store shelf".
Now the film will be shown around the country and hopefully around the world. Leighton Cooley, a fourth generation cattle poultry farmer from Georgia hopes consumers will see the film and get a glimpse into the daily life of farmers.
"The way that James just captured the farms and the farmers and the personalities and our lives and the way we interact and do and think and work was just incredible the way he captured it to me," Cooley said. "I love the way that "Farmland" tells the story of American agriculture through our eyes and through our hearts".
The film will be launched at public theaters before being broadly distributed through college campus', cable networks and on demand outlets.
The film will be shown at the Historic Midwest Theater in Scottsbluff on Saturday, May 3rd 7:30 pm and on Sunday May 4th 1:30 pm.
Pictured - Farmer David Loberg speaks at the Private New York Premiere of "Farmland at Tribeca Film Festival on April 17, 2014 in New York.
Group Picture includes Academy Award-Winning Director James Moll (3rd from left) and film editor Tim Calandrello pose with farmers David Loberg, Leighton Cooley, Sutton Morgan, Ryan Veldhuizen and Brad Bellah.
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