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Farmers For America Documentary      

Who will feed us?

Farmers for America, which aired nationwide this past Fall on PBS stations in celebration of Thanksgiving, addresses this question head-on as it traces the remarkable shifts coming to American agriculture as more and more consumers flock to farmers’ markets, embrace farm-to-table lifestyles and insist on knowing where their food comes from.  At the center of the film are the farmers, young and old, who provide the spirit and energy to bring urban and rural America together over what both share in common:  our food.

The film reflects a pivotal moment in the country’s agriculture.  The average age of an American farmer is 60, and fully 50 percent of the country’s farmland will change hands in the next 15 years. This transfer of land contains the potential to bring together conventional older farmers with their vast experience with youthful idealistic farmers championing the local food movement. Both need each other. Hollowed-out rural communities are desperate for young people to fill their schools and jump-start their economies. Young and aspiring farmers are desperate for people with experience to provide guidance and access to ownership. The promise of America’s next agriculture, the film suggests, is to find a way to bring these two worlds together, so that they might just  create an economically viable, soil-healing, regionally focused American agriculture.

Narrated by iconic TV and podcast personality Mike Rowe, the film airs stories from farmers across the country:  People like Chuck Wirtz who grows thousands of acres of commodity corn and soybeans in northwest Iowa; to Lindsay Lusher-Shute, a Hudson River co-founder of the National Young Farmers Coalition, whose organization is developing new incentives for landowners to sell to young farmers; to Eliot Coleman, an four-season vegetable farmer in Maine, whose farming innovations have inspired millions; to Kentucky’s Mike Lewis, a military veteran growing hemp to create locally-sourced American flags. 

View the video and lesson plans.
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