FARMERS FOR AMERICA DOCUMENTARY SCREENING
A Collaboration of Creative 360 and Midland Area Farmer’s Market
Midland Area Farmers Market and Creative 360 are collaborating to bring the Michigan premier of Farmer’s for America. Narrated by Mike Rowe, the host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs, this important film celebrates, inspires and supports young farmers. On Sunday, March 4 from 2-4:00 p.m., Emily Lyons, Midland Farmer’s Market Manager, will host the movie and the panel discussion that follows at Creative 360, 1517 Bayliss St. in Midland. The program is $5 pre-paid and $8 at the door. Pre-register online or call 989-837-1885.
“If you share my addiction to chewing and swallowing, you’ll want to watch Farmers for America,” said Rowe, who travels the U.S. during this 75-minute film following the lives of young farmers – their joys, everyday successes, and the challenges they face trying to make ends meet while pursuing their dreams.
Despite the pride many farmers take in producing food for their communities, less than 2% of this country’s population feed 300 million Americans each day. With the average age of today’s farmer at 60, and rural America losing population as the cost of land and equipment soars, this film reveals the people waiting to take their place, the practices they’re championing and the obstacles they must overcome.
Younger farmers face obstacles in getting their farms started and finding resources to support them. Even those who grew up on family farms struggle to continue the family business. Calvin Riggleman, for example, got his start while growing up on his family’s multigenerational farm working in his grandparents’ orchard. When he graduated from high school, the industry that had sustained his family since before the American Revolution was becoming less reliable. Despite this and pressure to further his education, he wanted to continue doing the work he loved and was born into. With some out-of-the-box thinking, Riggleman found a way to support his family by maximizing his ability to sell not only fresh fruits and vegetables, but also end products like jams, jellies, sauces and more at farmers’ markets.
From the struggles of land accessibility, debt, lack of knowledge, and low pay, to the joys of working outside, being your own boss, and producing food for family and community, Farmers For America is a sweeping, optimistic look at the promise of our nation’s agriculture. The film traces changes coming to America’s food system as more and more consumers flock to farmers’ markets, embrace farm-to-table lifestyles and insist on knowing where their food is coming from. In the end, it’s an agricultural profile that makes farmers and consumers think more deeply about their food system resiliency and how important the next generations of farmers will be in feeding a hungry nation.
The film’s partner organizations include the National Young Farmers Coalition, the Farmer Veteran Coalition, National Farmers Union, mikeroweWorks Foundation and the National Center for Appropriate Technology.
A panel discussion including five Midland Farmer’s Market vendors will follow the screening. The panel will include Nicole Ward of Eastman’s Forgotten Ciders & Antique Apples; Rodney Steele of Boulder Clay Farm LLC; Sara Longstreth of Good Stead Farm; Paul Bublitz of Paul’s Produce Farms; and Ryan Varner of Varner Meats, LLC. Farmers Veteran Coalition of Michigan President Nick Babcock will also join for the movie and discussion.
Four eateries – Pop-Pop’s Popcorn, Must Love Pretzels, SmokeHouse Candy and Cheeky Cheesecake will be on hand to sell their wares.
About Midland Area Farmer’s Market
The Midland Area Farmers Market is located at the structure at the end of Ashman Street near the Tridge. The Market operates on Wednesdays and Saturdays from early May through mid-November. In 2018, the market will open on May 5. Wednesday hours are from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday hours are 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For more information regarding the Market, please call the Midland Area Chamber of Commerce office at 989-839-9901, or the Market phone at 989-948-0071.
About Creative 360
Creative 360 is a not-for-profit community arts and wellness organization founded in 1994. Its mission is to create environments that allow people of all ages and abilities to experience the creative process, and to enhance physical, mental and spiritual wellness through the arts and humanities. The organization’s core values of inclusiveness, creativity, respect and community drive the culture at Creative 360. Activities at Creative 360 are supported in part by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, Midland Area Community Foundation and the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.