Allentown Productions recently announced the subjects of the upcoming documentary, Farmland, from Oscar-winning filmmaker, James Moll. The feature length documentary, which is now in post-production, follows the next generation of American farmers and ranchers, all in their 20s, in various regions across the United States.
“With every new documentary, it’s always a thrill to explore topics and meet people that I might not otherwise cross paths with,” said Moll. “While making Farmland, I found myself immersed in a community of some of the most hardworking, passionate people I’ve ever met. This film isn’t just about what it’s like to be a farmer, it’s about a way of life. It’s also about a subject that affects our lives daily.”
Moll spent five months meeting farmers and ranchers before he settled on the six who are featured in Farmland. In order to authentically tell the story through the eyes of this next generation, Moll extensively researched the subject and looked for individuals to profile, specifically choosing from different farming and ranching production methods, various types of crops and livestock and geographic diversity.
The farmers and ranchers featured in Farmland, include:
Brad Bellah, a sixth generation cattle rancher, runs beef cattle operations in Texas and Colorado, including a natural beef herd. The 26-year old husband and father of a twin son and daughter earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications from Texas Tech University.
Leighton Cooley, a fourth generation poultry farmer, operates four farms in Georgia with his father. In addition to chickens, he also has a cow-calf operation and grows hay. Leighton and his wife have two sons.
David Loberg, a fifth generation corn and soybean farmer in Nebraska, runs the family farm with his mother. The farm also custom feeds 500 head of cows for a local dairy operation and runs an irrigation business. The 25-year-old and his wife have an infant son.
Sutton Morgan, a fourth generation farmer from California, grows, packs and sells onions and potatoes, and also grows melons, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuces, chard, kale and alfalfa. Sutton holds a degree in business economics from the University of California Santa Barbara.
Margaret Schlass, a CSA (community supported agriculture) vegetable farmer based in Pennsylvania, farms on 18 acres with her two farms. During her senior year at the University of Delaware, Margaret studied abroad in Peru, worked the fields harvesting corn and yucca, which introduced her to farming.
Ryan Veldhuizen, a fourth generation farmer, is taking over the operation of his family’s hog farm in Minnesota with his brother and sister. The farm grows hogs, corn and soybeans, which they use for feed.
The film, made with generous support from the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance® (USFRA®), gives viewers a firsthand glimpse into the lives of these young farmers and ranchers, their high-risk/high-reward jobs and their passion for a way of life that, more often than not, is passed down from generation to generation.
The advance trailer and information about the film and documentary subjects is available at www.farmlandfilm.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/farmlandfilm and on Twitter @FarmlandFilm. Farmland will premiere nationwide in spring 2014.