Farming is a difficult thing to describe unless you experience it. As time has gone on, fewer and fewer people have this experience and connection to agriculture, even in Iowa. Fortunately, movies can give insight into what it means to be a farmer without having to buy chore boots or get dirty. Here are two movies that not only do a great job of describing the development of agriculture to this point but also provide paths of hope for the future of farming and our planet.
We have been proud members of Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) for several decades. PFI is an organization of farmers and those interested in agriculture focused on cooperative and collaborative learning and research on ways to build resilient farms and communities. Last year, PFI produced a movie “Livestock on the Land” looking at the importance of this relationship to our communities and landscape. You can find out more about the movie and related information here and watch the movie on YouTube here.
Narrated by Woody Harrelson, “Kiss the Ground” addresses how we came to be where we are at in agriculture and the impact on challenges we face from climate to health. Unlike other films that broach this subject with a lot of doom and gloom, this film highlights methods of regenerative agriculture that offer solutions to these challenges (there is some doom and gloom, which is appropriate given the current global situation, but stick with it, trust us). Highlighting pioneers and activists, a hopeful picture is painted for our future if we are able to adapt regenerative principles in our interactions with land and the soil. John had the pleasure of visiting one of these pioneers, a North Dakota farmer named Gabe Brown, on a PFI bus trip several years ago. This trip inspired more investigation and application of methods to increase the soil health on our farm. “Kiss the Ground” is available to watch on Netflix and also available to rent for $1 on Vimeo. An educational website is also available for those looking to dig further into regenerative agriculture.
We hope you find these movies educational and inspiring. So grab some popcorn and enjoy!