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Holly Martin is the editor of High Plains Journal/Midwest Ag Journal.

USFRA gears up for launch of farming documentary

U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance Exective Director Randy Krotz introduced four of the subjects of the new documentary "Farmland" during a Commodity Classic press conference.

U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance Exective Director Randy Krotz introduced four of the subjects of the new documentary “Farmland” during a Commodity Classic press conference.

Four of the subjects of the new documentary, “Farmland,” about farming and ranching in a America, talked about their experience and why they felt it was important to share their story, during a Commodity Classic press conference.

The documentary was made through the support of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. The organization has been working to create venues for farmers to speak directly to consumers, said Randy Krotz, USFRA executive director. The new documentary is just another step in that process. USFRA worked with Academy Award winning director James Moll. The project was completely turned over to Moll who selected the subjects for the documentary.

While opening their farms and ranches to consumers might have been a bit scary, the young farmers who were a part of the documentary wanted to share their story.

“We love what we do and are really proud of our farm,”said Leighton Cooley, a fourth generation poultry farmer, who operates four farms in Georgia with his father. The Cooleys take every opportunity they can to invite visitors to their farm. “If they actually see what we do on our farm, they feel so much better about what they eat.”

The documentary is simply extending that invitation to consumers through the screen.

The other farmers an ranchers featured in the film include:

Brad Bellah, a sixth generation cattle rancher, runs beef cattle operations in Texas and Colorado, including a natural beef herd.

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.

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.

Margaret Schlass, a CSA (community supported agriculture) vegetable farmer based in Pennsylvania, farms on 18 acres with her two farms.

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 documentary is in post-production but an advance trailer is available at www.farmlandfilm.com.

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