Photo Credit: Don Holtz

Photo Credit: Don Holtz

#Farmland, Learning about the 1% that Feeds the World

Last spring I visited a friend’s ranch in Colorado. He had about 80 acres of land, most of which was used to grow hay. Inevitably I was confused. Why would a rancher grow hay? Isn’t he supposed to have horses and cattle and other cool things I’ve seen on Dallas and Ralph Lauren commercials.

My friend did an audible “eye roll.” “Ranching is a lot more than just having cattle,” he said. “and don’t romanticize the work we do. It’s hard and it’s tedious and it can be very rewarding and frustrating at the same time. Now change out of your Lululemon yoga pants and let me show you around the place.” (Yep,  I’m the idiot who wore yoga pants and wedged gym shoes to tour an 80 acre ranch.)

Yoga pants aside, I was inspired. As I toured the hay ranch and the adjourning elk farm, I came to understand one fundamental truth… Ranchers (and farmers for that matter) should be revered. Why? because

Ranchers and Farmers feed the world!

They are solely responsible for providing us with one of our basic needs (and really we only have 3 or 4 so that’s pretty major!). According to the EPA, There are over 313,000,000 people living in the United States and less than 1% claim farming as an occupation. 1%. 1% of the population feeds everyone. Why are we not paying attention more to these people? 

I imagine Academy-Award winning director James Moll had the same thought. His new film “Farmland.”  opens this week. It follows farmers and ranchers from across the country to get a real life glimpse into their world, both the good and the bad, the beautiful and the controversial. The film looks fascinating and I can’t wait to see it. To catch a glimpse of the film, check out the trailer below and be sure to visit the website to see where it is playing near you! And if you’re in Chicago and interested in attending a private viewing of the film / panel discussion on Thursday night (May 1)  lmk and I’ll see about getting you on the guest list! xo

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