“Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman” will kick off the School of Natural Resource’s fall documentary series at 7 p.m. Sept. 7, at Hardin Hall Auditorium. The free event is open to the public.
The event is co-sponsored by the School of Natural Resources Community Engagement Committee and the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute. Snacks will be provided by Water for Food, and parking will be provided in Hardin Hall parking lot except for meters and reserved facilities spaces. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.
The documentary, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of heartland conservationists who are feeding the world while being good stewards of land and water resources. The film has garnered much media attention, including features in the Washington Post and the New York Times, as well as Science Magazine.
An informal panel discussion with Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute Faculty Fellows, including agronomist P. Stephen Baenziger, agricultural economist Lilyan Fulginiti and agricultural and environmental law specialist Anthony Schutz, will follow the viewing. People will be invited to explore deeper the topics and themes in the documentary.
The film features the stories of five representatives of this stewardship movement: a Montana rancher, a Kansas farmer, a Mississippi riverman, a Louisiana shrimper and a Gulf fisherman. Justin Knopf is one of them. The fifth-generation Kansas farmer has revolutionized industrial scale agriculture to rebuild the fertility, biodiversity and resilience of his soil. Dusty Crary, a fourth-generation Montana rancher is another representative. Crary has forged alliances between cattlemen, federal agencies, hunters and environmental groups to protect the Rocky Mountain Front.
“There’s a perception out there that’s tempting to buy into, that to take care of the environment you have to farm at a scale like my grandfather would have farmed on: a couple hundred acres, with smaller machinery, very limited technology,” Knopf said in the film. “And I think that’s not quite accurate. As I think about the farmers in our community and probably agriculture as a whole in much of the Midwest, I would argue that many of the larger scale farms are the ones on the cutting edge of environmentalism.”
The film is based on the best selling book by Miriam Horn, special projects coordinator for the Environmental Defense Fund. She is the author of two previous books including the New York Times best selling “Earth: The Sequel,” which was co-authored by EDF president Fred Krupp. She also helped produce the film.
“Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman” was directed by Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Susan Froemke and Emmy winner John Hoffman, and was narrated by award-winning journalist Tom Brokaw.