Going to the Movies: Farmland

U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance introduces six farmer subjects of new farm documentary, Farmland

Published on: Feb 28, 2014

In the wake of documentaries such as Food, Inc. and King Corn, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance has begun roll-out of a new film highlighting U.S. agriculture. "Farmland" is directed by Academy-Award-winning director James Moll.

According to Randy Krotz, USFRA executive director, USFRA provided "significant funding" to make the movie, but says Moll was given complete creative license in making the film, including selection of the participants. The film will be shown at a private screening March 26, but a trailer is available on the Farmland film website. It will be publicly launched in April.

Four of the six farmers featured in the USFRA movie, Farmland, were introduced during the 2014 Commodity Classic in San Antonio. From left to right: Brad Bellah, Texas cattle rancher; Leighton Cooley, Georgia poultry farmer; David Loberg, Nebraska corn and soybean farmer; Ryan Veldhuizen, Minnesota hog farmer.
Four of the six farmers featured in the USFRA movie, Farmland, were introduced during the 2014 Commodity Classic in San Antonio. From left to right: Brad Bellah, Texas cattle rancher; Leighton Cooley, Georgia poultry farmer; David Loberg, Nebraska corn and soybean farmer; Ryan Veldhuizen, Minnesota hog farmer.

Moll sought out 20-something farmers across the country, involved in a variety of agricultural crops and production methods, including hogs, cattle, corn, soybeans, poultry, vegetables and organic produce.

"You never know what the next phone call might bring. And as farmers we're sometimes skeptical of the next call," said Leighton Cooley, a Georgia poultry farmer. Cooley checked sources with farm groups, learned Moll was a legitimate director and signed on.

"We love bringing people to our farm. Any chance we have to let someone on our farm, we enjoy it," Cooley said. "If they can see what we do on a daily basis, they leave feeling so much better about the food we eat. This was an incredible chance."

As it turns out, Moll didn't share a lot of details with the farmers about what the film would cover. "I actually thought it was a how-to documentary," said Nebraska corn and soybean farmer David Loberg. "I didn't know it was going to be about me!"

Loberg farms with his mother and sisters. His sister, Megan has been active in social media, writing a blog about their farm, "Eat.Pray.Farm."