Along with several other filmmakers, I spent four days planning the outreach campaign for Betting The Farm, and thinking about the different organizations and campaigns that might be able to benefit from our film. When you’ve spent several months in the early stages of editing, making selects and screening footage for days on end, it can be difficult to imagine that your film will eventually be done and out in the world. But it will be! And hopefully, it will be part of the larger movement toward supporting small-scale farmers and food producers.
I came away from our final event—at which we met representatives from Slow Food USA, Food & Water Watch, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, National Young Farmers Coalition, and the Community Food Security Coalition, among many others—with a greater appreciation for the opportunity we have to fundamentally change the way we grow food, the way we shop for it, and the way we eat.
There are dozens of great organizations focusing on specific aspects of the food system and the local food movement. However, there is also tremendous untapped potential in communities across the country—whether rural or urban, affluent or struggling—to build what is now a matter of growing interest into a sea change.
It will take a galvanizing message to convince millions of Americans to join this movement. We need ordinary Americans, particularly those hit hardest by the current recession, to see the economic, environmental, and health impacts that a new agricultural model could have on their lives. And I think the best way to do that is by focusing on the stories of the people—like the farmers of MOO Milk—who are working to make this change.
We have months of work ahead of us on this film, but I am more hopeful ever that Betting The Farm can play a meaningful role in this large, diverse movement by telling an intimate, personal story.
ps. Check out the work of the other films and filmmakers that are part of Reel Food: