It’s a wrap! With the filming completed and full-length documentary Farmland in post-production phases in a Hollywood studio, filmmaker James Moll has revealed the subjects of the film, set to be released nationwide in spring 2014.
The documentary, made possible by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, follows six U.S. farmers and ranchers, all in their 20s, on their operations across the United States. Before picking the film’s subjects, Moll spent five months meeting farmers and ranchers. Through his research for the film, Moll specifically looked at a variety of factors in order to feature a diverse group of individuals, based on farming and ranching practices, as well as geographic location and the types of crops and livestock grown on each operation.
“With every new documentary, it’s always a thrill to explore topics and meet people that I might not otherwise cross paths with,” said Moll. “While making Farmland, I found myself immersed in a community of some of the most hardworking, passionate people I’ve ever met. This film isn’t just about what it’s like to be a farmer, it’s about a way of life. It’s also about a subject that affects our lives daily.”
The farmers and ranchers featured in Farmland, include:
Brad Bellah, a sixth generation cattle rancher, runs beef cattle operations in Texas and Colorado, including a natural beef herd. The 26-year old husband and father of a twin son and daughter earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications from Texas Tech University.
Leighton Cooley, a fourth generation poultry farmer, operates four farms in Georgia with his father. In addition to chickens, he also has a cow-calf operation and grows hay. Leighton and his wife have two sons.
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. The 25-year-old and his wife have an infant son.
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. Sutton holds a degree in business economics from the University of California Santa Barbara.
Margaret Schlass, a CSA (community supported agriculture) vegetable farmer based in Pennsylvania, farms on 18 acres with her two farms. During her senior year at the University of Delaware, Margaret studied abroad in Peru, worked the fields harvesting corn and yucca, which introduced her to farming.
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.
While Moll was new to agriculture before filming Farmland, he has earned acclaim for his other works, including an Oscar, two Emmys and a Grammy. His work has taken him around the globe, and he has worked with Hollywood’s elite, including Steven Spielberg.