Oklahoma Beef Council Supports 'Farmland' Documentary as Bridge Between Producers, ConsumersMon, 21 Apr 2014 15:01:36 CDT
The Oklahoma Beef Council is one of a coalition of ag groups that has underwritten the documentary "Farmland," which takes a look at young farmers and ranchers and how they are trying to establish themselves in production agriculture.
Heather Buckmaster, executive director of the Oklahoma Beef Council, spoke with Radio Oklahoma Network's Ron Hays following the movie's premier screening for opinion leaders in Oklahoma. (You can catch their full conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR at the bottom of this story.) Buckmaster said participating in the project is one of many ongoing ways her organization is trying to bring food producers together with consumers.
"It's important because we in agriculture need to do a better job of connecting with the consumer. We need to answer their questions and concerns and so there's a variety of media in which we can do this. One of them is that you can visit fooddialogues.com. It's a website we encourage consumers to visit. But also this documentary 'Farmland' provides kind of an unconventional medium for us to connect with farmers and ranchers."
Buckmaster said she believes the movie will be well received by the public and it fulfills a goal of the Beef Council to help educate the public about the true nature of modern American farming..
"I think one of the important things about this movie is that it was a third-party, unbiased view of agriculture. I think that one of the things that comes out in this film and becomes very clear whether the farmer or rancher is large scale are a small farmer or rancher like they have with the one woman represented in Pennsylvania, or if they are conventional or organic, I think the theme that comes out in this movie is the passion that each one of them brings to the job of growing and raising food for the American public and the thoughtfulness and the decisions that make in how they raise that food."
Buckmaster said "Farmland" is an extension of the outreach done by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.
"They've done a multitude of events around the United States in which they are really trying to open up and spark that conversation about food production here and really trying to connect those farmers and ranchers and have an open dialog about how we're producing and raising food.
Buckmaster said that this movie is just one more way to facilitate that dialog and to help farmers and ranchers to get their message across. It does that, she said, by focusing on people.
"I think what's important about this movie 'Farmland,' though, is the up close and personal look. It puts a face on the industry. It shows those young farmers and ranchers and the challenges that they face. At the same time it highlights the latest in modern American farming practices and technologies that are changing and improving the landscape of American agriculture."
As agriculture changes, it is difficult enough for farmers to keep up, let alone the public. Buckmaster said that it is extremely important for those in the agricultural industry to stay abreast of the perceptions help by the public about food production.
"I think we have to take perception as reality in the mind of the consumer. Being able to communicate and open that dialog with consumers, I think, is very important."
The preview of 'Farmland' for selected audiences was held April 15th. The movie will open to the public on May 1st in four locations across Oklahoma. It will be showing at the B&B Theaters in El Reno, Sapulpa and Claremore. The agriculture coalition has also underwritten a screening in Tulsa at the Regal Promenade Theater. The movie will be shown in each of those theaters beginning at 7 p.m.
More information about "Farmland" is available at farmlandfilm.com.
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