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Help Us Make a Documentary!

KalsbeekCow

Our research shows that small and medium sized farms in the Pacific Northwest face many challenges that push farmers to be adaptable, creative, and resilient. These challenges – from rising land prices, to non-farming neighbors, to conflicting regulations, to economic, political, and environmental changes are often invisible to the consumer standing in the bright aisles of a local grocery store. For some farmers and growers, the challenges mean they struggle to stay in business or to pass their farms down to new generations.

Yet farmers, by their very nature, are resilient. Farmers combine their knowledge of farming with ingenuity and business acumen to face these challenges. They get excited about new technologies, experimentation, and growing or producing the food we eat.

Our communities need to better understand farm resilience of all sizes, types, and products. We have something to learn from the way farmers and growers adapt, learn, create in the face of unstable markets, politics, and environments. We also need to understand how to better support farmers doing what they do best.

We are currently raising funds to produce a 55 minute documentary on the realities of small farm production today. The film will explore threats to small farms and the diverse strategies farmers and growers are using to meet these challenges. It will examine how we can support farm resilience in our regions. The film will draw on findings of our research, with concept development and production provided by Hand Crank Films.

Our director, Caleb Young, and his able staff have produced a 2.5 minute film giving a powerful message – the message of our study, of threats and risks in farming and the need for practical wisdom in understanding these threats. This 2.5 minute film  is just the beginning.  The longer 55 minute film will expand our attention to threats, resilience, and farming in the United States. It will focus on policy that builds resilience and the ability to adapt – across all sizes of farms and the food, feed, and fiber they produce.