As We Sow

“I’m the end. There will be no more farmers in this family. I didn’t want to, but I encouraged my son—don’t farm. Don’t bust your ass for 26 years and end up worse than what you were when you started. It ain’t worth it.” –Chris Petersen, Former Hog Farmer.

AS WE SOW opens on the desolate winter landscape of the central Iowa plains, and from the very first moments we know something is wrong. Farmhouses sit deserted in the middle of fields planted fencepost-to-fencepost with alternating acres of soybeans and corn; barnyards, where we expect to find chickens, hogs and cows – the staples of the “family farm” – are empty. Animals are inside now, confined in sleek computer-controlled industrial buildings that render the old red barn and the farmer obsolete.

AS WE SOW documents the stories of survival and failure in the real heartland, a struggle pitting family against family, neighbor against neighbor, citizens against their government, and small, independent farmers against the giants of global agribusiness. At the center is the land itself: who will control it and how, and at what cost to people and communities, to animals and the environment, and, ultimately to our democracy.

AS WE SOW is based on over 100 hours of location shooting and taped interviews with hog farmers and grain farmers, independent farmers and contract farmers; CEOs and large-scale livestock producers; grassroots activists, rural advocates, and environmentalists; town clerks and mayors; legislators and lobbyists; rural anthropologists, sociologists, economists, and educators. Through their voices, the documentary bears witness to the changes occurring across rural America and the powerful forces behind the dramatic and rapid transformation of the family farm to the factory farm.  (Excerpt from main website)

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  • Official Website: aswesow.com
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