New York State is losing a farm every three days and with it a way of life, generations of farming knowledge, small town infrastructure and a whole landscape. When a farm closes, the fields return to scrub within a year.
This story has the potential to inspire farmers and consumers across the nation to pursue healthy and sustainable alternatives to our current food system. But we need your help...
When the finances of the dairy industry went sour, lifelong farmers in Washington County, New York desperately searched for a way to keep their farms from going under. Many started raising beef cattle, but the low prices they received at auction houses left farmers facing financial ruin.
Then came an idea: what if these independent farmers banded together and sold their beef directly to restaurants and butchers in New York City? Other cooperatives before had tried and failed with this model. But this group was determined to make it work.
Two years later, the cooperative, which began with only eight members, now has over 30 member farms. In 2014, Adirondack Grazers is on track to sell over $1 million of grass-fed beef!!
Watch the full trailer on You Tube:
We started to film the farmers in the summer of 2012, initially to create small portraits for the cooperative's web site, http://adkgrazers.com/our-farms/. But it soon became clear that the farmers were unique characters and their collective struggle to raise and sell beef opened a window on the larger issues of getting local foods, in particular meat, to market.
What is the true meaning and value of the small farm? Is this small-scale model sustainable and does careful stewardship of the land ever pay off? The stories of these farmers shines a light on surprising problems with our farm to market model.
At a time when communities across America, and the world, are trying to figure out how to get local foods back into the cities and to save small, sustainable family farms, Grazers: A Cooperative Story chronicles just how hard this has become and how far we have moved away from a local food system and towards an industrialized, global system that depends on processed foods, vast fields of corn and soy, factory farms and feedlots.
We already have a rough cut of our film! We are now in the post-production phase, which can be the most exciting part, but also the most expensive! Your contributions would help pay for:
-Fine Cut Edit
-Sound Edit & Mix
-Color Correct & On-Line
SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL OF OUR SUPPORTERS:
Thank you for visiting our Kickstarter page. Please follow us on social media and share our link! With your help, we can get the message of sustainable farming out there and inspire change.
Learn more about the Adirondack Grazers Cooperative:
Risks and challenges
With any project, there are certain risks and challenges that come about, but we believe we are certainly equipped to handle them, after all, we have been making films for a combined 50 years!
With the film shot and a rough cut together, we have been pursuing a market for our film. We think broadcast will be the best way to share our incredible story with the widest audience possible. With your support, we are confident we can make that happen!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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