NOBULL: Lights! Camera! Farmers and ranchers? — Checkoff dollars being used to promote industrial ag

Lights! Camera! Farmers and ranchers?

By Chris Scott on 3/25/2013

James Moll, an Academy Award- , Emmy- and Grammy-winning film director, is embarking on a documentary film project with the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) that will spotlight the next generation of American farmers and ranchers.

The feature-length film will follow five young people in their 20s who have assumed the generational responsibility of taking over the family business. “The farm population is an aging population and over the years they’ve lost family members (to other pursuits),” Moll told reporters attending a conference call this morning. “But there are a lot of young people today that are getting their higher education degrees and coming back to work on their family farms.”

Moll notes that finding subjects that could possibly represent the wide variety of farming industries was a challenge, but believes he has found a well-rounded group to represent the U.S. farmers and ranchers of today. “I’m also always looking to make films that are unbiased testaments to their subjects — no narration, just the words of the participants,” he adds.

USFRA is working with Moll on the project, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year. “We hope it will spark a conversation on modern American agriculture,” notes Weldon Wynn, vice chairman of the Chesterfield, Mo.-based organization of nearly 80 farmer- and rancher-led organizations. “We’re very excited to lend our cooperation to James to tell this story,” he announced this morning.

Moll won an Oscar for directing the 1999 feature documentary “The Last Days,” an Emmy for the film “Inheritance” in 2009 and a Grammy for the 2011 long-form video “The Foo Fighters: Back and Forth.” The new, as-yet-untitled project with USFRA is expected to be released sometime in 2014. Additional information is available here.