(BPT) - Most Americans have never stepped foot on a farm or ranch, or even talked to the people who grow and raise the food they eat. Many people have mixed perceptions about what it means to be a farmer and rancher today. They might not even stop to think about the process of how their prepared meal has traveled from the farm to their table.
Those closely engrained and tied to farming today understand that there is a history, art, and even science behind growing and raising safe, healthy food - whether it is organically or conventionally raised crops or livestock. They also know - and are pleased to see - that a younger generation of farmers is returning to the fields to continue generations of farming traditions and knowledge, while also bringing new techniques and fresh perspectives to improve efficiencies and reduce the environmental impact of farming as a whole.
Today's young farmers and ranchers are returning to the fields because they see it as a great career opportunity with national and global relevance and impact. They see farming as an enterprise they can invest in, nurture and build. These farmers may be first, second or sixth generation farmers - but what remains the same is that a majority - 98 percent - of American farms remain family-operated.
Farmland, a new documentary film by Academy, Grammy and Emmy-winning director James Moll, will premiere in theaters across the U.S. on May 1. The documentary takes an intimate look at the lives of American farmers and ranchers in their '20s, all of whom are now responsible for running their farming businesses.
Through the film, viewers will step inside the world of farming and take a first-hand look into the lives of these young farmers and ranchers. Viewers will learn about the high-risk, high reward job of a farmer or rancher, and their passion for a way of life that has been passed down from generation to generation, yet continues to evolve. It's an opportunity to get a glimpse inside the everyday tasks, challenges and opportunities that today's farmers and ranchers face - whether they be male or female, conventional or organic, and first generation or fifth generation.
In order to meet the dual needs of feeding a global population while improving techniques to ensure utmost sustainability on the farm, it's critical that the migration of young, educated farmers continues both in the near and long-term future. It's also important for the general public to continue to understand and inquire about how their food is grown and raised, and trust that skilled farmers and ranchers are growing and raising food with their families and your family in mind.
Visit www.FarmlandFilm.com to locate a theatre near you where Farmland will be screening, as well as additional information about the film and to watch the trailer.