will be presented
Sunday, June 11, 7:00 pm
followed by a discussion with the producers
$5 suggested donation
New England’s dairy farmers remain the backbone of agriculture in New England, but fight for survival in an age of artisan cheese and kale.
The documentary Forgotten Farms profiles the New England dairy farmer and examines the class divides in New England’s farm and food communities. New England has lost over 10,000 conventional dairy farms in the past 50 years; about 2,000 farms remain. Collectively, they tend 1.2 million acres of farmland and produce almost all of the milk consumed in the region.
The film’s producer Sarah Gardner shares: “There’s been a lot of focus on the new local food farmers, so we spent the last three years filming conventional dairy farmers. Many of their farms have been in operation for over a century and we wanted to find a way to tell their story. Forgotten Farms is their story.”
The film’s director Dave Simonds said, “In our enthusiasm for the local food movement, many of us have forgotten that 75 years ago these farmers were at the center of a thriving local food economy.”
Forgotten Farms reconsiders the role of these tenacious farm families. The film gives us a glimpse into the past and a vision of an expanded local agriculture that could serve all of New England’s population. A Q&A led by Gardner and Simonds follows the film’s showing; the discussion panel also includes Chris Collins, Brian Donahue, and Warren Facey.
The event is co-sponsored by Shelburne Grown and Our Family Farms. The Town of Shelburne’s Agricultural Commission’s mission is to preserve, champion and energize Shelburne’s agricultural industry, including forestry, to protect farmland and forests to encourage new entrants in the pursuit of agriculture and to promote agricultural-based economic activities. Our Family Farms is a milk marketing cooperative made up of 4 dairy farms that are right here in Franklin County. Our farms are all family owned and operated. We formed this co-op 20 years ago to ensure the future of our farms and to keep them viable to continue for countless more generations. Think of Our Family Farms as “fair-trade milk” and that our hard-working farm families are getting a fair price for this milk.