Growing a Documentary
What is Farmlandia?
Farmlandia, a documentary-in-progress, began a decade ago when Jan Weber first started documenting the troubled fields and farms of Central Iowa. She recorded many stories there, which resulted in her first  documentary, the award-winning As We Sow. But she did not stop there. Continuing to shoot over the years, she expanded her reach to Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Colorado, North Carolina, and New York  where she continued to document changes in our food system from the perspective of farmers, ranchers, and other residents of rural communities.

Farmlandia is the natural outgrowth of the story started 10 years ago of what we have reaped over a decade of remarkable change—good and bad.  This new documentary expands the scope even further and offers a rare look into the realities of our evolving agricultural system as experienced by the farmers whose decisions have helped shape it.

Farmlandia will take us cross-country, from East New York to West Texas, in search of the farms and farmers of Farmlandia, USA. Where is it? Who farms there? What do they farm and why do they farm that way? How have they survived or not, adapted or not? What choices have they made and how do these choices affect us all?

To find the answers, Jan got in her car in Brooklyn NY and drove over 7,000 miles cross-country visiting and revisiting farms of every kind and size—from 6,000 acres of cotton to 6 acres of organic vegetables, from 80 grass-fed cows to a dairy that milks 32,000 cows a day, from 30 free-range sows and their piglets to 3,000 hogs in confinement—talking to farmers and ranchers about their choices and about their lives.

will grow into an hour-long documentary that combines archival footage shot over the course of a decade with new footage in the summer and fall of 2011.

The seeds of this new documentary were sown in 2001 when I first traveled to rural Iowa to visit farms and talk to farmers about the changes taking place in agriculture and the affects of these changes on them, their families and community, on livestock, and on the land.

On January 31, 2012, a rally took place in Foley Square in NYC in support of farmers who have brought suit against Monsanto. The rally was organized by Food Democracy Now! and Occupy Wall Street Food Justice.