Farmageddon Documents Plight of American Family Farms

November 18

7.30 pm

at the new Christ & Holy Trinity Church

75 Church Lane, Westport

The Westport Farmers Market  invites you to the Fairfield County premier of the documentary film Farmageddon: The Unseen War on American Family Farms. Filmmaker Kristin Canty’s quest to find healthy food for her four children turned into an educational journey to discover why access to these foods was being threatened. Farmageddon highlights the urgency of food freedom, encouraging farmers and consumers alike to take action to preserve individuals’ rights to access food of their choice and farmers’ rights to produce these foods safely and free from unreasonably burdensome regulations.

Watch the trailer here: http://farmageddonmovie.com/

Come for an educational evening filled with local food, wine and great networking.

After viewing the documentary Farmageddon the audience will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session with guest experts Annie Farrell of Millstone Farm, Michel Nischan from Wholesome Wave and The Dressing Room and Suzanne Sankow from Beaver Brook Farm.

Tickets are $10 and available for purchase at http://westportcinema.org/.

About the Guest Experts:

Annie Farrell

Annie Farrell is the Master Farmer at Millstone Farm, a 75-acre property in Wilton, CT. Millstone Farm, a vision of owner Betsy Fink, is a working farm and serves as a hub for education and outreach. Millstone regularly hosts workshops and action-learning activities, and partners with farmers, community organizations, school groups, restaurateurs, and others interested in learning about diverse, chemical-free farming. The farm’s practices are geared towards achieving a closed loop system where the farm’s varied parts contribute to the whole working body. Millstone Farm produces food for local restaurants, local family-owned markets, and a small CSA. The farm strives to use best farm practices, encourage their implementation, and promote awareness about their positive impact on local economies, the community, and our quality of life.

Annie Farrell was born, and raised in NYC, and spent summers in Northern Westchester County where she fell in love with the farms that still operated there. Inspired by Helen and Scott Nearing, she settled in Bovina, NY, in Delaware County in 1973, where she built a stone house and learned farming skills from the old-timers who remembered how to farm productively before ‘modern’ agriculture took over. As the farms began to disappear, she was determined to offer alternatives to diversify the dairy farmers. The Delaco Agricultural Co-op, which she started, organized 40 farms into producing and delivering products locally. She was inspired by Flying Foods International, the first Specialty Food venture in NYC, to demonstrate other, more valuable crops for the region, and built a business called ”Annie’s”, which delivered her and other producers’ specialty wares to NYC and the Union Square Green Market. Organic Mesclun was unheard of, and she was selling it at Greenmarket, and to top Chefs. After selling that business, she was the first Director of the CADE project, (Center for Agricultural Development & Entrepreneurship), which continues to help farms diversify. She founded NELA, the New England Livestock Alliance, using several European models, and introduced Devon cattle as one of the best breeds for efficient grazing production. Since 2006, she has been working with Betsy Fink to build a community and model for small, diversified farming at Millstone Farm. In addition to her work on the farm, Annie also acts as the Ag & Food Systems Program Coordinator for the Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation. In this role, Annie has added her expertise to such programs as the Wilton High School Garden, Stepping Stone’s Edible Garden, and Fodor Farm thereby complementing  the foundation’s grant making in the sector.

Michel Nischan

Michel Nischan, CEO, Founder and President of Wholesome Wave, grew up with a great appreciation and respect for local agriculture and those who work the land. He translated these childhood values into a career as a James Beard Award-winning chef, author and restaurateur, becoming a catalyst for change in the sustainable food movement. An Ashoka Fellow, Michel serves on the Board of Trustees for the James Beard Foundation, The Rodale Institute and The Center for Health and the Global Environment (Harvard Medical School).

Suzanne Sankow:

Owned by the Sankow family since 1917, Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm in Lyme CT started as a dairy farm. In 1984 Suzanne and Stan introduced sheep and in 2002, they reintroduced cattle. Now, this beautiful one hundred and seventy five acre farm is a sheep and cow dairy farm featuring raw milk products. The Sankows are committed to producing the highest quality goods while protecting the environment. Their products are available to consumers at the Westport Farmers’ Market.

Farmageddon is presented by the Westport Cinema Initiative and Westport Farmers’ Market and sponsored by Whole Foods Market.  The screening will take place on Friday, November 18th, at 7:30pm at Christ and the Holy Trinity Church on 75 Church Lane in Westport.

SYNOPSIS:
Americans’ right to access fresh, healthy foods of their choice is
under attack. Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms
that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and
were forced to stop, sometimes through violent action, by agents of
misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.

Filmmaker Kristin Canty’s quest to find healthy food for her four
children turned into an educational journey to discover why access
to these foods was being threatened. What she found were policies
that favor agribusiness and factory farms over small family operated
farms selling fresh foods to their communities.

Instead of focusing on the source of food safety problems — most often the
industrial food chain — policymakers and regulators implement and
enforce solutions that target and often drive out of business small
farms that have proven themselves more than capable of producing
safe, healthy food, but buckle under the crushing weight of
government regulations and excessive enforcement actions.

Farmageddon highlights the urgency of food freedom,
encouraging farmers and consumers alike to take action to preserve
individuals’ rights to access food of their choice and farmers’
rights to produce these foods safely and free from unreasonably
burdensome regulations. The film serves to put policymakers and
regulators on notice that there is a growing movement of people
aware that their freedom to choose the foods they want is in
danger, a movement that is taking action with its dollars and its
voting power to protect and preserve the dwindling number of
family farms that are struggling to survive.

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