NEWPORT — The Orleans County Conservation District will be hosting a free community viewing of the documentary film “Forgotten Farms,” that examines class divides in our farm and food communities, followed by a discussion panel with filmmakers, local dairy farmers and Vermont Housing and Conservation Board Agricultural Director, Nancy Everhart.
The screening will take place March 30 at Newport City Cinema, and will start at 4:00 p.m.
Most people buy their food in supermarkets and don’t have a chance to “know your farmer,” as the bumper sticker recommends.
In more affluent communities, farm-to-table restaurants, farmer’s markets, and CSAs are booming and the new farmers are celebrated. But there is another farmer who is left out of the local food celebration.
The Vermont Dairy Promotion council economic assessment lists Orleans County as having 15.3 percent of the state’s dairy farms with 131 dairy farms, 22 of which are Certified Organic, with a total of 21,081 cows.
Dairy farmers are a significant foundational part of our local economy and cultural in Orleans County, but often these farmers are overlooked.
This event will showcase these farmers by highlighting the importance of the dairy industry which is very relevant to our Northeast Kingdom communities.
Only 100 years ago, New England produced most of its food on 16 million acres of farmland. And now, climate change demands that more of our food is grown closer to where we live. As we strive to revive local production, we have much to learn from dairy farmers who have been managing most of the farmland and sustaining the farm economy for generations.
The film gives us a glimpse into the past and a vision for a future regional food system through conversations with farmers and policy experts and reconsiders the role of the vital but forgotten farmers.