Now here is a very cool idea! One of the complaints often stated by those in agriculture is that the general public doesn’t understand agriculture well, if at all. If I had a nickel for every time someone told me, “People buy groceries at the store or plants at the nursery without understanding the process used to make them,” then I would have quite a tall stack of nickels.
Well, the Agri-Business Council of Oregon (ABC) has come up with a very creative remedy for that, in more senses than one. The first-ever Down to Earth Film Festival: Stories about Oregon Agriculture was presented as part of the Oregon State Fair Sept. 3. The festival is part of an initiative by ABC to engage urban Oregonians about the benefits of the industry to all Oregonians.
“Our goal is to stimulate and perpetuate the creative talent of aspiring and professional filmmakers, while telling the fascinating stories surrounding Oregon agriculture and its ability to be economically, environmentally and socially responsible neighbors of the greater community,” ABC Executive Director Geoff Horning said.
The first-place film was “Land of Contrasts,” produced by Angus Productions. “This film tells an excellent story about the efforts Oregon’s ranching community is making to enhance the habitat of Oregon’s fish and wildlife,” Hornung said.
Judges voted the North by Northwest Productions film “Willamette Egg Farms” as the runner-up, while the film also won the Audience Choice Award by those in attendance.
David Tanner, producer and director of the “Willamette Egg Farms” film, announced at the festival that he would be donating his winnings ($2,000 combined) to the Oregon Food Bank. The winning film, “Land of Contrasts,” will be shown at the council’s Denim & Diamonds Gala on Nov. 18 at The Governor Hotel in Portland. In addition, the council is developing a new consumer-based website, www.oregonfresh.net, which is slated to formally launch in October but already is accessible now. ABC promises that in the near future, each of the festival entries will be viewable on the site.
A hat tip to Geoff Hornung and the ABC for fighting the good fight.