Farming for the Future Shorts Program – Enduring Traditions, Innovative Practices

This screening is fully booked. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please fill out this form:

This program of short films and a panel discussion will illustrate how farmers and communities are expanding their farming traditions and practices and preserving farmland to meet the demands for sustainable, locally grown food while ensuring that farming remains a profitable career.

Age of the Farmer, directed by Spencer MacDonald and produced by Eva Verbeek, addresses how as the average age of North American farmers approaches 60 years old, a new generation in the Pacific Northwest explores a future in agriculture by volunteering on organic farms.

Cliff Miller of Mount Vernon Farm in the Virginia Piedmont, featured in, Farming for the Future is trying innovative management techniques to sustain his farm for future generations. Cliff’s story is that of many farmers seeking new ways to be economically and environmentally sustainable. 50 Years of Farming: For Love & Vegetables is the story of Potomac Vegetable Farms, an organic farm in Virginia. Both films, directed by Aditi Desai, were done in conjunction with AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and the Prince Charitable Trusts.

Directed and produced by Justin CliftonWalt tells the story of organic raisin farmer, Walt Shubin, who has dedicated the last 65 years of his life to restoring California’s San Joaquin River to its previous glory. In the midst of drought, he argues for sustainable water use.

The Culture of Collards, a world premiere, illustrates that collard greens are more than a simple side dish. Brought to the American South with the slave trade, they hold a vital place in African-American cultural history. Now, a new generation of farmers, historians, and educators works to share this heritage, promoting healthy communities. The film was directed by Vanina Harel and produced by Aditi Desai, Kristin Pauly, Leonard Berman, and Chris Palmer. 

Food for Thought, Food for Life, directed and produced by Susan Rockefeller, demonstrates how industrial agriculture takes a toll on both the health of our environment and the quality of our food. Food for Thought surveys problems with today’s agribusiness world, voicing new solutions offered by farmers, chefs, researchers, educators, and advocates.

In a panel discussion that follows this screening, host and moderator: Chris Palmer, Director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking, School of Communication, American University is joined by a well-rounded panel: Film and Multimedia Producer Aditi Desai; Filmmaker Vanina HarelKristin Pauly, Prince Charitable Trusts; Rebecca Lemos, co-founder City Blossoms; Lola Bloom, co-founder City Blossoms; Culinary Historian, Michael Twitty; Ellen Polishuk, co-owner Potomac Vegetable Farms.


March 19, 2016, 7:00 pmAmerican University


* Reception at 6:00 p.m. with food provided by Chaia, a local “farm to taco” vegetarian restaurant.

*This screening is fully booked. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please fill out this form:

Films showing as part of this event

6 mins
Susan Rockefeller, 22 mins
Vanina Harel, Aditi Desai, Chris Palmer, Kristin Pauly, Chris Miller, 7 mins
Spencer MacDonald, 6 mins
Aditi Desai, 7 mins