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Farm On Film: International Festival Highlights Agriculture In Ohio

Cows owned by Christian Hoffman at his farm just south of Columbus.
Nick Evans
Cows owned by Christian Hoffman at his farm just south of Columbus.

While agriculture is the largest industry in Ohio, most residents haven’t lived on a farm for three generations. A new international film festival highlights the importance and contributions of agriculture and its associated industries.

The Germinate International Film Fest takes place August 16-17 in Hillsboro, Ohio. It will feature over 60 films, most of them documentaries.

“This festival has an opportunity to connect consumers with agricultural producers and to also help agricultural producers perfect their craft of telling stories and connecting to audiences through film,” says Brooke Beam, festival director and Ohio State University extension educator.

The movie topics cover a broad area of subjects, including pollinators on a farm and a year in the life of a farmer. One of them is about “flying” farmers in a film called “SkyGrazers.”

“The film is highlighting the connection between agriculture and aviation and the shortage of agricultural producers and people in the aviation industry,” Beam says.

Beam says the films will help link consumers with the modern techniques used in the agricultural industry.  She explains many of them will highlight GPS technology with new features for tractors, while others will show how farmers use drones to their advantage.

“Most consumers, when they’re shown images of modern agriculture production, have an extreme disconnect with what the modern practices are,” Beam says.

A third of the films are set in Ohio. Beam says the films also pay attention to the challenges facing farmers today.

“You’re not guaranteed a salary because it’s based on whatever you can grow and raise,” Beam says. “So a lot of these films are highlighting the challenges and the struggles that individuals are overcoming to persevere and produce a crop or to thrive in a rural community.”

Beam hopes the films can open up more discussions about farming.

“We’d like to encourage agricultural producers or people who are backyard farmers, anybody to be able to share their story, to have the confidence to continue to share their story through digital media and particularly video production,” Beam says.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.