The Land Conservancy of McHenry County, MCC to host screening of new documentary about organic farming pioneer
The Land Conservancy of McHenry County and McHenry County College's Agrarian Learning Center and Sustainability Center will present an inspiring new documentary film, "Dreaming of a Vetter World."
This free screening will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, in the Luecht Conference Center at McHenry County College, 8900 Route 14 in Crystal Lake.
Filmmaker Bonnie Hawthorne will be in attendance for a Q&A to follow the film.
The compelling 77-minute documentary "Dreaming of a Vetter World" comes at a time when interest in organic farming and regenerating soil has exploded worldwide. Others are realizing what the Vetters have known for decades: soil is key to our very survival.
The film focuses on the story of the Vetter family, pioneering organic farmers in Marquette, Nebraska.
Shot, directed, and narrated by first-time filmmaker Bonnie Hawthorne, the documentary tells the story of the Vetter family's decades-long experiment with a self-renewing farm management system. It is also a story about place, hope, and love; an inspiring example of perseverance and doing what you know is right, against all odds.
Beautifully shot on location in Hamilton County, Nebraska, this engaging documentary shows what farming with nature is all about. At the heart of this powerful story is David Vetter's journey from farmer's son, to missionary, to scientist, and back to farmer again, where he practices what he calls a "ministry to the soil." The film also includes interviews with other organic leaders Fred Kirschenmann, David's father Donald Vetter, and others.
David Vetter is an organic farmer and grain producer in Central Nebraska. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Soil Science/Agronomy from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary. He was instrumental in developing the infrastructure for the organic food production system used today in the United States. He was a founding member of the Nebraska Sustainable Ag Society, and chaired the first Organic Crop Improvement Association's International Certification Committee. He has won many awards including Rodale Institute's 2016 Farmer of the Year. For the last four decades, David Vetter has used what many now call regenerative organic agriculture techniques to improve soil, grow food, and teach others to do the same.
Bonnie Hawthorne is a filmmaker with a varied professional skillset: director, cinematographer, writer, editor. Thanks to early photography and writing achievements, she won a scholarship to attend NYU's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts as a film major. Upon moving to Los Angeles, she worked in film production on independent feature films. She later compiled numerous video editor credits on documentaries, commercials, and reality television shows. In 2014, she traded income for adventure, heading to the corn belt with her vintage Nikon lenses, Black Magic Pocket Cinema Cameras and her camper, Petunia. The result of that trip is her first feature film, "Dreaming of a Vetter World."
The program begins at 6:30 p.m. with a reception where people can meet local farmers and learn about what kind of food they grow and how it can be purchased.
The film starts at 7 p.m. Filmmaker Bonnie Hawthorne will be there after the film to answer questions.
The Land Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the health and preservation of natural and agricultural land in McHenry County.