Film Maker & Local Farmers Lead Community Conversation on Farming Past and Present

Pothole Pictures presents “Root Hog or Die”
May 17th & 18th in Shelburne Falls, MA

“Root Hog or Die” captures the lives and stories of the old time horse farmers in Franklin County in their own voices, faces, ingenious technology and well-tended land. According to Pothole Pictures coordinator, Fred DeVecca, “Rawn Fulton’s film provides a vibrant and down-to-earth historical context for the resurgence of local agriculture, CSAs and micro-farming in Franklin County today…It connects us to our neighbors, our history, the land and the farms we depend on and gives us all an opportunity to show our support for local agriculture.”

Nearly forty years after its first release, “Root Hog or Die,” the Franklin County documentary film on the last of the old time horse farmers in Western Massachusetts, re-appears on the big screen in Shelburne Falls. On Friday and Saturday, May 17th & 18th at 7:30pm, Pothole Pictures presents two screenings of “Root Hog or Die” in historic Memorial Hall Theater in downtown Shelburne Falls.

On Saturday, May 18, the film’s director, Rawn Fulton will present the recently re-mastered digital version of the original 56-minute film made in 1974, and will lead a community conversation about farming then and now together with a panel of local farmers. They include farmers and local families whose experience stretches back for generations and who are connected to many of the farmers featured in “Root Hog or Die” – Jim Wholey and the Dole family of Shelburne, and Al Pieropan of Ashfield.

Contemporary farmers with long family roots in Franklin County also include Faith and Peter Williams representing the Our Family Farms dairy cooperative and John and Carolyn Wheeler of Wheelview Farm. Newer arrivals to Franklin County farming include Paul Lacinski and Amy Klippenstein of Side Hill Farm in Hawley and David Fisher and Anna Maclay of Natural Roots CSA in Conway. New Roots brings the horse-powered farming tradition back to Franklin County in a new form – community supported agriculture. Recent Mohawk High School graduate will represent the new generation of young farmers revitalizing agriculture in Franklin County.

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Farmageddon: The Unseen War on American Family Farms

Farmageddon: The Unseen War on
American Family Farms

Screenings in Western MA

Kristin Canty, a small farm advocate and mother of 4 kids from Concord, MA, is the Director/Producer of Farmageddon; The Unseen War on American Family Farms.  When one of her children was sick with asthma and multiple allergies as a preschooler, and medications offered no relief, she turned to raw milk and helped her young child recover. Since that time she has been buying most of her groceries from local, organic farms.

When Kristin discovered that co-ops and small farms were getting raided by the government, she decided she would  make a film about what was happening in hopes that local citizens would become small farm advocates too.

Screenings of the documentary film, Farmageddon, are scheduled for Western MA:

  • Thursday, September 22nd @ 7pm
    Beacon Theater, Pittsfield, MA
    Presented by Berkshire Organics
  • Monday, October 17th @ 7pm
    Images Cinema, Williamstown, MA
    Presented by Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA)/ Mass Raw Milk Network
  • Sunday, November 13th @ 7pm
    Academy of Music, Northampton, MA
    Presented by Grow Food Northampton

Western MA Farming Resources  (add more in the comment field below):

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