Farm Film Festival 11 shines spotlight on local farms, farming and food

A record-breaking 300-member audience of locavores, farmers, and Chatham area residents attended the eleventh Farm Film Festival on Sunday, March 24. The event raised $500 for the Chatham Area Silent Food Pantry and also collected four large supermarket cartons worth of nonperishable food items for the pantry.

The festival’s theme was “Food, Glorious Food.” Eight short films were screened, including two from WMMHT’s The Local Feed series: one from The Chatham Berry Farm on blueberries, and one from Love Apple Farm in Ghent on peaches. The festival’s feature film, “Food Evolution,” examined the large issues of food security, sustainability, and environmental well-being in light of the emotionally charged controversy over genetically modified foods (GMOs). Films were selected by representatives of the sponsoring organizations: the Crandell Theatre, Chatham Agricultural Partnership, and Columbia Land Conservancy.

Botanist Daniel Franck, Ph.D., Director of Science Curriculum at the Core Knowledge Foundation, moderated a postfilm discussion along with Eric Ooms from A. Ooms and Sons Dairy Farm, Vice President, New York State Farm Bureau, and founding member of the Chatham Agricultural Partnership; Peter Paden, Executive Director, Columbia Land Conservancy; and Will Yandik from Green Acres Farm, Director of Philanthropy, National Young Farmers Coalition, and Vice President, Columbia County Farm Bureau.

Photography by Scott Langley.