Shenandoah farmers continue free movie tradition
“We started out showing Farmland. The second year we showed The Great American Wheat Harvest and the third year we showed a movie called Thirsty Land, about the water crisis in the Midwest,” explained Nathaniel Dirting, chair of the Shenandoah County Farm Bureau Young Farmers Committee and a district director for the Virginia Farm Bureau Young Farmers Committee.
“The last two years we’ve had about 100 people come see the movies. Last year we actually had to spill over to a second theater,” he shared.
The movie being shown this year is Food Evolution, a documentary about the value of genetically-modified foods. Dirting said response from the community has been positive for all the movies, and he views it as a great outreach for farmers.
“There’s so much misinformation out there on social media and the internet; hopefully this will help,” Dirting noted. “Most people are so removed from agriculture now—more than three generations—it’s apparent this is needed. With weather and low prices and those type of challenges, farmers don’t need to be fighting public perception as well.”
This year’s free movie was scheduled for three nights in March, but several nights were snowed out. So the Farm Bureau is showing it the first week in April at the Woodstock Community Theater. Shenandoah County’s middle and high school FFA chapters are invited. Another showing of Food Evolution is planned for April 30 at the Alamo Theater in Winchester, in cooperation with the Frederick County Farm Bureau, Dirting said.
“Food Evolution really does a good job of showing both sides of the GMO debate,” Dirting said. “I think it contains some good information for those who are unfamiliar with the topic but also for those farmers who need some help explaining the topic.”