Farming is finally getting traction in Hollywood in early 2014 with Director James Moll’s documentary film – FARMLAND. James Moll’s work has earned him an Oscar, two Emmys and a Grammy for Documentary filmmaking.  His films have included following the career of rock band Foo Fighters and a film about a daughter of a Nazi concentration camp commander.  Clearly his broad range of experience and artistic abilities will yield an interesting look at today’s American Farmer.

Last month in my Acreage Blog, I suggested we should take a measured approach or “The Long Way Home” as we approach policy, regulations and laws on farms going forward.  There is much at stake for today’s American farmer and running these small businesses is a unique challenge each day.   This film works to pull back the curtain on what life on the farm is like today.  The Farmland Film website describes the film as follows…

Most Americans have never stepped foot on a farm or ranch or even talked to the people who grow and raise the food we eat. Farmland will take an intimate look at the lives of farmers and ranches in their ’20s, all of whom are now responsible for running their farming business.

Through this film from award-winning director James Moll, you’ll step inside the world of farming for a first-hand glimpse into the lives of young farmers and ranchers. Learn about their high-risk/high reward jobs and passion for a way of life that has been passed down from generation to generation, yet continues to evolve.  Director James Moll traveled across the country meeting young farmers and ranchers. Watch the trailer to catch a glimpse of stories shared during his interviews. This film will be released in Spring 2014.

 Based on the trailer, this film will be both entertaining and informative and it will serve as another way to help tell the story of farming in America today. To this end, Sperry Van Ness – Miller Commercial Real Estate has coordinated the First Annual Agricultural Forum with partners including Perdue Agribusiness, Hoober, Inc., Farmers and Planters, Paradise Energy, Miles and Stockbridge, Nelson Nationwide Agribusiness, PNC Bank, Delmarva Farm Management, and AH Pharma, Inc.  Together these partners are providing excellent information for Ag producers and landowners on Delmarva.  The key note speaker is Dan Manternach from Doane Advisory Services.  Mr. Manternach brings more than 30 years of experience in consulting in the agricultural sector and will discuss factors shaping agricultural commodities in the US and how Delmarva fits into this picture.  There will breakout sessions on a range of topics from estate planning to land use regulations.  The event is being held at Black Diamond Lodge in Fruitland, MD on January 31, 2014.  Call me at 443.865.1344 or email for details and registration for the event.

It is recognized that more of us live in urban areas than ever before in history and this trend is not going to change here in the US or globally.  This divide in geography drives a divide in knowledge and understanding of the land, as well as practices that are used to bring food to our tables each day.  Politically due to our electoral framework, it also creates a situation where the population centers drive policy and regulations for their rural neighbors.  This is no more apparent than in Maryland as our policy makers are working to find a balance.   I work each day with farmers young and old, and in my opinion there is no better collective group of people to work with in business.  It is also clear that the average American doesn’t have a full understanding of the farming story and what it takes to run these businesses that underpin our economic stability both in Maryland and the Nation.  I think James Moll is on the right track.  See you at the movies.



The SVN Land Group is a business unit of SVN Miller Commercial Real Estate formed to focus brokerage and advisory services on land based properties in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. SVN Land Group (SLG) brings together brokers and technical advisors with land specialties in agriculture, forestry, residential & commercial development, poultry farms, as well as hunting and conservation oriented properties. The SVN Land Group mission is to provide a lens of experience in land management, renewable energy and land use decisions for the land owner, farmer, investment group and or recreational buyer to reference in making decisions on how to manage existing land based assets or guide future land investments.

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