Six Generations of Farming Mumford’s
Located in Indiana, Mumford Farms has been in Anna’s family for six generations. She recently completed a film project documenting the story about her family’s corn and soybeans farm and spoke with us about her film titled: Mumford Farms.
AH: What are your motivations behind the Mumford Farms project?
AM: I began the project as a way to initiate a conversation about the future of the farm within my own family, but I soon realized that our story spoke to larger audience – both to farming families like my own trying to figure out who in the next generation will step up and farm the land, and to urbanites interested in local and sustainable food issues. Mumford Farms explores the dialog between conventional farmers in the corn belt who provide the calories that we rely on and locavores eager to have a greater understanding of the challenges facing our food system.
AH: How long have you been working on the project, and how far along is it currently?
AM:I started filming in the summer of 2010 and just completed my final cut of the film. An earlier version of the project screened at the Anthology Film Archives in NYC, as well as at the Stanford Alumni and Northside Film Festivals.
AH: In your research of the family history, what has surprised you the most?
AM:I really hadn’t ever thought about the fact that my first family member to come to the U.S. immigrated here to be part of a socialist utopian community (New Harmony, Indiana). That’s pretty cool.
AH: At the current time do you think you will every work/farm the family land?
AM:I do see myself someday spending more time in Indiana. Through a lot of soul-searching while working on this project, I came to terms with the fact that in my heart I am an artist and not so much a farmer, but I would love to be able to live on the land and be involved with guiding the vision of the place. The brutal reality is that currently there isn’t high speed internet in Griffin, and the work that I do relies heavily on uploading large video files. High speed internet access is a huge issue of a lot of rural America, and so I’m hopeful that at some point Griffin won’t be cut off the way it is now.
AH: What lies ahead for this project?
AM:I just completed the final version of the Mumford Farms film- check out: http://vimeo.com/34237070. I’ll be working to share this piece online, as well as potentially organizing a screening event in NYC. If other folks are interested in screening the film, they can be in touch. I’d be happy to mail a copy of the DVD
To learn more visit: mumfordfarms.com