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Calling all aspiring farmers and everyone who eats meat

Fri, Jul 13th, 2012
Posted in Lanesboro Agriculture

Lanesboro, MN – Consider this hot question concerning the future supply of beef, chicken and pork: Is it really possible to live a happier, healthier lifestyle and, at the same time, save the family farm, raise animals humanly, reduce your carbon footprint and continue to eat meat?* The documentary film American Meat offers an array of affirmative answers. This upbeat yet realistic film looks at innovations and attitudes that are changing farm practices and prospects across the country.

On Friday, July 20 at 7:30 pm, the St. Mane Theatre in Lanesboro will show the just-released documentary American Meat. (Also showing soon in many more locations in Minnesota including Rochester, Winona, Wykoff, Edina, St. Paul and St. Cloud.)  The evening begins with a tasting of samples of locally raised meat at 6:30 at Lanesboro Local Marketplace. Next, across the street at 7:30 the St. Mane will host a showing of American Meat. Following the film, Paul Wiens of Misty Meadows Farm  in Pine Island will draw on his experiences to lead a discussion of small-scale animal farming. This event is free, donations welcome to cover film showing fee.

The film American Meat presents positive, realistic and inventive ways to make a go of raising chicken, beef and pork for America’s dinner tables. It invites anyone and everyone – and young people especially – to consider becoming a happy, healthy, sustainable small-scale farmer. The film profiles several successful farmers (including Chuck Wirtz of West Bend, IA and Joel Salatin of Omnivore’s Dilemma fame) who, against difficult odds, have invented practical ways to provide pastured meat to the American public and still keep their heads above water. These farmers, like so many in southeastern Minnesota, have farmed their whole lives. They love the work that they do and love the animals they raise. The 82-minute documentary addresses the concerns of conscientious meat eaters as well as those who question the ethics or environmental impact of the choice to eat meat. The film highlights the struggles of the conventional meat farmer and offers insight into alternative models that will revolutionize the meat industry in our country.

Guest discussion leader Paul Wiens mentored Catherine Friend, Zumbrota author of books on the farming experience including The Compassionate Carnivore. “Paul shows up in both Hit By A Farm and Sheepish,” said Friend. “He and his wife Lela … taught us about grazing. They currently raise Scottish Highland cattle and sell at the Rochester Farmers’ Market. He runs a no-till drill operation, and sells kelp to sustainable farmers. He’s a tall, friendly, outgoing guy with a booming voice. We adore him.”

Third Friday Documentary is a cooperative educational series sponsored by the Lanesboro Arts Center with the cooperation of Lanesboro Local Marketplace for local food and goods . All parts of the event are free. Donations are welcome to cover film showing rights. Lanesboro Local is located at 207 Parkway Avenue N. The St. Mane Theatre is just across the street at 206 Parkway Avenue N. For details regarding the tasting please contact info@LanesboroLocal.org or call 507-467-2944. For information about the film and St. Mane Theatre please contact the Lanesboro Arts Center at 507-467-2446.

*The question is a paraphrase of the subtitle of Zumbrota, MN author Catherine Friend’s delightful and relevant farm memoir The Compassionate Carnivore .

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