Segments in this Video

Introduction: Family Farm (03:25)


Canadian farmers discuss the appeal of farming. Stuart Horst of Floralane Produce says farming is more a way of life than a business.

Young Farmer (02:33)

Aaron Hiltz owns Ran-Cher Acres, a farm that was previously run by his great-grandfather and great-uncle. His role model is Joe Salatin, a Christian farmer based in Virginia. He sells eggs at the farmer's market.

Farming Co-Op (03:41)

The Morgan Farm in Weir, Quebec is run by a cooperative, but it was previously owned by Janice Blanke and John Bastian. The couple stepped back from running the farm after Blanke broke her leg during a farming accident.

Free-Range Poultry and Supply Management (04:20)

Hiltz’s pastured eggs are in greater demand, and he has made $15,000 this year from selling them. However, the marketing board is making him get rid of 800 hens. He, Burt, and other farmers feel the board has been corrupted by greed.

Alberta Bison Ranch (03:48)

Neil Hockstein lets his bison roam free. He does not want to sell to federal-inspected plants, which he accuses of having a wholesale racket. Jeff Senger of Sangudo Custom Meats discusses the process of humanely slaughtering livestock.

Slaughterhouse Killing Floor (03:24)

More than 200 small abattoirs across Ontario have been shut down over the last decade. Rancher Althea Rhodeneizer makes less money selling her cattle for beef. Farmer Ryan Oberfield is appalled by industrial meat production.

Clean Food (05:22)

Hiltz makes news for defying the egg quota system. Bastain, Bruce Harker of Harker's Organics, and other farmers explain why organic farming is better for consumers and the environment than commercial farms. Horst, Loo, and others discuss alternatives to pesticides.

Spreading Toxins (02:30)

Loo has been living with cancer, which makes it difficult for him to swallow. He is off of chemotherapy for now. A news report explains the dangers of pesticide and their link to deadly diseases.

Poultry Compromise (04:32)

The Rhodeneizers' dairy farm is the last one remaining in Nova Scotia's Second Peninsula. Glen Rhodeneizer explains how his religious faith relates to farming. Hiltz has a deadline to sell his excess chickens or have them seized.

Fossil Fuel Threat (03:34)

Carlyle Jorgensen, a grain farmer, discusses the decline of small family farms and his dispute with an oil company that is drilling nearby. A spill from its well would devastate his farm, and there are 100 such spills in Manitoba every year.

Social Life (05:44)

Oberfield decries his lack of options for socializing and dating. Hiltz recalls how he courted and married his wife; most of their dates were spent washing eggs. Workers at Morgan Farm hope to attend the Open Mind Festival but are bogged down by work.

Fading Tradition (03:13)

Half of small-scale farmers in Canada must work another job to maintain a family farm. Mary and Wayne Hart's children do not want to follow in their parents' footsteps. Their daughter, Shannon, is headed to South Korea to teach.

Migrant Employees (02:00)

The Sandhu family owns JIND Fruit Company, which depends on seasonal workers, most of them immigrants. Jesse Sandhu says Mexicans are the hardest working people. He does not plan to take over the farm from his father, Jasvir.

New Wave of Farmers (03:08)

McRae discusses the trend of young farmers getting into the business with no family background. Many are motivated not by money but more altruistic reasons. One such farmer, Elise Pare-Lepine, says many of her friends want access to land.

Bovine Plague (03:32)

Farmers were forced to preemptively kill millions of cattle because of mad cow disease in 2003. The Mennonites were hit especially hard, forcing them to switch their focus to produce. John Marques' farm is devastated by flooding.

Competitive Disadvantage (04:48)

Small family farms are limited to growing the seasonal produce of their region, and they must compete with imported fruits and vegetables from around the world. Factory farming has taken a toll on Canada’s largest produce distribution center, the Ontario Food Terminal.

State of Canadian Food System (03:09)

Locally grown food is of greater nutritional value and has a lower carbon footprint. However, regulations favor exports as opposed to optimizing health and meeting domestic food requirements. Hiltz is fined $6,000 and only allowed to keep 200 hens.

What Lies Ahead? (06:33)

Workers at Morgan Farm meet to envision the future of their operation, handing in suggestions on scraps of paper. Loo receives negative CAT scan results and dies two months later. Bastian and others discuss priorities that motivate small farmers.

Credits: Family Farm (00:49)

Credits: Family Farm

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Family Farm

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Explore the diverse agricultural pursuits of earnest farm families and learn the role they play in promoting and sustaining environmental stewardship and maintaining food security. The Family Farm reveals just how important it is that we understand where our food comes from and the crucial role family farms play in ensuring the survival and well-being of local communities and environments.

Length: 71 minutes

Item#: FMK190420

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA.