The Last Crop

Annie and Jeff Main's struggle to ensure their farm’s future personalizes a nationwide crisis. Development looms. Children leave. Their legacy uncertain.
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Chuck Schultz
Film
New York
United States
4 Team Members

The Last Crop is a labor of love, over five years in the making. The film is a tribute to farmers Annie and Jeff Main, and other small family farmers, whose lifelong work has changed our food system for the better. It is a CALL TO ACTION to ensure that our nation’s fertile farmland will be affordable to our next generation of such farmers.

The Last Crop tells the story of Annie and Jeff Main. Now in their early 60s, the Mains, like many farmers, are being confronted with the future of their working family farm. It is a story being echoed across the nation. The Mains, true to their pioneering spirit, are now creating an alternative for their farm’s succession that ensures its productive future. The film captures the intractable nature of sustaining a small local farm, and the stakes we all have in making certain they can survive and thrive. 

The Last Crop is an intimate exploration into who grows what we eat. What does it take to be a farmer? At the heart of our story is one family’s determination to address three critical issues facing farmers and our nation’s food system today: the affordability of farmland, the fragile balance of farm succession, and, ultimately, the preservation of small family run farms. Their story challenges food consumers, conservation groups, local communities, and some 500,000 aging U.S. farmers to rethink what actions they are willing to undertake in order to transfer their land to a new generation of family farmers.


WHY AM I MAKING THE FILM?

Over the past 35 years, the Valley has witnessed the arrival of tract housing, “McMansions,” ranchettes that serve as hobby farms and bedroom communities for commuters working between San Francisco and Sacramento. Recently, the 800-room Cache Creek Casino Resort built in the ’80s, located in the tiny town of Brooks (population 375), received county approval for construction of an additional 400 rooms.

In many ways, the Main's have shown us the importance of integrity in our work. Their decision to not “sell out” has inspired our team to pursue our potential as artists. These small family farmers may own little capital, but possess a big vision – to create a new model for preserving working farmland in the Central Valley, and potentially across the nation. In that same spirit, it is the goal for The Last Crop to raise awareness and to mobilize citizens to demand legislation that supports sustaining working farms as the basic element for creating healthy sustainable regional food systems for our future generations.

WHY NOW?

On a grand scale, we see the nation coming to a critical juncture as the Baby Boomer generation confronts retirement. In the business of agriculture, farmers make up less than 1% of our nation's workforce. By 2030, a quarter of these farmers (some 500,000) will retire. Only one out of three of these farms will have a family successor. Will the remaining farmland be productive? If so, will it be in the hands of agribusiness, or a new generation of family farmers? We believe it's time to choose.

WHERE WE ARE NOW, AND WHAT WE NEED TO FINISH

We have shot 95% of our principal photography and edited some 70% of the final film. In order to finish the film, we need to raise $50,000 so that we can do the following:

  • Final principal photography – Capture aerial footage of the farm, shoot the opening credit sequence, and complete final interviews.
  • Post-Production – Pay for an editor and assistant editor, music arranger, sound designer, sound mix, and complete the post-production stage.
  • Distribution/Outreach – Study guides for universities and high schools, PR materials, promotion for film festivals and other film distribution venues.

We realize a $50,000 goal is quite a challenge. However, this challenge presents a unique opportunity to build a diverse, nationwide audience to learn about the film, farmers like the Mains, and the questions that lay ahead for our nation's food system.

$100 "Above the Soil" Perk: Our original designed organic T-shirt by Alex Maxwell.  Photo shot on his family farm - Maxwell Farm of Changewater, NJ - run by his dad, Bill.

PERKS? YES WE HAVE PERKS!

When you donate, we will send a follow-up email to ask for your mailing address, t-shirt sizes, and other information needed for us to fulfill your perk(s). Once we have all of your information, we can start sending your perk(s) as they become available. We can even forward your perk to a friend or family member if you wish!

Left: $75 "Gardener's Special" Perk: Moon and Stars Watermelons.  One of three packets of organic seeds (Brandywine Sudduth strain tomatoes and Jimmy Nardello's sweet red frying peppers) for your garden.

Right: $50 "Extend Your Roots" Perk: Alison Main designed Main Family Cookbook.

How else can you help beyond a financial contribution?

You can promote our film online! Share our campaign on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter by using Indiegogo's sharing options:

  • Copy the campaign URL, and paste it into an email or social media update.
  • Click on the Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter icons to share through your social media networks.
  • Add a widget to your blog or personal website. Click Embed and then copy and paste the widget code.
  • Send a direct email from Indiegogo.

You can also promote our film offline throughout your community:

  • Share our campaign by word of mouth.
  • Mention us in your community newsletter.
  • Display our promotional materials in your university, office, store, church, or equivalent.
  • Become a volunteer, and distribute posters, flyers, bookmarks, etc., to friends, neighbors, food co-ops, farmers markets, and more.

Contact us at thelastcropfilm.outreach@gmail.com to request any promotional material you might need/want and to learn how you can earn your volunteer t-shirt. Please also visit our website's Spread the Word page to see what other options are available to you at www.thelastcropfilm.com  

How Indiegogo works?

Supporting the film on Indiegogo is easy, but your donation is not tax-deductible. If you wish to do a tax-deductible donation, we have tax-exempt status with Bay Area Video Coalition, our non-profit sponsor.

Can we exceed our Indiegogo goal?

Yes, we can! If we raise more than our $50,000 goal, we will be able to finish the film, and begin our outreach campaign to communities across the country. 

$1000 "Spread Your Branches" Perk: Dinner on New Year's Eve (made with the freshest, healthiest ingredients) on the 39th floor high above NYC's Times Square with filmmaker Chuck Schultz, and his wife actress Sharon Washington, as your hosts!


Thank you again so much for your donations and support.

Find This Campaign On
$56,004USD
raised by 400 people in 1 month
112% funded
0 time left
$50,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on October 30, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Become the Seed

    Donate $5 dollars, and we'll give you a shout out on Facebook and Twitter, and send you email updates on the project.

    15 claimed

    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • $10USD
    Plant the Seed

    Donate $10, and we'll send you a postcard signed by the filmmaker, give you a shout out on Facebook/Twitter, and send you email updates. Ships within the US only

    15 claimed

    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • $20USD
    Basic Veggies

    You'll receive a digital download of the completed film once in distribution. Be one of the first to see our film -- even from abroad! Includes a shout out on Facebook and Twitter and email updates about the film.

    53 claimed

    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $25USD
    Rare Veggies

    You will receive a digital download of our film once in distribution, a shout out on Facebook and Twitter, email updates and a signed postcard from the filmmaker. Ships within the US only

    40 claimed

    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $50USD
    Extend Your Roots

    You will receive a digital file of an original cookbook designed by Alison Main of the Main Family Favorite Recipes, a DVD (of the completed film), a shout out on Facebook/Twitter, and email updates on the film. Ships within the US only.

    42 claimed

    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $75USD
    Gardener's Special

    You will receive 3 packs of organic seeds for your garden: tomato, pepper, and watermelon, the original cookbook, a digital download once in distribution, shout out on Facebook and Twitter and email updates about the film. Ships within the US only.

    3 claimed

    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $100USD
    Reach Above the Soil

    You will receive a THE LAST CROP t-shirt, blu-ray, the original cookbook, shout outs on Facebook/Twitter, and email updates of the film. Ships within the US only.

    52 claimed

    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $150USD
    Gardener's Premium

    You will receive a signed t-shirt from the filmmaker, a blu-ray, 3 packets of organic seeds for your garden, the original cookbook, a signed postcard from the filmmaker, shout outs on Facebook/Twitter, and email updates. Ships within the US only

    14 claimed

    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $250USD
    The Farmers Market Bargain

    Add to the Gardner's Premium above an original poster, blu-ray, t-shirt all signed by the filmmaker. Ships within the US only.

    9 claimed

    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $325USD
    Good Humus Fruit Special

    You will receive your choice of 2 dozen Sun Crest peaches (depending on size) or 6 dozen Blenheim apricots shipped directly to your door from Good Humus Produce; plus a blu-ray, t-shirt and still all signed by the filmmaker, a digital download, the original cookbook, shout outs on Facebook/Twitter, and email updates about the film. Ships within the US only.

    4 out of 40 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2014
  • $500USD
    Community Supported Artists

    You will receive 4 weeks of CSA (community supported agriculture) boxes from a local farm near your city or town (pick-up may be required); plus everything in The Farmers Market Bargain, EXCEPT the poster Ships within the US only.

    2 out of 25 claimed

    Estimated delivery: August 2014
  • $500USD
    Grow into Something Beautiful

    Your organization and/or university can pre-purchase public and educational screening rights to THE LAST CROP; this gives you rights to show the film when and wherever you like without the concern of copyright laws. Plus a special thanks in film credits, shout out on Facebook/Twitter, and email updates. Ships within the US only

    11 out of 30 claimed

    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $750USD
    Bring the Farm Home

    Home viewing party followed by a 20-minute Skype with filmmaker Chuck Schultz, a blu-ray, t-shirt, film still (all signed by the filmmaker), the original cookbook, special thanks in the film credits, a shout out on Facebook/Twitter, and email updates. Ships within the US only

    1 out of 10 claimed

    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Spread Your Branches

    Dinner on New Year's Eve (made with the freshest, healthiest ingredients) on the 39th floor high above NYC's Times Square with filmmaker Chuck Schultz, and his wife actress Sharon Washington, as your hosts! (Travel and hotel not included) Plus everything from the Farmers Market Bargain! Minimum/Maximum 4 guests for the party.

    1 out of 4 claimed

    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $1,500USD
    A Come to Meetin' Screening

    Filmmaker, Chuck Schultz, will travel travel to your community to screen the film for your organization (airfare included). Also, you will receive a blu-ray, special thanks in the credits, a shout out on Facebook/Twitter and receive email updates. Continental USA and Canada.

    3 out of 20 claimed

    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $2,500USD
    Produce Your Fruit

    Filmmaker Chuck Schultz and Annie Main will travel to your community to screen the film for your organization (airfare included). You will also receive a closing credit in the film. Plus everything included in the Reach Above the Soil. Continental USA and Canada

    3 out of 10 claimed

    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $5,000USD
    The Harvest

    Director Chuck Schultz and Annie Main will travel to your community to screen the film for your organization (airfare included). All harvest donors will receive opening and closing film credits. Plus everything included in the Farmers Market Bargain. Continental USA and Canada

    1 out of 5 claimed

    Estimated delivery: April 2014
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