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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.