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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Film director discusses farming

 
 

Young Farmer Screening Series hosted a viewing of American Meat, a documentary surveying the current state of the U.S. meat industry, on Monday. The American Meat documentary is part of 100-screen tour in 10 agricultural states across the country.
Throughout the documentary, farmers in the Midwest were showcased, highlighting their specific farming techniques sustainable farming and industrial farming and the effects they have on the quality of animals and their profits.
Some industrial farms in the U.S. raise animals, such as chickens and pigs, indoors. Documentary director and producer Graham Meriwether said industrial farms have higher costs as opposed to sustainable farms the cost of infrastructure and also the cost of fuels to run the facilities and provide transportation to buyers. The documentary also said the products produced by industrial farms are subsequently cheaper to purchase in grocery stores.
Grass-fed farms take more time to raise animals based on their techniques. One farm in specific is Polyface Farm in Virginia, where the animals are raised on paddocks. The plots of land where the animals are raised are on a continuous cycle, so the animals do the work to cultivate the land instead of machines.
Graham Meriwether, director, cinematographer and producer of the documentary, discussed whether local, grass-fed farms could feed the country in the future.
There is no easy answer, Meriwether said. What seems impossible to us today, can happen tomorrow. Its inevitable that its going to happen, its just a matter of when.
Event participants referenced companies such as Chipotle, which are trying to make an impact by switching to have grass-fed farm meat. This helps cut the cost of production and transportation and helps ensure a higher quality of product being sent.
Olympia Sibley, food industry professor at Blinn College, said students could make a difference.
You can do something, Sibley said. You can grow something in a pot. One person isnt going to change the [farming] system, but you can make your life better.
A goal of the documentary is to educate people about their food choices and to support young farmers in America.
We believe that students have the power to change this countrys food future and we hope that this film will elicit conversations that might someday change the way our country raises and eats meat, Meriwether said.

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