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The Film “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman” Starts a New Conversation About Conservation

July 17, 2017

Lately any discussion of being environmentally green seems to get into the topic of red vs. blue. Whereas in 1991, 78% of both Democrats and Republicans considered themselves environmentalists, a Gallup poll from last year found that now “27% of Republicans think of themselves that way, compared with 56% of Democrats, a partisan gap of 29 percentage points.”

The documentary film Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman offers a fresh take on conservation. Narrated by Tom Brokaw, and codirected by Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated Susan Froemke and Emmy-winning John Hoffman, the film is based on Miriam Horn’s book Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland.

Profiling “strong characters who defy the familiar stereotype of the liberal tree-hugger,” the film is “non-partisan” and “enlightening,” sharing a “hopeful outlook on finding common-ground solutions,” The Hollywood Reporter wrote. The film has debuted to praise at the Sundance Film Festival and the famer-focused Commodity Classic trade show.

Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman discards the “red state” vs. “blue state” lens and even the “conventional” vs. “organic” debate. With its panoramic visuals of farmland in the country’s heartland, it powerfully reminds us of the literal common ground that unites us all: the soil of our land, our country’s amber waves of grain, and its mountainous landscapes.

The inspiring ranchers, farmers, and fishermen in the film represent many who may not call themselves environmentalists but are working heroically to preserve our nation’s natural resources using innovative regenerative land and fishing methods, putting family land into trusts to protect against overdevelopment, or advocating to maintain historic areas of wilderness. Ultimately, the film powerfully demonstrates that conservation is a quintessentially American value and that conservation practices can and must make economic sense.

ProSocial is establishing partnerships with organizations around the country to use the film to further their missions of land stewardship, and we’re coordinating screenings and discussions hosted by EDF (Environmental Defense Fund) in Bozeman, Montana; Des Moines, Iowa; the Twin Cities area; and St. Louis, Missouri.

The film will air on the Discovery Channel on August 31. Tune in, get to know some of the people and places responsible for producing our food, and find out why author Miriam Horn has described these ranchers, farmers, and fishermen as “doing some of the most consequential work in the nation.” In the meantime, you can read about these conservation heroes at