By Thomas Manley, MOSES

SPRING VALLEY, WI – America’s farmers face an unprecedented time of change and challenge. Prices, and all too often spirits, are low. Input costs are high and moving higher. Then there are the demographic shifts also in play. The average age of the U.S. farmer is 60. Half of America’s farmland is going to change hands in the next 12 years.

What could be a real crisis is actually an extraordinary opportunity for positive change—a chance for rural communities to find lasting solutions. These are the topics an optimistic film, “Farmers for America,” explores.

MOSES (the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service) hosts a free screening of this documentary Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Stagehands Theater during the 51st annual Dam Days celebration in Spring Valley. The film starts at 1 p.m., to be followed by a discussion with a panel of local farmers from diverse operations.

Event partners include the Wisconsin Farmers Union, Pierce and St. Croix County Farm Bureaus, and the Menomonie Market Food Co-op, which will provide beverages and snacks during the screening.

Free-will donations will go towards sending Spring Valley High School agriculture students to the 30th Annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse Feb. 21-23, 2019.

The film, narrated by Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame, features farmers young and old addressing the challenges and innovative solutions of today’s changing agricultural landscape. The trailer of “Farmers for America” is on YouTube.

MOSES, which is headquartered across the street from the Stagehands Theater, will host an open house after the event to showcase the lending library and free resources the nonprofit provides to farmers. For more information, call the MOSES office at 715-778-5775.