Short film examines farmers’ role in climate action

U.S. Farmers & Ranchers in Action debuts film about pig farmer’s quest to be carbon neutral.

September 23, 2021

3 Min Read
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U.S. Farmers & Ranchers in Action (USFRA) has unveiled a new short film that highlights the important role farmers and ranchers are taking in forging climate solutions with help from science, experts, investors and partners.

The docudrama follows the real-life journey of Marlowe Ivey, 36, who has taken over her dad’s North Carolina pig farm and is working to make it carbon neutral. 

“Change has got to start somewhere” becomes a key line as Ivey encounters people online and in her community that criticize pig farming as being harmful to the planet, and telling Ivey that change is needed. 

Ivey in turn sees her farm as a place where she can make positive change, using science and experts to evolve and improve the closed-loop processes her dad started in the 1980s and 1990s with pigs, soy and corn. Ivey is currently working toward a methane-capture system to power the farm.

“Believe me, my pigs will be carbon neutral,” Ivey says in the film, explaining the steps she’s taking with expert counsel to move toward a net zero operation. “I’m not there yet, but change has got to start somewhere, and I want to show people what we do out here.” 

The Carbon Neutral Pig touches on several climate-smart agriculture practices Ivey uses. It’s the second short docudrama in a series about U.S. farmers and ranchers harnessing technology and tenacity to improve their practices, provide social benefit, remain economically sustainable and act as partners in national and global climate action. 

“It’s up to farmers like myself and other farmers out there advocating for their stories, to show people why and how we do what we do and continue to be transparent about our practices,” Ivey said.  

The first of the series was the award-winning 30 Harvests, featuring the story of Texas row-crop farmer Jay Hill. Hill was on the brink of giving up and selling his family farm when he decided to invest in making it carbon negative instead.  

The producer of the series, USFRA, connects food and agriculture leaders to take bold action to co-create sustainable U.S. food systems. The Carbon Neutral Pig was produced with support from United Soybean Board (USB) and North Carolina Pork Council (NCPC). 

USFRA premiered the film on September 16 at its 2021 Honor the Harvest Forum (HTH), a convening of more than 150 leaders in the U.S. food and agriculture sector to explore the challenges facing agriculture and co-design solutions. 

Honor the Harvest serves to foster dialogue among sector leaders before the United Nations Food Systems Summit later in September as well as the United Nations Climate Change Conference in November.

“We produce these films to reflect what we hear from farmers and ranchers and to illustrate the importance of them being at the table during conversations about climate change,” said Erin Fitzgerald, CEO of USFRA. “This is a call to leaders in food, finance and science to support their efforts. Farmers and ranchers experience the effects of climate change firsthand, they have experience on the land that others don’t, and their work can be solution-driven. But they can’t do it alone.”

 The film, which runs about seven minutes, can be viewed here.


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