‘Forgotten Farms’ Film about New England Dairy Industry to Be Screened at Amherst Cinema

MassLive, November 12, 2016, by Mary Serreze

AMHERST — New England has lost nearly 10,000 dairy farms in five decades, bringing big changes to the region.

Nonetheless, many such dairy operations remain, keeping watch over the rural landscape and struggling to survive “in an age of artisan cheese and kale,” according to film makers Dave Simonds and Sarah Gardner.

Simonds and Gardner, both of Berkshire County, teamed up to produce “Forgotten Farms,” a documentary which examines class divides in New England’s farm and food communities, and looks at the history and future of the dairy industry.

The film will be shown November 15 at the Amherst Cinema, followed by a panel discussion with Simonds, Gardner, and local farmers. The event is hosted by Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, the South Deerfield non-profit which supports local agriculture.

With upscale farm-to-table restaurants and a trendy local food scene, the region’s agricultural scene has been transformed and celebrated. New farmers, with their artisanal products, are featured in glossy magazines, on television, and in movies.

However, wholesale dairy farmers and their families have been left out of the celebration, despite standing as the backbone of New England agriculture for generations, according to Simonds and Gardner.

The film tells the story of those “forgotten farms” and forgotten farmers.

If you go

What: Film Screening and Farmer Panel: Forgotten Farms
Where: Amherst Cinema, 28 Amity St.
When: Tuesday, Nov. 15, 7 p.m.
Tickets: available online and at the box office