“Down to Earth” documentary examines the world of sustainable farming

Farm Forum

MUNCIE, Ind. — Small-farm issues in a big-farm world are the central theme of a new documentary created by students at Ball State University. The film is focused on promoting a more sustainable and locally based food system for our country.

Fourteen students spent fall 2013 creating “Down to Earth” as part of a semester-long immersive learning experience at the university’s Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry. The 35-minute film spotlights an east central Indiana farmer, Kyle Becker, and his passion to implement sustainable farming methods to help heal his land in Mooreland, Ind., while providing healthy food to people throughout the region, including the Indianapolis area. Included in the film are dozens of interviews the students conducted with prominent players in the national sustainability movement, including Will Allen, CEO of Growing Power, Juli Obudzinski of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and Joel Saltain, whose Polyface Farms was featured in both Michael Pollen’s best-selling book “Omnivore’s Dilemma” and the 2008 documentary “Food Inc.”