Forgotten Farms

65 mins.
Directed by Dave Simonds


Filmmakers Sarah Gardner and Dave Simonds in person! Introduction and Q&A with the filmmakers and other guest speakers.

In more affluent communities, farm-to-table restaurants, farmer's markets and CSAs are booming and the new farmers are celebrated. But there is another farmer who is left out of the local food celebration.

New England has lost over 10,000 dairy farms in the past 50 years; about 2,000 farms remain. Collectively, they tend 1.2 million acres of farmland and produce almost all of the milk consumed in New England.

In our enthusiasm for the new food movement, these farmers at the foundation of the regional agricultural economy are often overlooked.

Through conversations with farmers and policy experts, the film reconsiders the role of these vital but forgotten farmers, who will be essential players in an expanded agricultural economy.

FORGOTTEN FARMS is presented in collaboration with Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA). CISA strengthens farms and engages the community to build the local food economy. Click here for more information.

Sarah Gardner (producer) teaches planning and policy at Williams College and is the Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Studies. Sarah is a member of the Williamstown Planning Board, as well as the Agricultural Commission. She was instrumental in proposing and passing the Williamstown Right to Farm bylaw and is a member of the Williamstown Farm Market Committee. Since 2011 she has been the leader of the North Berkshire Keep Farming project, a three-year research initiative. She serves on the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission’s Food and Agriculture Subcommittee. Sarah served as the Williamstown delegate to the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, the Williamstown Conservation Commission, the Williamstown Master Plan Committee, and the Community Preservation Committee. Sarah is a graduate of Smith College, she holds a Masters in Public Policy from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the City University of New York. She has made two short films about tourism and farming in Eleuthera.

Dave Simonds (director) is an actor, writer and filmmaker. He directed CHERRY COTTAGE: THE STORY OF AN AMERICAN HOUSE, which premiered at the Berkshire International Film Festival, and screened at festivals around the country. He directs Simonds Films, which is a full service boutique production house. He continues work on his ongoing series of short episodic films and the upcoming “Free Advice from an Old Guy” with Jay Tarses. As an actor, Simonds worked extensively in New York, and regionally at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Long Wharf Theatre, and The Portland Stage Company. He was a familiar face in the indie-film renaissance of the late 80s and early 90s. He was the co-founder of the award winning Cucaracha Theatre, which was housed in a warehouse in Tribeca before anyone knew where Tribeca was.