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Extra Credit Speaking Critique

2012 December 6
by lynchma

On Wednesday, December 5 I attended the documentary screening of American Meat, which was part of the Young Farmers Screening Series. Before the film started, the director, Graham Meriwether explained that he had three objectives for this event, to thank America’s farmers, support young farmers, and educate people that their food choices are important. There were a few local farmers in the audience who had come out to the event, which showed the support for the sustainable farming movement in the Harrisonburg area. Meriwether explained that the average age of farmers in America is sixty and he wanted to promote the profession to young people. He thinks the new organic movement in farming will attract the younger generation. This was the perfect venue for that because it was at a college campus where young adults are thinking hard about their futures. However it is hard for college students to choose the food that the documentary encourages us to eat because we are either on a meal plan or a strict budget.

In the film itself, Meriwether showed both perspectives of the farming world, the factory farm and the organic farm. He interviewed all of the farmers from different parts of the country to get their perspectives on their own farming processes. This created a less accusatory tone toward the factory farmers. Meriwether explained that he did this purposefully to allow those farmers to have a say even if we might not agree with what they were doing.

At the end of the film, Meriwether had a panel of local farmers and experts to answer questions. It was nice to be able to meet the people who grow our food. One of the local farmers in the film even sells to the Joshua Wilton House in Harrisonburg. The only criticism I had with this portion of the event was that Meriwether asked all of the questions to the panel members. It would have been interesting to hear what the audience was curious about.

Overall, this was definitely a worthwhile and interesting event especially if a student is contemplating what they want to do with their life.

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