Wednesday, March 21st at 7pm. Roger Williams and his legacy for us today. John McNiff, Park Ranger at the Roger Williams National Memorial will give an engaging talk about Roger Williams, as well as providing information about New England before English colonization, what were the special circumstances of the English coming here and why is that at all relevant to us today. Free and open to all. Sponsored by the North Stonington Historical Society and Wheeler Library. Add to Calendar
Clark Woodmansee, along with his son and three hired hands, owns and operates a fourth generation, dairy farm in Preston. Currently milking about 110 cows, his farm is now directly challenged by the economies of scale at work in the dairy industry across the country. In 1945, there were 4,145 dairy farms operating in Connecticut. Today, there are just over a hundred dairy farms left in the entire state. Loss of the infrastructure that once supplied the industry, disappearing crop lands due to its rising value for housing development, and low milk prices that often match those of a generation ago all contribute to the economic squeeze small farmers now feel. The Woodmansee farm’s ability to survive–along with that of North Stonington’s five dairy farms–stems from both their love of the work they do, their determination to survive, and the efficiencies they bring to the job. In this film, Clark discusses just what it takes today to get a gallon of milk to our kitchen tables and the many challenges they face in a society that has increasingly left its agricultural roots in the past. Runtime 44 minutes. More information here
Life of a Dairyman…Add to Calendar
Saturday, April 7th at 7pm. Forgotten Farms Documentary.
In many 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. Filmmakers Sarah Gardner and Dave Simonds, along with other guest speakers, will be at Wheeler Library for a Q&A afterwards. Free and open to all. Add to Calendar