Age of the Farmer


“65 is the average age of farmers, and there are not enough young farmers to replace them. How did we get here?”**

In the summer of 2015, Eva Verbeeck asked me to join her on a trip throughout the Pacific Northwest to produce a short film on young farmers, that would accompany her photo story for a variety of publications. Having spent much time WWOOFing on organic farms, I knew the importance of this mission. So we loaded our iPods with old bluegrass music and set off in a 1990 Nissan truck, heading from Portland to British Columbia. We offered our labor in exchange for room and board at the farms that we made it to.

This film is an attempt to express some of the thoughts and feelings of the young farmers that we stayed with. Hopefully a little bit of justice was done for all the young farmers out there.

Infinite gratitude to all of the farms that hosted us this summer and kept us filled with organic produce and warmth:

– Earth Candy Farm (
– Plenty Wild Farms (
– Skyberry Farm (
– Hoe Down CSA at Tulaberry Farm (
– Yummy Yards (
– Growing Veterans (
– Beacon Food Forest (

The farmers narrating this film (in order of appearance):

– Claire Jutras (Earth Candy Farm)
– Alyssa Belter (Plenty Wild Farms)
– Kate Rustemeyer (Hoe Down CSA at Tulaberry Farm)
– Ellis Hroch (Earth Candy Farm)


– Black Twig Pickers and Steve Gunn – “Old Strange” (CC Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License)
– Chris Zabriskie – “Another Version of You” (Licensed CC-BY)
– Nicolas Jaar/Vera Remember – Essential Mix/Last Night Together

Equipment used:

– Panasonic GH4 and 14-45 3.5-5.6 native lens.
– Occasional tripod usage.

Directed/Edited by Spencer MacDonald (
Produced/Masterminded by Eva Verbeeck (

This doc was made for love, not for money. Always for love.


National Geographic Short Film Showcase:

The Atlantic’s Editor’s Pick:

(**The average age of farmers in Canada is roughly 54 and in the U.S., 57)