Donald Vetter grew up in Nebraska, farming 800 acres with horses. It was hard work. So when Don came back from WWII and learned about the new agricultural uses for wartime chemicals, he jumped into the Chemical Age with both feet. He had one of the first pesticide sprayers in his county.

After a few seasons, though, he noticed the newfangled inputs not only didn’t do what they were supposed to do, they were damaging his soil and killing the birds and the bees on his farm. So, one day in 1953, he quit spraying.

Donald, and his son, David, then embarked on a four decade experiment to create a self-renewing, self-sustaining farming system.

Their most important crop is their soil.

Dreaming of a Vetter World is a feature-length documentary that focuses on David Vetter, Donald’s visionary son, who’s dedicated his life to a “ministry to the soil.” It’s an engaging and fascinating story, beautifully shot on location in the Great Plains. It is also timely: interest in regenerating soil has exploded worldwide. Many are discovering what the Vetters have known since the 1950s: soil is key to our survival.

The film also gives a glimpse into a side of organic farming not usually seen and little understood: the hidden costs of biotech contamination, the constant struggle to produce a clean crop while being surrounded by chemical agriculture, what it actually takes to get that bag of organic popcorn to market. 

Informative without being jargony, Dreaming of a Vetter World is a story about love, hope and place; an inspiring example of perseverance and doing what you think is right–against all odds.

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This film was supported in part by grants from Dr. Bronner’s and Patagonia with additional support from MegaFood. 

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