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 sprayers in his county.
After a few seasons, though, he saw that 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. He went back to the organic farming methods he’d used for years.
Donald, and his son, David, then helped create an alternative agriculture system based on those old organic methods.
Dreaming of a Vetter World is a compelling feature-length documentary centered around one family who recognized the American agricultural system was broken—and found a solution—long before most people noticed there was a problem.
The film features David Vetter, recipient of the 2016 Rodale Institute Organic Pioneer award, who helped establish the organic certification system we take for granted today. David Vetter and the other farmers in this film share a unique perspective on modern agriculture: they farm working with nature while surrounded by chemically intensive “conventional” agriculture. It’s an honest and personal look at where farming is now, where it is headed and how it affects us all.
Though this film highlights the very real dangers in our current agricultural system, at its heart it’s a film about people and the power of visionary thinking. From his small Nebraska farm, David Vetter has had a worldwide impact on the food we eat. As we approach crisis levels of environmental degradation and soil damage, our goal for this film is to impact the way people think about food, farming and the environment; to inspire citizens to drive change by how they spend their money.
The farmers in this film are warm, smart, memorable characters, mending America’s Broken Heartland one acre at a time.