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 40+-year experiment to create a self-sustaining, self-renewing farming system.

Dreaming of a Vetter World is a compelling feature-length documentary by first-time filmmaker Bonnie Hawthorne. It’s centered around one family who recognized the American agricultural system was broken—and found a solution—long before most people saw a problem. The Vetter’s unflagging courage and dedication to rebuilding soil through organic methods benefits a generation of farmers now interested in regenerative agriculture.

The film features David Vetter, recipient of the 2016 Rodale Institute Organic Pioneer award, among many others. 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.

Dreaming of a Vetter World is an honest and personal look at where farming was, where it is headed, and how it affects us all.

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

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