Farmers as Futurists

Spotlight / Shoot Spotlight
Thomas Barwick
Amy Lehfeldt
Oct 5, 2021
Agriculture is typically thought of as quaint and old‑fashioned, but it’s actually one of the fastest advancing industries embracing new technology. Farmers and ranchers have transformed themselves from the nostalgic stereotypes of a bygone era to sophisticated, tech‑savvy business people.  While agriculture is a delicate balance of most things you can’t control, with global market forces and climate change amplifying every challenge; tech innovations allow farmers to adapt to the uncertainties of nature and help them build out the resiliency of their farms.  By using satellite data mapping, Wi‑Fi enabled apps, drones, and predictive modeling, they are able to manage the health of their crops and animals, handle logistics, and plan strategically to work more efficiently, and sustainably.
In this series, I worked with Thomas Barwick focusing on large‑scale agriculture and the concepts of combining new and old ideas for the future.  He found a 12,000 acre centennial family run farm in Colorado, which he organized to shoot during the intense wheat harvest in late July.  Tom followed the family for several days and used a docu‑style approach to create a full authentic narrative – observing everything from life on the farm as a kid, to the non‑stop hard work in all kinds of weather, to their strategic planning about the breakdown of crops and cattle to hedge their bets if any one of them should do poorly in a given year.
The stills and video in this shoot also tell more intimate human stories, for example, during the harvest while the family and employees work long hours, they find time to take a break in the evening on the field by having a group dinner before hurrying back to work into the night.  The imagery also demonstrates the farmers’ self‑sufficiency and versatility ‑ owning and maintaining their fleet of trucks, fixing equipment in their machine shop, leasing land to new energy companies to provide other income, and embracing all new ways of working that have allowed them to grow four times in size without adding a single employee.  

This shoot perfectly aligns with our Visual GPS and is campaign ready for our clients, covering every angle of farming and conveying old and new concepts such as tradition, heritage, generational family business, connection to nature, balance, sustainability, teamwork, adaptability, innovation technology, AI, and so many more!
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