Women from Iceland and the U.S. will be featured in the project
By Diego Flammini
A team of American filmmakers want to showcase the contributions of female farmers around the world.
Audra Mulkern founded the Female Farmer Project in 2012 after spending time at a farmers’ market in Washington State and realizing that many of the vendors were women.
Despite a lack of a background in agriculture or photography, Mulkern ventured out to document women on farms.
She began researching the history of women in agriculture, only to discover a lack of recognition for women in the industry.
“Where were those women in the history books?” she told Capital Press yesterday. “They just didn’t exist, and I really had to dig deep to find any images at all. That’s what really inspired this, to shine a light on those generations of farm women who are missing from history.”
The photo project evolved into a full documentary production, which will have a significant focus on the past.
“We will explore their stories through their journals and pictures, meeting historians along the way,” says the Indiegogo fundraising page for the documentary. “And we will travel to the farms to meet the women who have inherited their legacies and learn what lessons they have learned from their ancestors.”
The project will also feature women presently in agriculture from the U.S. and other countries.
Johanna Bergmann Porvaldsdottir, a former nurse in Iceland, now operates Haafell, a goat farm.
“She single-handedly brought the Icelandic goat breed back from the brink of extinction,” Mulkern said during a 425 Live appearance in 2016.
An American journalist who left the media industry to pursue a career in agriculture is also part of the film.
Suzanne Nelson worked for Roll Call, covering Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., but left her work as a journalist to raise cattle in North Carolina.
The filmmakers are also looking for other female farmers to interview.
“It seems like every little community has some grandmother’s journal or a little book their aunt put together that talks about what their great-grandmother did, some of those little stories that are out there but they’re more family heritages than publicly known,” Kara Rowe, co-executive producer of the film, told Capital Press.
Audra Mulkern photo