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Free Screening & Discussion of Documentary Film “American Meat” @ UW Kane Hall

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Date(s) - 13 Nov 2012
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Kane Hall (Room 210)

Educational documentary American Meat is kicking-off its Washington leg of a nationwide Young Farmer Screening Series at the University of Washington, on November 13th, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, in Kane Hall (Room 210, on UW Campus, at 1410 Northeast Campus Parkway). The event at UW is FREE and open to the public. Featured in the film are George & Eiko Vajkovich, grass-based farmers of Washington’s Skagit River Ranch, who will also be joining a pre-reception and panel discussion following the screening at UW.

American Meat is a pro-farmer look at cattle, hog, and chicken production in the U.S. The film examines our current industrial meat system not through hidden cameras but through the eyes of the farmers who live and work in its feedlots and confinement feeding operations. The documentary then depicts the burgeoning sustainable, local-food movement made up of farmers, food advocates, chefs and everyday folks who are  changing everything about the way meat reaches the American table. The film exposes challenges relevant to both conventional and alternative meat production. Three core actionable principles guide the Young Farmers Screening Series: thank America’s farmers; support young farmers; and food choices matter.

A panel discussion will follow the screening, including:

  • George & Eiko Vajkovich, of Skagit River Ranch who are featured in American Meat. George’s early career was in commercial fishing all over the world for 24 years. He began farming full time 18 years ago, and the farm became “certified organic” in 1998. He now farms over 800 acres organically, bio dynamically and sustainably. Eiko was a marketing executive for a large fishing company where she met George. She holds an MBA degree from the University of Washington. In 1995 she left the seafood brokerage company she owned to farm full time with George.  She does most of the farm’s marketing and financing as well;
  • Megan Carney, a postdoctoral scholar in the Medical Anthropology and Global Health Program at the UW. She has taught university-level courses for several years in the areas of food systems, food policy, and food movements. She has served as a consultant on environmental and social sustainability to residential dining services for UC Santa Barbara and to regional food banks. She was also a founding member of the Santa Barbara County Food Policy Council and of the UCLA student garden;
  • Stephanie Robinson, a UW student, who has been an activist for the last year with the registered student organization Real Food Challenge, a national grassroots campus movement that works to increase university procurement of foods that are local, ecologically sound, fair, and humane. Stephanie and students on over 360 other U.S. campuses are working to divert 20% of an annual $5 billion national university food budget to “real food” purchases by the year 2020, catalyzing a transformation to the national food system at large’
  • Charmaine Slaven, co-founder of the Seattle Farm Co-op, a non-profit member-owned & operated retail co-operative farm supply store.  The Seattle Farm Co-op serves Seattle’s urban farmers and some local rural farmers by providing access to organic & non-gmo livestock feeds, gardening & veterinary supplies, and opportunities for community connection and sharing of farming wisdom.  Charmaine grew up on a small hobby farm in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, and has been urban farming in Seattle since 2005 to supply her household with homegrown vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, and dairy;

This is more than a documentary film: this is a social change film, and it is sweeping the country in some of the hotbeds of debate around agriculture. We welcome your inquiries and can arrange interviews with the film director, Graham Meriwether, remotely or in person.

To keep up with American Meat as the film takes the country by storm between October 2012 and May 2013, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information contact American Meat Project Coordinator Rachel Signer, rachel.s@leaveitbetter.com, or Film Director Graham Meriwether, graham@leaveitbetter.com.

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