Bovina farming focus of new documentary

By Matthew J. Perry
The Bovina Historical Society will be showing a new documentary film, “The Past, Present and Future Of A Farming Community,” at the town’s community hall at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8. Chris Ingvordsen, a historical society member who also sits on the planning board, states that the film is intended to help preserve the town’s rich agricultural history, as well as describe the challenges confronting farmers who are working to sustain their businesses in the 21rst century.
The film runs at approximately 29 minutes, and focuses on the working dairy farms of Ed and Donna Weber and Dominic and Laurie Gullow. Also interviewed are Jack Burns, who raises beef cattle, and Tom Hilson, whose family has deep roots in Bovina farming and once owned the community feed store.
Ingvordsen states that the historical society felt it was important to capture the essence of the town’s history at a time when family farming is an industry that is ever more difficult to sustain. “Hopefully, people will see how hard these people work and how tough the challenges of their business really are.”
The film was culled from some 12 hours of footage that Ingvordsen shot over three months this summer. The only commentary in the film comes from the farmers who were interviewed.
“I learned a lot shooting this film,” says Ingvordsen, who previously worked in the film industry and first visited Bovina when his parents bought land there in the 1960s. “I hope others learn from it, too. And it will be a good fund-raising tool for the historical society.”
Admission to the film will be $5 and DVD copies can be purchased for $10. Copies will later be made available at local businesses. All sales and ticket revenue will be donated to the historical society.
While Bovina agriculture is the primary focus of the film, it provides relevant commentary on the status of many areas that have seen farms disappear at a rapid pace. “What they talk about in this film is pretty universal,” Ingvordsen says. “The fact is that the going’s tough for small family farms.”