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Online film screening to spotlight farmers from diverse communities

MILLERTON —  On Monday, March 13, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Rock Steady Farm will host a virtual screening of its newest film, “POLLINATE!”, which “tells the story of 11 QTBIPOC beginning farmers” who participated in Rock Steady’s 2022 POLLINATE! program. Followed by a question-and-answer period, the event will be an opportunity to learn about the work being done in the field of inclusive farming by a local farm that has garnered attention from the Guardian, Eater, and a whole host of national and regional outlets.

Taking its namesake inspiration from the role of pollinating species in both ecological diversity and ecological sustainability, POLLINATE! is a paid training program run by Rock Steady and aimed at providing beginner-friendly farming experience to farmers who are queer, trans and Black, Indigenous and people of color (QTBIPOC).

Piloted initially in 2021 in coordination with Farm School NYC, the program opened in 2022 to a broader audience, providing 15 days of paid training in multiple areas of Rock Steady’s farming model, from cooperative farming to irrigation and crop management, community partnerships, and more.

Describing a host of challenges that QTBIPOC farmers face — from low pay to harassment — Rock Steady was founded in 2015 with the goal of practicing “holistic, sustainable farming practices” while providing equitable food access, and explicitly inclusive farming spaces.

The film, made by Walter Hergt, whose previous work with Rock Steady is viewable on his website, will invite viewers to “envision a liberatory food system led by QTBIPOC farmers by weaving together personal reflections on the intersections between race, gender, sexuality and healing with the land.”

Tickets for the “POLLINATE!” screening are available on a sliding scale at www.rocksteadyfarm.com/store/pollinate-film. All sales will benefit Rock Steady’s farm education programs.

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