The Documentary

Feature length and TV hour documentary

Food. We take it for granted when our pantries are plentiful. But if a disruption occurs, we empty the grocery shelves. In Canada, the world’s second-largest country, there is plenty of land to grow food and we depend on our farmers to keep our cupboards full. But farming is extremely hard work, with endless hours and a very precarious future.

Devon Cooke spent the last year living on farms across Canada to ask “How do farmers make a living and is this sustainable?” “Two-thirds of farmers need an off-farm job just to keep farming.” Land and equipment prices are huge obstacles for start-ups. With rural populations dwindling and family size shrinking, who works in the fields and who will be the next generation to keep food on our tables?

The Hands that Feed Us is a documentary about the endless challenges of making a living as a modern Canadian farmer; how they sell their food and how little control they have over the process and price. The film explores farming in Canada, from small scale to massive debt, from farmer’s markets to supply chain, in order to help us understand why farmers work so hard and what happens if it all falls apart.