Celebrating Sustainable Agriculture: A Documentary Journey

November 12, 2023 0 Comments

Sustainable Agriculture Documentary

Feeding the world’s growing population requires new methods of agriculture. This documentary explores the sustainable options available to farmers and consumers.

Rather than scare viewers through nightmarish images or guilt them into a fashionable way of eating, this film celebrates the people reclaiming the earth. It shares leadership and wisdom from the most forward thinking farmers.


A mix of minerals, humus, living organisms and water, soil is one of the most vital natural resources on the planet. It provides plants with nutrients and stores water, carbon and oxygen. But our soil is in trouble: its health has been seriously compromised by agricultural degradation, causing desertification, contamination of water sources and food scarcity.

The film explores how regenerative agriculture can restore essential ecosystems and promote sustainable land use. This approach to farming prioritizes the health of the soil, including reduced tilling and limits on nitrogen fertilizers, as well as the planting of cover crops and the prioritization of biodiversity.

This popular documentary series follows Jeremy Clarkson, host of the Top Gear TV show, as he attempts to run his own 1,000-acre farm. Throughout the series, the Clarksons implement sustainable farming practices including cover cropping and soil regeneration to reduce erosion and improve the health of their land. They also limit the use of chemicals and pesticides, ensuring that their crops are both environmentally friendly and safe for consumers.


With population growth and increased consumption of complex foods, water supply will be key to sustainably feeding the world. RTD’s sustainable agriculture documentaries explore threats to this vital resource.

One example is the dwindling of freshwater clams on the New England coast. This short documentary follows summer trippers lined up for fried clams and families digging for the coveted bivalve. But it also reveals how the promise of GMO crops has put farmers at risk, and shows the resiliency of the human spirit.

A strong belief in regenerative principles can propel farmers away from the degenerative practices that plague industrial agriculture, polluting people, soil, and water. The Biggest Little Farm features the Chesters as they transform their barren land into a functioning ecosystem. This film shows that changing farming methods is not only possible, but necessary to feed the world. This film is a must see! You can find it on Netflix.


Whether they’re advocating for the end of GMOs or the ban on glyphosate weed killer, these films show us that sustainable food entrepreneurship is more than just buying local. It’s a way of life for farmers, consumers and communities alike.

Taking four-and-a-half years to make, Graham Meriwether’s film on American meat farming follows the pioneering farmers of Polyface Farm in Virginia. The result is a profound look at how consumer demand can drive the industry toward and away from sustainability.

A Ball State University class project, this documentary explores the small-farm issues facing America today. It also introduces the story of a farmer who is attempting to create a proud legacy for his family by reclaiming his land and making it profitable.


The people featured in these films are just as important as the land and animals themselves. From family farmers to food waste innovators, the people in these sustainable agriculture documentaries are inspiring and motivating.

The first film in this list follows a couple as they attempt to transform their nutrient depleted farm using regenerative farming techniques. This documentary has won 42 awards and is available on Netflix.

Kip Andersen’s environmental awakening came in the form of An Inconvenient Truth, and he believed he was doing his part to help the planet by recycling religiously, turning off lights whenever possible, and showering infrequently. But his life changed when he learned that animal agriculture is the primary cause of global environmental destruction.

Throughout this series, viewers follow a family as they make a home in rural Nebraska and begin to reap the rewards of their hard work. This acclaimed documentary features an uplifting message of resilience. You can watch it on Netflix.

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