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POV: Farmsteaders

Monday, Sept. 2 at 10 p.m. — Meet the Nolan family who return home to save their grandfather's farm.

POV: Farmsteaders

More About POV: Farmsteaders

Farmsteaders captures the enchantment of rural life in southeast Ohio against the arduous realities of sustainable farming. For Nick Nolan and his family of eight, maintaining a farmstead becomes a revealing cycle of ups and downs in the shadows of corporate agriculture. However, the Nolans are determined to reinvigorate their family dairy farm in the spirit of generations before them.

Returning to his childhood home, Nick Nolan reconnects to the feelings and experiences that marked his happiest times. Having lived through an era when hundreds of dairy farms dotted the region, Nick pines for a familiar past where farmers were personally and closely involved with the land and livestock that nourish the community. Emotional ties to his grandfather’s land fuel Nick’s ambition to revive the practices that supported his family. However, he must operate against new competition: the large-scale corporate farms that have pushed small dairy farms out of the market for decades. The experiences of the Nolan family reveal the many challenges of maintaining a dairy farm, including the risk of failure and pressures of success.

Through financial strain and time limitations, the Nolans resurrect the dairy farm and launch a farmstead cheese operation, Laurel Valley Creamery.Each member of the family must wear many hats for the business to thrive. Mallett captures moments with the Nolans as they navigate between two extremes of hardship: from having too little business to having more shipments than they can handle. As both intent observers and active participants, the Nolan children play central roles at Laurel Valley Creamery, learning and growing through their involvement on the farmstead. Nick’s reflection of his own childhood experiences parallel scenes of his children, who establish a natural bond with the livestock and landscape. To the Nolan children, farmsteading is an inherent part of their lives.

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