Big River and King Corn

Masey Furgeson combine, Buchanan County, IA

Iowa feeds the world. That’s not news to anyone who’s lived here, but many people don’t fully get what exactly is needed to farm an acre of land.

Curt Ellis, right, with Ian Cheney, Producers of "King Corn", Mosaic Films

A couple of city guys came to Iowa to document what it took to farm an acre of land. The two, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, came to Floyd County and filmed their efforts from buying the seed, the fertilizer, planting, caring for and then harvesting their grain. Then they tried to follow the acre into the grain system to see exactly where there acre’s worth of grain went. They found it likely went to a corn processing plant to become corn sweetner.

The efforts turned into a movie called King Corn. The Iowa Journal profiled the movie and discussed it at the time of release. Fred Kirschenmann, a farmer and former director of the Leopold Center and Bill Northey is also a farmer and currently Iowa’s Agriculture Secretary were our guests on the program.

Well, the two have paired again to make a movie about fertilizer and the ecological impact of agriculture.

Its called Big River. Here’s the info on the trailer.

Big River Trailer from Wicked Delicate Films on Vimeo.

You can view it for yourself on Thursday at the Fleur Cinema. The details are below. It is a fundraiser for a couple of groups.

You can learn more about the movie here at the film’s website.

KING CORN and BIG RIVER Film Screening
Fleur Cinema and Café s 4545 Fleur Drive, Des Moiness
Thursday, January 7, 2010
$20-all proceeds benefit Iowa Environmental Council and Practical Farmers of Iowa

Join the Iowa Environmental Council and Practical Farmers of Iowa for a premiere showing of Big River, award-winning documentary King Corn and a discussion with director Aaron Woolf. Big River is a follow-up to King Corn, Ian and Curt’s experiment to learn where food comes from by growing an acre of corn in Iowa. In Big River, Ian and Curt return to Iowa with a new mission: to investigate the environmental impact their acre of corn has had on the people and places downstream.

6:00 pm — Reception
7:00 pm — KING CORN
8:00 pm — BIG RIVER including a discussion with Director Aaron Woolf

Advance ticket purchase or donation suggested. To purchase tickets, call Iowa Environmental Council at 515-244-1194 ext 200 or visit


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