Pursuing the Monarchs in Iowa & Minnesota

Last week my esteemed cinematographer and myself set out on a twenty hours drive to Ames, Iowa and Minneapolis, Minnesota. There, we interviewed two professors from the University of Iowa and the University of Minnesota respectively, as well as a conventional farmer and the founders of the Joint Monarch Venture. This trip proved to be essential to the film’s success and narrative as it shed light on the United States’ responsibility in conserving monarch habitat.

Because of all the negative talk of GMOs and herbicide use around the monarch protection movement, I was particularly nervous in meeting the conventional farmer Mr. Westrum, who owns a 1,000 acres farm of GMO soybean, peas and corn in Boone, Iowa. However, we were both received with open arms and Mr. Westrum spent the whole morning showing us around his farm as well as explaining the intricacies of farming today. I will be returning to Williamsburg tomorrow and my return will mark the official end to production of Pursuing the Monarchs. Next I have two months of editing awaiting me and the entirety of post production; I will therefore be kept very busy!

Henry Sho Kellam filming for "Pursuing the Monarchs"

Henry Sho Kellam filming for “Pursuing the Monarchs” at Mrs. Westrum’s farm.

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