‘FEED’ was made in response to a research project investigating the significance of growing grass for both indoor and outdoor dairy farming systems across the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. The film, which was commissioned by Agricultural Sociologist Dr Orla Shortall from The James Hutton Institute, sets out to highlight the geo-economic and socio-economic challenges and differences from a variety of dairy farms across the UK and Ireland.

The resulting film sought to give farmers a sense of authorship by asking them to film parts of their dairy farms using their own mobile phones at a time when national and international travel was heavily restricted with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dairy farmers were sent an instruction booklet and homemade brownies for their participation in the project sending their short video clips via whatsapp to Adam.

Shooting in progress for FEED, West Sussex

Throughout creating the film, the underlying question of differentiating the farmers video clips became a significant challenge to visually curate a meaningful sequence. Adam designed specific screens especially to re-stage submitted video clips which reference the language of both a film screening and a classic gallery aesthetic whilst being situated on a dairy farm.

The submitted video clips are edited in alongside re-recorded selected interview transcripts provided by Orla from dairy farmers. These voice over elements act in tandem with the submitted video clips as a mechanism in placing the narrative of the farmers at the fore-front of the film allowing them to illustrate their position and raise questions about the future of dairying.

FEED 2021 Created by Adam Stead, filmed and edited by Robbie McKane