New Film: Gold Rush on the Plains

A One Degree video profile enlightens, informs, entertains. But the most satisfying element of each film is the realization that a heroic farmer is at last being recognized for what we would call extraordinary courage, but what he would call the challenges of an ordinary day.

Our farmers are people of great integrity for whom the yearly harvest is not an invoice in a corporate file, but a life milestone, a triumph of will, a way forward for their families. They fight every season not only against the elements and natural pests, but also with the forces of greed who seek to undermine the purity of food and are blind to the real value of the land.

Most such farmers chose this life at a very early age. It was a future that always seemed exciting, and often destined. One Degree’s newest film honors such a farmer, Eldon Kebernik of Barrhead, Alberta.

“I knew since the age of 14 that I was going to be a farmer,” he says. “It has to be in the blood. If it’s not in the blood, if it’s not a passion, you’re not likely to succeed.”

Eldon’s nearly 1,500 acres benefit from the rich sediment of the Pembina River, which drains the land and provides one of many natural borders that keep drift from conventional farms away from his oats. Yet more than a century ago the mightiest river in the territory was the stream of prospectors rushing up the Klondike Trail on their way to the Yukon, chasing a mirage of easy gold and unimaginable wealth. Ironically, those Gold Rush dreamers passed by something of tremendous value: dark, rich soil that would one day help feed a continent, and the world.

“Organic farming is a passion for me, I truly enjoy it,” Eldon tells us. “It’s important for me to grow food that I believe is healthy for us as consumers to eat, for our children.”

Begin your visit with our film premiere below. Or enjoy the video along with photos and an essay on our Web site: