Farmers and Ranchers
is a portrait of young people in transition. Teenagers from two typical rural clichés; cowboy-land Colorado in the United States and the Dutch dairy-farming province Fryslân. They were asked to consider their futures in farming and ranching. Both watch as their landscapes undergo tremendous change: sea dikes are rising in Fryslân, while the Plains of Colorado suffer drought. A two-year documentary project, Farmers & Ranchers depicts how these landscapes are impacting the next generation of farmers and ranchers.

The project was initiated by the M12 Collective and Dutch artist Wapke Feenstra, founder of Myvillages, whose work explores the evolving relationship between rural and urban places and culture. In 2012, M12 and Feenstra, met with a group of students in the Future Farmers of America program at Deer Trail High School, Colorado. Excited to share their rural experiences, a media exchange project began with the Nordwin College, Ljouwert, in the North of the Netherlands. Now, twenty-five young Dutch and American farmers and ranchers have exchanged photographs of their homes, their family farms, and their respective regions. These images have become a visual language used to share their experiences - from milking horses to branding the cattle. On this website you can roam their images.

The website also captures a trailer of the film that documents the mutual farm and ranch visits and provides an alternative peek at rural living, where changes in the landscape mirror transitions in the lives of young people, in their families, and on their farms and ranches.
The film Farmers & Ranchers: Growing Up in Changing Landscapes
Directed by Wapke Feenstra. Produced by the M12 Collective and Wapke Feenstra. Filmed and Edited by Kim Shively. Cameraman (Fryslân) Gerko Jonker.

Upcoming events
Exhibition The Feed Store, M12 Byers, Colorado USA
October 17 - November 19, 2014

Exhibition Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.
November 21, 2014 - February 15, 2015

Documentary aired by Omrop Fryslân and on Dutch National TV
17 and 18 January 2015

Till winter 2016 this project is part of the International Village Show in GfZK Leipzig.

The project is supported by
Nordwin College, Leeuwarden, Deer Trail High School and the parents of the youngsters.

Farmers & Ranchers is generously funded by
The National Endowment for the Arts, the Gates Family Foundation, Colorado Creative Industries, Stichting Doen, Tijl Fonds (BPC), The German Federal Cultural Foundation, Omrop FryslFryslânn, and the Fries Museum.

For more information contact: wapke[@] or kirsten[@]