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The town of Farmington, where the Osborne farm was located, is undergoing a transformation. City folks moving to it for the low housing prices are beginning to resent having to ride slowly behind farmers on their tractors. Josh’s uncle puts it best when he says he’d rather work with animals than with people, because at least the animals won’t make me feel worthless. The land, once a source of pride and symbol of a way of life, has become a commodity.

Driving down the Osborne Road today, one sees no evidence that three generations worked the land here. Instead, “For Sale” signs line the road where cows once grazed. The developer tells us that while open space is a good thing, it doesn’t give “the full value” of the land. Missing from his equation is that open space is a public value, and the loss of open farmland is everyone’s loss. The West Grandview Estates now boasts homesites for twenty scenic, secluded sites for high-end homes. In a final irony, the deeds prohibit farm animals.

In the last two decades,
Maine lost nearly 1,000 farms--
that’s 300,000 acres of farmland,
20,000 of it in just the last five years.

Knee Deep is a production of the Moenkopi Group, Inc, a 501c3 non-profit organization that has as its goal the development, production and distribution of historical, anthropological, and socially conscious films, books, multimedia presentations and other educatiional materials, as well as conducting educational seminars focusing on contemporary social issues, with the goal of promoting understanding and appreciation in the public for such subjects.

Moenkopi relies for its funding from public funding, so if you enjoyed Knee Deep, are concerned about the larger issues it raises, and would like to make possible the continued production of films like this, please visit Moenkopi’s website, read more about its mission, and make a donation.