MOLINE - John Deere Pavilion launched a new exhibit Friday with a showing of "Linked to the Land," a 20-minute film about the challenges of sustaining a growing world population.
Written, directed and produced by William Schwartz, the film focuses on the international demand for more food, fuel, fiber, shelter and infrastructure, and how people are dependent on the earth to provide it.
The film, which took 15 months to produce, was filmed in eight countries and on five continents -- North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Africa.
With the world population expected to reach nine billion by mid-century, Mr. Schwartz said the world will be facing problems it's never before seen.
"We must look to the land to provide all of this," he said. "The answer is in the hands of those few people we must support -- the farmers."
The film focuses on the issue of having to double agricultural production on the same amount of land and with less water. It shows how John Deere is meeting agricultural demand around the world through advanced technology and customized equipment such as special tractors made for muddy rice paddy fields in China.
It goes on to show John Deere executives working with the poorest farmers in India, China and Russia to figure out how to improve their methods.
"It's impressive how far ahead John Deere has thought, and how they are already working on the challenges of the world," said Mr. Schwartz, who recruited actor Gary Sinise to narrate the short film.
LuAnn Haydon, who coordinated logistics for the film, said challenges included getting the right crew on the ground in foreign countries with the right equipment for the scene. Aside from minor language issues, Ms. Haydon said weather often was a problem.
Mr. Schwartz, an Emmy-award winning producer, also made "Anthem" and "Bounty," the first two films shown at John Deere Pavilion. They still can be seen at the Deere & Company Headquarters, One John Deere Place in Moline.
Based in St. Louis, Schwartz and Associates Creative has produced documentary and short films for 35 years.
Mr. Schwartz said "It's not meant to be an advertising piece, but meant as a true reflection of what you would find if you went out into farm country. This film is like an evergreen. It is timeless and I hope everyone who sees it will take away a little bit of education."
A DVD of "Linked to the Land" is available for purchase at John Deere Pavilion, 1400 River Drive in Moline.
Today is Wednesday, Aug. 20, the 232nd day of 2014. There are 133 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Quite a number of Negroes have lately been brought here by abolition offers returning from the army in violation of the laws of the state. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Miss Tillie Denkmann, of Rock Island, was making plans to accompany a Davenport family on a tour of Europe. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The German advance into Belgium was going apparently without serious check. The American ambassador at Berlin published a denial of the charge that Americans had been ill-treated in Germany. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Seventy-two members of Rock Island High School's 1939 graduating class are preparing to enter college — 34 of them at Augustana. 1964 -- 50 years ago: One of the oldest buildings in Milan, which for a number of years has housed the Milan Hotel, will be razed to make way for a modern, two-story office structure. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Some are blaming it on the sudden influx of insects and the extreme humidity. Still others say the invasion was inspired by a recent movie. But whatever the reason, the Quad-Cities is swarming with bats.