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 Friday, April 25, the 115th day of 2014. There are 250 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: Never in the history of Rock Island was there such a demand for houses as at present. Our city is suffering for the want of suitable tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The choir of Central Presbyterian Church presented a ladies concert under the direction of S.T. Bowlby.
1914 — 100 years ago: Miss Rosella Benson was elected president of the Standard Bearers of Spencer Memorial Methodist Church.
1939 — 75 years ago: Mrs. Nell Clapper was elected president of the Rock Island Business and Professional Women's Club.
1964 — 50 years ago: Gerald Hickman, of Seattle, Wash, will move his family to Rock Island to assume the position of produce buyer for the Eagle Food Center chain of food stores. This announcement was made today by Bernard Weindruch, president of Eagles.
1989 — 25 years ago: Care & Share, formed in 1984 to provide food to jobless and needy Quad-Citians, will disband because the major part of a crisis created by plant closings is over. Food for the needy is still necessary. So groups separately will continue to raise money and collect food.