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 Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.