22 user 33 critic

The Real Dirt on Farmer John (2005)

1:56 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

The epic tale of a maverick Midwestern farmer. Castigated as a pariah in his community, Farmer John bravely transforms his farm amidst a failing economy, vicious rumors, and arson. He ... See full summary »


5 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

SEED: The Untold Story follows passionate seed keepers protecting our 12,000 year-old food legacy. In the last century, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared. As chemical companies ... See full summary »

Directors: Jon Betz, Taggart Siegel
Stars: Vandana Shiva, Andrew Kimbrell, Jane Goodall
King Corn (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

King Corn is a feature documentary about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation. In King Corn, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from ... See full summary »

Director: Aaron Woolf
Stars: Bob Bledsoe, Earl L. Butz, Dawn Cheney
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

QUEEN OF THE SUN: What Are the Bees Telling Us? is a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis from Taggart Siegel, director of THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN. Taking us on a ... See full summary »

Director: Taggart Siegel
Stars: Gunther Hauk, Kirk Webster, Carlo Petrini
Tapped I (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Examines the role of the bottled water industry and its effects on our health, climate change, pollution, and our reliance on oil.

Directors: Stephanie Soechtig, Jason Lindsey
Stars: Sally Bethea, Earl Blumenauer, Amanda Brown


Credited cast:
John Peterson ...
Anna Nielsen ...
Herself, mother of John Peterson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Edwards ...
Lester Peterson ...
Himself, father of John Peterson (archive footage)


The epic tale of a maverick Midwestern farmer. Castigated as a pariah in his community, Farmer John bravely transforms his farm amidst a failing economy, vicious rumors, and arson. He succeeds in creating a bastion of free expression and a revolutionary form of agriculture in rural America. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

20 January 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En sann farmare  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,376 (USA) (20 January 2006)


$12,376 (USA) (20 January 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Full of Heart and Soul
1 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Some movies are so full of heart and soul, are so much a reflection of their times, they feel like they were, in some strange way, destined to be made, and to make a mark, not only in the world of cinema, but in the American social fabric, as well. The Real Dirt on Farmer John is such a movie. At this time, many of us are yearning for a more truly compassionate and caring nation, for a more inclusive and understanding society, for a return to deeper, more spiritual values, and a sense of personal (rather than corporate) empowerment. Now along comes the maverick, All-American, Farmer John Peterson, a real third-generation Illinois farmer, and his true story of soil-based soul, devastation during the farm debt crisis of the 1980s, and resurrection in the 90s as a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm now serving 1200 families in the Chicago area. Filmmaker Taggart Siegel has effectively woven together Peterson's home movies from the 1950s, with footage from the 70s (when the farm was a hippie art commune), the 80s (when Peterson lost almost everything), from Mexico (where he sought solace and healing from his failure), the 90s (when Peterson experienced his resurrection) and recent years, as the farm now brims with organic produce, student farmers, families and children. The film reflects the struggles of American family farmers over the last fifty years and, more importantly, the universal Hero's Journey through life, death and rebirth. The scenes of Peterson with his mother overflow with love. But love and deep caring are the essence of the film. And at a time when we are bombarded with darkly cynical fare, The Real Dirt on Farmer John is the deep, fresh, lively flavor that will most satisfy our hunger for goodness and meaning. To be savored, like a fine meal ….

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Non-fiction? kittycatbratt
DVD pbrew10
the real dirt on farmer john - DVD?? pieterverhoeven
Farmer John... Movaestro
just finished watching it TheBudderKing
a story of any farmer ffarff
Discuss The Real Dirt on Farmer John (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page