American Experience (1988– )
6 user 11 critic

Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern 

Struggling to keep the family farm in the family.

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins. See more awards »




Episode credited cast:
Bob Blankenship Bob Blankenship ... Himself - Auctioneer
Dean Eilts Dean Eilts ... Himself - Auctioneer
Marge Harold Marge Harold ... Herself
James Jordan Jr. James Jordan Jr. ... Himself
Gini Jordan Gini Jordan ... Herself
Grace Jordan Grace Jordan ... Herself
Jeanne Jordan ... Herself
Jesse Jordan Jesse Jordan ... Herself
Jiggs Jordan Jiggs Jordan ... Himself
Joe Jordan Joe Jordan ... Himself
Jon Jordan Jon Jordan ... Himself
Kim Jordan Kim Jordan ... Herself
Mary Jane Jordan Mary Jane Jordan ... Herself
Pam Jordan Pam Jordan ... Herself
Russel Jordan Russel Jordan ... Himself


The Jordan family has farmed in Iowa for generations. But the farm crisis of the 1980s and 1990s catches up with them, and they are in danger of losing the farm. One of the daughters, a documentary filmmaker, comes back home to document the extraordinary efforts the family makes to keep their farm. Written by yortsnave

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Where one family takes a stand.




Official Sites:

film's offical page | PBS





Release Date:

16 January 1995 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlantic, Iowa, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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Features Lonesome Dove (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

Clear eyed and intelligent
31 October 2016 | by runamokprodsSee all my reviews

Touching, gentle documentary, made by a woman about her parents and family, as the face the likely loss of the family farm to the awful economics of modern family farming. Done with a light touch that keeps humor alive, and keeps the film from ever becoming maudlin, it shows how sometimes life's twists and turns, even the bad ones, lead us to places that are OK after all.

If there's any weakness, it's that sometimes in avoiding the sentimental it misses a bit of the emotion. Also, the fascinating insight it provides into the economic realities of family farming (as opposed to the romantic idea so many outsiders have) gets slightly short shrift. It would be great to understand even more than the tantalizing bits here why so many farmers can't make it.

But overall this is a clear-eyed and intelligent first-person report on the plight of the small, non- corporate farmer in America.

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