Would You Leave A Lucrative Wall Street Job to Raise Livestock?
A new documentary profiles why a Pound Ridge resident went from financier to farmer and the importance of clean eating and organic agriculture.
Photos by Gerardo Puglia
John Ubaldo wasn’t your typical Wall Street guy. More than a decade ago, the investment banker got a kick out of parking his Ford Bronco in between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. He wore custom suits and Armani ties but only because a tailor would come to his office — he didn’t like to shop. Already a down-to-earth man, Ubaldo left his successful career after 9/11 to literally be that — closer to the earth.
A Pound Ridge resident, Ubaldo bought a 185-acre farm in Cambridge, NY (Washington County), to become a farmer. He raises Berkshire pigs, Black Angus cattle, chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. The new documentary The Bullish Farmer, produced by Ken Marsolais and Nancy Vick, follows Ubaldo (“John Boy”) on his journey from financier to farmer while he explains the importance of organic farming, clean eating, and the future of our food.
Ubaldo, also owner of Bedford’s The Outpost, sells only clean food with no pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs. When he first began farming, he quickly learned that his farming style was not aligned with the modern American agricultural industry. In The Bullish Farmer, he talks about his activism, lobbying for GMO labeling, animal rights, the reduction of chemical fertilizers, and the preservation of small farms.
“I made this documentary to be a tool, to help educate, and help people to learn all we must do for small farms to keep rural America from dying,” says Ubaldo. “This documentary is not about me. It is about us as a country, as Americans, as people who used to know, care for, and help out neighbors.”
Marsolais hopes the film “inspires people to get involved and fight for good food. He continues, “We need to help save small farms and rural America because farms are disappearing at an incredible rate.”
Vick was a regular customer of Ubaldo’s at The Outpost before co-producing the film. She says that her involvement with the film has changed her life. “Once I researched some of John's ideas I came to understand the incredible disconnect between what is really happening with our food supply and the general public's idea about how it works.” she says.
The documentary is told in a diary-style format, and is as much as human-interest story as it is an informative piece.
The film was honored with the Kaiser Permanente Thrive Award at its world premiere screening at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, CA, on March 4.
The Bullish Farmer will be screened at the Queens World Film Festival on March 18th. This festival honored the film with three laurels: Best Documentary Feature, Best Cinematography Documentary Feature, and Best Director Documentary Feature. For screenings in Westchester, check your local listings.