One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts

Filmmaker: Peter Byck
Runtime: 15 min

Director Peter Byck’s short film “One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts” tells the story of fourth generation cattleman Will Harris’s evolution from industrial, commodity cowboy to sustainable, humane food producer. The consumption of beef as a food source has long been vilified as terrible environmental and moral consumption choice. Harris’s work in Georgia shows that we can adapt agricultural practices and raise and grow healthy food in harmony with nature.

Wild Oak Pastures, Harris’s family farm, is a prospering testament to the economic and environmental benefits of regenerative food production – boasting healthy soils, thriving farm animals, and a diverse eco-system with flourishing wildlife. The jobs created there are breathing new life into a community left behind and forgotten after the industrialization of agriculture.

The land that once sustained only a cow/calf operation now is home to cattle, goats, pigs, turkeys, chickens and more. At any given day there are 100,000 beating hearts present at White Oak Pastures – all happy to be there.

About the Filmmaker

Peter Byck is the director, producer and writer of “Carbon Nation” and is a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University, in both the School of Sustainability and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication. Byck is now focusing on soil health – in both the “Soil Carbon Cowboys” short films series, and in leading a large systems science project comparing regenerative grazing to conventional – measuring a whole suite of data from water retention to soil carbon to animal well-being and much more. Byck has appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher and NPR’s Science Friday. He has presented “carbon nation” at the House of Commons, U.S. Embassies in London, Berlin and Vienna; Boeing, Nike, Google, Microsoft, Shell, and at many universities and community screenings worldwide. Awards: “Garbage”, director, Best Doc at SXSW; “Carbon Nation” Best Doc, IVCA, London; “One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts” Best Short Doc winner at Cleveland International Film Festival and six more festivals.