Peter Byck Talks ‘Roots So Deep’ Documentary: “It’s A People Project”

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The four-part series “Roots So Deep,” directed by Peter Byck, explores if regenerative grazing can be part of a climate solution. The idea that cattle can help slow down climate change may actually help farmers get out of debt, increase soil health, and rebuild wildife habitat. Byck, the filmmaker behind the documentary “Carbon Nation,” discussed “Roots So Deep (you can see the devil down there)” with CinemAddicts co-host Eric Holmes.

Director Peter Byck is currently part of a $10 million research project comparing conventional grazing and Adaptive Mult-Paddock (AMP) grazing. In 2020, he released his 10-part documentary short film series “Carbon Cowboys.” That project focused on regenerative grazing.

Bill Keener and Jon Lundgren in “Roots So Deep (you can see the devil down there)”

For “Roots So Deep,” Byck did not want to make a documentary that preached to the choir or bemoaned the state of the world. Byck is “focused on solutions,” and in the process he was able to meet a diverse array of people.

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“We have all these ranchers and farmers who are grazing in this really beautiful way, echoing the way bison moved across the Great Plains,” said Byck. “And it looks like it’s doing some good. But we didn’t know. Is this a solution to climate change? Is it better for the farmer? Is it better for the land? So we designed this research project to compare the adaptive grazing with conventional grazing on five farm pairs in the Southeast U.S.. We got to meet some pretty amazing farm families on both sides of the fence. And that’s what to me made this so much more enjoyable. It’s not just a science project. It’s a people project.”

This issue, from Byck’s perspective, should not be bogged down by political idealogy. “Healthy soil is the common ground that I hunt for on a daily basis,” said Byck. This passion for regenerative agriculture is universal: “people love nature, and that’s where I want to build from.”

Roots So Deep (you can see the devil down there) is now available on VOD. Check out the documentary’s official site for details!