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MAD COWBOY: THE FEATURE DOCUMENTARY


Comments from Howard:
"The First Sixty Hours of Filming"

NOTE: the following are some quick notes Howard jotted down about the first 11 days of filming the documentary. Some links to some of the people and organizations he visited have been added to provide background information of note.


DAY 01: the documentary started in Montana with our five person team. Two from Florida, Pat Fitzgerald and Aaron Jordan, Travis Johnson from Arizona, and Michael Tobias from California.

First top was to visit Harry Mitchell, an old dairy farmer friend, and then Mike McDonald, a relative of my wife. Next visit was to Dr. George Carlson (Director) from the McLaughlin Research Institute working on prions.

DAY 02: we went to the ranch and interviewed Alan Ekblad, who worked for me and bought my house. Next was a visit to a factory hog, chicken, and dairy operation. We spent a good amount of time in the family cemetery and filming where I grew up and lived.

DAY 03: went to Sun River, Montana, to visit a cattle rancher friend Dick Gannon. His wife made us breakfast and an old dairy farmer neighbor joined us for a great discussion of the state of Agriculture. Then back to the airport to fly to Madison, Wisconsin.

DAY 04: started with a meeting with the top staff at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, who are trying to deal with removing 25,000 deer in 300 square miles infected with CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease). Then to the University of Wisconsin to interview Judd Aiken (Associate Professor) in the lab researching TSE. John Stauber (founding editor of PR Watch) was next who has worked with me for many years on the Mad Cow issue. The afternoon was visiting deer farms and interviewing John Kinsman, an organic dairy farmer activist. Attended a public meeting on CWD animals being deposited in pubic landfill.

DAY 05: back to the airport and fly to Washington, DC. Rented two vans and then off to interview Jim McPherson (chief executive officer of America's Blood Centers (ABC)). We hailed two cabs to Capitol Hill to meet with Cong. Dennis Kucinich. Great meeting with a vegan member of Congress. Finished the afternoon shooting B roll of the Capitol area. Returned to my home for supper and an interview with Jerry Cook.

DAY 06: started with interviewing David Senter, and Larry Mitchell, fellow farmer lobbyists, whom I worked with during my time as a lobbyist. Next it was Evie Dubrow, the oldest lobbyist at 91, and the longest serving at over 50 years in Washington. Great friend. The rest of the afternoon was interviewing Andy Kimbrell and Joe Mendelson, who I worked with in the Beyond Beef Campaign. Back to my home for supper and then the interview with my wife.

DAY 07: started with interviewing Neil Barnard at PRCM, and then Alex Hershaft at Farm. WorldWatch was next and they are planning to do a significant program on meat. Great interview. Back into the vans, and off to Philadelphia for dinner with Bill Owen, who was my campaign manager back in 1982.

DAY 08: started with the Bill Owen interview and shooting B roll in PA and then driving to Yonkers, NY.

DAY 09: was an early interview with Michael Hansen from Consumers Union and then a long drive to Ithaca, NY for an interview with T. Colin Campbell at Cornell University. Then to Farm Sanctuary to interview Dr. Lester Freelander a former USDA vet. We spent the night at George Eisman motel and then interviewed him. George is a Registered Dietician and started the first veg study program in the nation.

DAY 10: started with an interview with Gene and Lorri Bauston (Farm Sanctuary) and then a drive to Constableville to interview Bruce Krug a dairy farmer and county elected official. I have worked with Bruce for many years. We next drove to Syracuse, NY.

DAY 11: we all flew home. We have over sixty hours of film in the can and we are about half done shooting.



The book, MAD COWBOY by Howard Lyman and Glen Merzer, is in its 6th edition (as of 07/29/02) from Scribner publishing.


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