'The Last Barn Dance:' Innovation At A North Carolina Dairy Farm

Mar 10, 2015

Filmmakers Ted Richardson and Jason Arthurs plan to release their new documentary "The Last Barn Dance" in the next month.
Credit Jason Arthurs and Ted Richardson


Randy Lewis' dairy farm has been a gathering place for the people of Eli Whitney, N.C., for more than 50 years.

His family's annual barn dances are living relics of simpler times in North Carolina's agricultural industry.

But the Great Recession forced farmers to find new ways to save those traditions. Many went out of business. Lewis and a handful of others stopped falling further into debt by bottling their own milk. But it remains to be seen whether cultural traditions like the barn dance will stay alive.

A forthcoming documentary, The Last Barn Dancechronicles Lewis' fight for the farm and the traditions that come with it.

The film premieres in North Carolina on May 31 at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw. 

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with Lewis and filmmakers Jason Arthurs and Ted Richardson about what it takes to run a modern dairy farm.

Check out the trailer for the documentary film below.