“For anyone interested in the science of how genetic alteration can have devastating effects on both the animal and human population, The Holstein Dilemma should prove extremely informative. Recommended” – M. Fishman, Film Critic.

Heritage Breeds and the Need for Biodiversity…Intense genetic selection can have an unintended side effect.

“Nearly all male Holsteins alive today can be traced back to two bulls from the 1960s.” – Chad Dechow and Wansheng Liu, Pennsylvania State University, College of Agricultural Sciences.

“The Holstein Dilemma” is about far more than the state of Holsteins. It is an investigative documentary delving into agribusiness and the importance of maintaining the diverse genetic characteristics found in all heritage breed livestock and crops.

What started out as a simple question at a livestock fair inspired filmmakers Rick and Elara Bowman to search for answers across North America, from those who actually do the work and the experts that back it up with science.

Compelling data and discussions on this looming crisis reveal scientific evidence of a looming threat to food safety. The film also reveals several grassroots conservation efforts to preserve and protect genetic biodiversity and the security of our global food supply.

This film explores why diversity is important in today’s agricultural model that’s based on large volume, fast growth, and the cheapest product possible for the consumer, but little else. It explores how we can balance the need to produce food for a hungry planet vs. the need for biodiversity in our one-track production model.

That’s The Holstein Dilemma.

Among those featured in the film are:

  • Temple Grandin (Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University)
  • Cary Fowler (American agriculturalist and the former executive director of the Crop Trust)
  • Isabella Rossellini (Actress and Sundance Channel commissioned filmmaker of The Green)
  • Adam Danforth (James Beard award-winning author of two books, published by Storey Publishing, about slaughtering and butchering livestock).

As seen on Public Television and the Winner: Accolade Global Film Competition, Award of Recognition

Documentary / 2021 / 92 Minutes / English / A Film by Rick & Elara Bowman (Banjos, Bluegrass and Squirrel Barkers)


Public Performance and Digital Site Licenses are available through Soundview Media Partners. To inquire or to place an order, write to info@soundviewmediapartners.com or simply choose from the options below:

License Options

For group screening prices, please inquire.

In home/personal use copies of the DVD available from Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xEBTeP

Watch the trailer

The Holstein Dilemma Trailer from Rick Bowman on Vimeo.