Food technology, diversity, inclusion explored in new film

Ty Warmer and Joelle Lazzareschi
Courtesy JenTen Productions
Ty Warmer (left) and Joelle Lazzareschi check tomato plants in a still photo from the film, "Hearts of Glass."
September 15, 2020

Lincoln, Neb. —University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty, students and staff are invited to view the documentary “Hearts of Glass” and participate in a panel discussion with writer, director and producer Jennifer Tennican, employees of Vertical Harvest and experts from among the Nebraska faculty.

The film will be available for viewing Sept. 24 through Oct. 2. The panel discussion will take place 3-4 p.m. Oct. 1 via Zoom. 

“Hearts of Glass” follows the first 15 months of operation of Vertical Harvest, a multi- story, state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouse in Jackson, Wyoming. Vertical Harvest grows crops while providing meaningful, competitively paid jobs for people with disabilities. The film addresses a range of issues, including sustainable agriculture, availability of locally grown foods, food technology, diversity and inclusion, disability rights and workforce development.

“’Hearts of Glass’ touches on many issues central to the UNL community, particularly those related to the future of food production, farm-to-table business models, and diversity and inclusion,” said Rich Bischoff, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources associate vice chancellor for faculty and academic leader success. “It is a thoughtful and thought-provoking film and a wonderful starting point for discussions related to sustainability, local food production, inclusion, and a host of other important issues.”

University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty were invited to incorporate the film and discussion into their fall curriculum. In addition, all university students, faculty and staff may watch the film and participate in the discussion. A link to the film will be available beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 24. The film’s producer has asked that students, faculty and staff not share the link with individuals or groups outside the university.

Find more information or view the trailer here. For information on the panel discussion, film availability, or incorporating the film into a class curriculum, contact Rich Bischoff at 402-472-5801.

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