Less than a day after covering the inauguration of President Donald Trump, Tom Brokaw braved a snowstorm to travel to the Sundance Film Festival. The veteran newsman wasn’t there to report on the indie film market. He touched down in Utah to promote “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman,” a Discovery Channel documentary he narrates about a group of Red Staters who become global warming believers as they try to stem the effects of climate change.
“It’s about citizens who become environmentalists and who become political activists for the right reason,” Brokaw told Variety, as he sat at a steakhouse table that offered up a tableau of the winter storm blanketing Park City. “They do it because it’s their life. It’s their livelihoods. It’s their legacy. It’s what their families have done all their lives.”
It’s an issue and a way of life that resonates with Brokaw. He grew up in South Dakota, in the heart of America’s agricultural center, and he returns frequently to a ranch he’s owned in Montana since 1989. There he’s raised sheep, cattle, and other animals, and put easements on his land to keep it preserved.
“Tom’s connection to the story was unique,” said Rich Ross, president of the Discovery Channel. “We wanted someone who had a connection to these type of people.”