KS farmer at heart of ‘Disrupted’ documentary

“I suppose part of it was vanity, but I would like to think the main reason I made the decision to participate was the fact that this is an important story and it’s not getting enough emphasis,” said Teske, a Kansas Farmers Union leader at ease chomping a cigar and mingling with livestock in the pasture. “By that, I mean the middle class disappearing.”

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August 28, 2020 - 11:30 AM

TOPEKA — Fifth-generation Kansan Donn Teske’s commitment to family farm survival and humility inspired by German Lutheran lineage argued against taking part in a documentary capturing adversity of three seemingly divergent middle-class Americans compelled to adapt in a turbulent economy.

Major health complications, staggering business debt and anxiety driven by a duty not to be the generation that failed — common issues faced by aging agriculture producers of the United States — weighed on him.

He subsequently agreed to tell his story in “The Disrupted,” a film by directors Sarah Colt and Josh Gleason about challenge, resilience and the quest for dignity of work by former Ohio factory worker and ex-convict Pete Velez, frustrated Uber driver Cheryl Long in Florida and Teske.

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