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A Family-Run Saltworks | Farms Across America

We meet up with co-founder and CEO of J.Q. Dickinson Saltworks, Nancy Brun, in West Virginia to learn more about the family business and sustainability across America.

A 7th-generation West Virginia family digs a well on their farm to revive a 200-year-old trade in rare, small-batch finishing salt, harvested from the ancient Iapetus Ocean flowing under the mountains of Appalachia. Now they hand harvest 20,000 pounds of pure salt annually and they sell every single grain of it before the season’s over. The Dickinson family is rooted in the region and legend has it their ancestors were the first to drill for brine along the Kanawha River, back in 1817, using a hollowed-out tree trunk for piping.

For Farms Across America, we meet up with co-founder and CEO Nancy Brun at the J.Q. Dickinson mercantile where she features local producers alongside their legendary salt. She takes us straight to the source — the farm, the well, and the sun rooms where we witness the harvest. And then… we eat.

Executive chef Paul Smith of 1010 Bridge prepares a true farm-to-table feast, showcasing Appalachia’s finest — produce from Turnrow Collective, meat from Swift Level Farm and next door neighbor Dickinson Gould of Buzz Foods, tomatoes from Patriot Guardens’ MSgt Whanger, mushrooms from Hernshaw Farms, finished with pure J.Q. Dickinson salt — and a hearty toast with Big Timber beer. Gathered round the table are people of innovation and hope, representing communities working for a more sustainable future in West Virginia and across America.

FARMS ACROSS AMERICA sits down for a family meal in Malden, West Virginia.

Nancy Bruns
Chef Paul Smith
Lewis Payne
MSgt David Whanger
Marie Clark
Zachary Drennen
Matthew David Thompson
Ed Haden
Andrea Duke
George Patterson
Dickinson Gould
Melissa Stewart

Special thanks to Fritz Boettner and the Turnrow Appalachian Farm Collective for additional footage.

Directed by Eric Feigenbaum
Created by Conor Gaughan and Kate Tucker
Written and hosted by Kate Tucker

Produced by Consensus Digital Media in partnership with Remedial Media

Executive Producer – Kate Tucker
Executive Producer – Jessie English
Executive Producer – Eric Feigenbaum
Executive Producer – Conor Gaughan

Editor – Nicholas Nazmi
Assistant Editor – David Connelly
Director of Photography – Jared Watson
Camera Operator – Liza Gipsova
Sound Engineer – Tom Eichler
Super Swing/Gaffer/DIT – Isaac Rosenthal
Audio Mixer / Sound Design – Dillon Terry
Color Grading – Bilal Saif
Graphic Design – Stephen Lepsch
Production Assistant – Justin Stebbins

Farms Across America
Farmers. They put the heart and soul in the heartland. They build our economy from the ground up, rooted in honest hard work and hope for the future. In the words of Paul Harvey… “On the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, ‘I need a caretaker.’ So God made a farmer.”

Made In America
Hidden away in small towns, on family farms, down winding roads, are uplifting American stories of innovation and strength – stories of what this country makes, and what makes this country great. We survive the toughest of times and we celebrate our victories. That’s the essence of being Made in America.

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