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Follows the themes of the legendary radio commentator's speech "So God Made A Farmer," depicting the lives and work of farmers across the United States.
Tells the story of Dennis and Jane Steidinger and their eight children, portraying the difficult but rewarding way of life for a farm family. By the author of Amish Home and Frontier Home.
Is there still a place for the farm in today’s America? The family farm lies at the heart of our national identity, yet its future is in peril. Rick Hammond grew up on a small ranch, and for forty years he has raised cattle and crops on his wife’s fifth-generation homestead in York County, Nebraska, in hopes of passing it on to their four children. But as the handoff nears, their small family farm—and their entire way of life—are under siege. Rising corporate ownership of land and livestock is forcing small farmers to get bigger and bigger, assuming more debt and more risk. At the same time, after nearly a decade of record-high corn and soybean prices, the bottom has dropped out of the markets, making it ever harder for small farmers to shoulder their loans. All the while, the Hammonds are confronted by encroaching pipelines, groundwater depletion, climate change, and shifting trade policies. Far from an isolated refuge beyond the reach of global events, the family farm is increasingly at the crossroads of emerging technologies and international detente. Following the Hammonds from harvest to harvest, Ted Genoways explores this rapidly changing landscape of small, traditional farming operations, mapping as it unfolds day to day. This Blessed Earth is both a concise exploration of the history of the American small farm and a vivid, nuanced portrait of one family’s fight to preserve their legacy and the life they love.
Provides a new perspective on the documentary diversity of Muriel Rukeyser's work and influencesWinner of the inaugural Peggy O'Brien Book Prize of the Irish Association for American Studies (IAAS)
Eighty-year-old farmer and cabinet maker Roy Anderson provides an oral history of his inspiring and deeply American life of enterprise and self-reliance in often desperate circumstances, and of the importance of community and faith. The text is beautifully enhanced by the photographs of Diane Asso Griliches. Includes a CD of Roy Anderson telling parts of his story.
Farming is essential to the American economy and our daily lives, yet few of us have much contact with farmers except through the food we eat. Who are America's farmers? Why is farming important to them? How are they coping with dramatic changes to their way of life? In the Blood paints a vivid and moving portrait of America’s farm families, shedding new light on their beliefs, values, and complicated relationship with the land. Drawing on more than two hundred in-depth interviews, Robert Wuthnow presents farmers in their own voices as they speak candidly about their family traditions, aspirations for their children, business arrangements, and conflicts with family members. They describe their changing relationships with neighbors, their shifting views about religion, and the subtle ways they defend their personal independence. Wuthnow shares the stories of farmers who operate dairies, raise livestock, and grow our fruit and vegetables. We hear from corn and soybean farmers, wheat-belt farmers, and cotton growers. We gain new insights into how farmers assign meaning to the land, and how they grapple with the increasingly difficult challenges of biotechnology and global markets. In the Blood reveals how, despite profound changes in modern agriculture, farming remains an enduring commitment that runs deeply in the veins of today’s farm families.

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