Quote of the day

August 5, 2019

People use drugs, legal and illegal, because their lives are intolerably painful or dull. They hate their work and find no rest in their leisure. They are estranged from their families and their neighbors. It should tell us something that in healthy societies drug use is celebrative, convivial, and occasional, whereas among us it is lonely, shameful, and addictive. We need drugs, apparently, because we have lost each other.”  ― Wendell Berry who celebrates his 85th birthday today.


August 5 in history

August 5, 2019

25 – Guangwu claimed the throne as emperor after a period of political turmoil, restoring the Han Dynasty after the collapse of the short-lived Xin Dynasty.

642  Battle of Maserfield – Penda of Mercia defeated and killed Oswald of Bernicia.

910  The last major Viking army to raid England was defeated at the Battle of Tettenhall by the allied forces of Mercia and Wessex, led by King Edward and Earl Aethelred.

1100 Henry I was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

1305 William Wallace, was captured by the English and transported to London where he was put on trial and executed.

1388 Battle of Otterburn, a border skirmish between the Scottish and the English in Northern England.

1583 Sir Humphrey Gilbert established the first English colony in North America, at what is now St John’s, Newfoundland.

1620 The Mayflower departed from Southampton on its first attempt to reach North America.

1689 – 1,500 Iroquois attacked the village of Lachine, in New France.

1716 The Battle of Petrovaradin.

1735  New York Weekly Journal writer John Peter Zenger was acquitted of seditious libel against the royal governor of New York, on the basis that what he had published was true.

1763 Pontiac’s War: Battle of Bushy Run – British forces led by Henry Bouquet defeated Chief Pontiac’s Indians at Bushy Run.

1772 The First Partition of Poland began.

1827 – Deodoro da Fonseca, Brazilian field marshal and politician, 1st President of Brazil, was born(d. 1892).

1858 Cyrus West Field and others completed the first transatlantic telegraph cable after several unsuccessful attempts.

1860 Carl IV of Sweden-Norway was crowned king of Norway, in Trondheim.

1861   The United States government levied the first income tax as part of the Revenue Act of 1861 (3% of all incomes over US $800; rescinded in 1872) to help pay for the Civil War.

1861  The United States Army abolished flogging.

1862 Joseph Merrick, the “Elephant Man” , was born (d. 1890).

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Baton Rouge.

1864  American Civil War: the Battle of Mobile Bay began – Admiral David Farragut led a Union flotilla through Confederate defenses and sealed one of the last major Southern ports.

1870 Franco-Prussian War: the Battle of Spicheren resulted in a Prussian victory.

1876 – Mary Ritter Beard, American historian and activist, was born (d. 1958).

1884 The cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty was laid.

1888  Bertha Benz drove from Mannheim to Pforzheim and back in the first long distance automobile trip.

1901  Peter O’Connor set the first IAAF recognised long jump world record of 24ft 11¾ins.

1908 Harold Holt, 17th Prime Minister of Australia, was born(d. 1967).

1914 – New Zealand entered World War 1.

New Zealand enters the First World War

1914  World War I: The German minelayer Königin Luise laid a minefield about 40 miles off the Thames Estuary. She was intercepted and sunk by the British light-cruiser HMS Amphion.

1914 In Cleveland, Ohio, the first electric traffic light was installed.

1918 – Betty Oliphant, English-Canadian ballerina, co-founded the Canada’s National Ballet School, was born (d. 2004).

1925 Plaid Cymru was formed with the aim of disseminating knowledge of the Welsh language.

1928 – Carla Lane, English television writer, was born (d. 2016).

1930 Neil Armstrong, American astronaut, was born (d. 2012).

1934 – Wendell Berry, American author, poet, and farmer, was born.

1940 World War II: The Soviet Union formally annexed Latvia.

1944  World War II: possibly the biggest prison breakout in history as 545 Japanese POWs attempted to escape outside the town of Cowra, NSW.

1944  Holocaust: Polish insurgents liberated a German labour camp in Warsaw, freeing 348 Jewish prisoners.

1949  In Ecuador  an earthquake destroyed 50 towns and killed more than 6000.

1957  American Bandstand debuted on the ABC television network.

1960  Burkina Faso, then known as Upper Volta, became independent from France.

1962 Nelson Mandela was jailed.

1963  The United States, United Kingdom, and Soviet Union signed anuclear test ban treaty.

1964  Vietnam War: Operation Pierce Arrow – American aircraft from carriers USS Ticonderoga and USS Constellation bombed North Vietnam in retaliation for strikes which attacked U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.

1979   In Afghanistan, Maoists undertake an attempted military uprising.

1988 The Cartwright report condemned the treatment of cervical cancer.

Cartwright Report condemns cervical cancer treatment

1995  The city of Knin, a significant Serb stronghold, was captured by Croatian forces during Operation Storm.

2003  A car bomb exploded in Jakarta outside the Marriott Hotel killing 12 and injuring 150.

2010 – Ten members of International Assistance Mission Nuristan Eye Camp team were killed by persons unknown in Kuran wa Munjan District of Badakhshan Province in Afghanistan.

2010 – Copiapó mining accident  trapped 33 Chilean miners approximately 2,300 ft below the ground.

2012 – The Oak Creek shooting took place at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, killing six people; the perpetrator was shot dead by police.

2015  – The Gold King Mine waste water spill released 3 million gallons of heavy metal toxin tailings and waste water into the Animas River in Colorado.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


August 5 in history

August 5, 2018

25 – Guangwu claimed the throne as emperor after a period of political turmoil, restoring the Han Dynasty after the collapse of the short-lived Xin Dynasty.

642  Battle of Maserfield – Penda of Mercia defeated and killed Oswald of Bernicia.

910  The last major Viking army to raid England was defeated at the Battle of Tettenhall by the allied forces of Mercia and Wessex, led by King Edward and Earl Aethelred.

1100 Henry I was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

1305 William Wallace, was captured by the English and transported to London where he was put on trial and executed.

1388 Battle of Otterburn, a border skirmish between the Scottish and the English in Northern England.

1583 Sir Humphrey Gilbert established the first English colony in North America, at what is now St John’s, Newfoundland.

1620 The Mayflower departed from Southampton on its first attempt to reach North America.

1689 – 1,500 Iroquois attacked the village of Lachine, in New France.

1716 The Battle of Petrovaradin.

1735  New York Weekly Journal writer John Peter Zenger was acquitted of seditious libel against the royal governor of New York, on the basis that what he had published was true.

1763 Pontiac’s War: Battle of Bushy Run – British forces led by Henry Bouquet defeated Chief Pontiac’s Indians at Bushy Run.

1772 The First Partition of Poland began.

1827 – Deodoro da Fonseca, Brazilian field marshal and politician, 1st President of Brazil, was born(d. 1892).

1858 Cyrus West Field and others completed the first transatlantic telegraph cable after several unsuccessful attempts.

1860 Carl IV of Sweden-Norway was crowned king of Norway, in Trondheim.

1861   The United States government levied the first income tax as part of the Revenue Act of 1861 (3% of all incomes over US $800; rescinded in 1872) to help pay for the Civil War.

1861  The United States Army abolished flogging.

1862 Joseph Merrick, the “Elephant Man” , was born (d. 1890).

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Baton Rouge.

1864  American Civil War: the Battle of Mobile Bay began – Admiral David Farragut led a Union flotilla through Confederate defenses and sealed one of the last major Southern ports.

1870 Franco-Prussian War: the Battle of Spicheren resulted in a Prussian victory.

1876 – Mary Ritter Beard, American historian and activist, was born (d. 1958).

1884 The cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty was laid.

1888  Bertha Benz drove from Mannheim to Pforzheim and back in the first long distance automobile trip.

1901  Peter O’Connor set the first IAAF recognised long jump world record of 24ft 11¾ins.

1908 Harold Holt, 17th Prime Minister of Australia, was born(d. 1967).

1914 – New Zealand entered World War 1.

New Zealand enters the First World War

1914  World War I: The German minelayer Königin Luise laid a minefield about 40 miles off the Thames Estuary. She was intercepted and sunk by the British light-cruiser HMS Amphion.

1914 In Cleveland, Ohio, the first electric traffic light was installed.

1918 – Betty Oliphant, English-Canadian ballerina, co-founded the Canada’s National Ballet School, was born (d. 2004).

1925 Plaid Cymru was formed with the aim of disseminating knowledge of the Welsh language.

1928 – Carla Lane, English television writer, was born (d. 2016).

1930 Neil Armstrong, American astronaut, was born (d. 2012).

1934 – Wendell Berry, American author, poet, and farmer, was born.

1940 World War II: The Soviet Union formally annexed Latvia.

1944  World War II: possibly the biggest prison breakout in history as 545 Japanese POWs attempted to escape outside the town of Cowra, NSW.

1944  Holocaust: Polish insurgents liberated a German labour camp in Warsaw, freeing 348 Jewish prisoners.

1949  In Ecuador  an earthquake destroyed 50 towns and killed more than 6000.

1957  American Bandstand debuted on the ABC television network.

1960  Burkina Faso, then known as Upper Volta, became independent from France.

1962 Nelson Mandela was jailed.

1963  The United States, United Kingdom, and Soviet Union signed anuclear test ban treaty.

1964  Vietnam War: Operation Pierce Arrow – American aircraft from carriers USS Ticonderoga and USS Constellation bombed North Vietnam in retaliation for strikes which attacked U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.

1979   In Afghanistan, Maoists undertake an attempted military uprising.

1988 The Cartwright report condemned the treatment of cervical cancer.

Cartwright Report condemns cervical cancer treatment

1995  The city of Knin, a significant Serb stronghold, was captured by Croatian forces during Operation Storm.

2003  A car bomb exploded in Jakarta outside the Marriott Hotel killing 12 and injuring 150.

2010 – Ten members of International Assistance Mission Nuristan Eye Camp team were killed by persons unknown in Kuran wa Munjan District of Badakhshan Province in Afghanistan.

2010 – Copiapó mining accident  trapped 33 Chilean miners approximately 2,300 ft below the ground.

2012 – The Oak Creek shooting took place at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, killing six people; the perpetrator was shot dead by police.

2015  – The Gold King Mine waste water spill released 3 million gallons of heavy metal toxin tailings and waste water into the Animas River in Colorado.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


August 5 in history

July 5, 2018

25 – Guangwu claimed the throne as emperor after a period of political turmoil, restoring the Han Dynasty after the collapse of the short-lived Xin Dynasty.

642  Battle of Maserfield – Penda of Mercia defeated and killed Oswald of Bernicia.

910  The last major Viking army to raid England was defeated at the Battle of Tettenhall by the allied forces of Mercia and Wessex, led by King Edward and Earl Aethelred.

1100 Henry I was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

1305 William Wallace, was captured by the English and transported to London where he was put on trial and executed.

1388 Battle of Otterburn, a border skirmish between the Scottish and the English in Northern England.

1583 Sir Humphrey Gilbert established the first English colony in North America, at what is now St John’s, Newfoundland.

1620 The Mayflower departed from Southampton on its first attempt to reach North America.

1689 – 1,500 Iroquois attacked the village of Lachine, in New France.

1716 The Battle of Petrovaradin.

1735  New York Weekly Journal writer John Peter Zenger was acquitted of seditious libel against the royal governor of New York, on the basis that what he had published was true.

1763 Pontiac’s War: Battle of Bushy Run – British forces led by Henry Bouquet defeated Chief Pontiac’s Indians at Bushy Run.

1772 The First Partition of Poland began.

1827 – Deodoro da Fonseca, Brazilian field marshal and politician, 1st President of Brazil, was born(d. 1892).

1858 Cyrus West Field and others completed the first transatlantic telegraph cable after several unsuccessful attempts.

1860 Carl IV of Sweden-Norway was crowned king of Norway, in Trondheim.

1861   The United States government levied the first income tax as part of the Revenue Act of 1861 (3% of all incomes over US $800; rescinded in 1872) to help pay for the Civil War.

1861  The United States Army abolished flogging.

1862 Joseph Merrick, the “Elephant Man” , was born (d. 1890).

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Baton Rouge.

1864  American Civil War: the Battle of Mobile Bay began – Admiral David Farragut led a Union flotilla through Confederate defenses and sealed one of the last major Southern ports.

1870 Franco-Prussian War: the Battle of Spicheren resulted in a Prussian victory.

1876 – Mary Ritter Beard, American historian and activist, was born (d. 1958).

1884 The cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty was laid.

1888  Bertha Benz drove from Mannheim to Pforzheim and back in the first long distance automobile trip.

1901  Peter O’Connor set the first IAAF recognised long jump world record of 24ft 11¾ins.

1908 Harold Holt, 17th Prime Minister of Australia, was born(d. 1967).

1914 – New Zealand entered World War 1.

New Zealand enters the First World War

1914  World War I: The German minelayer Königin Luise laid a minefield about 40 miles off the Thames Estuary. She was intercepted and sunk by the British light-cruiser HMS Amphion.

1914 In Cleveland, Ohio, the first electric traffic light was installed.

1918 – Betty Oliphant, English-Canadian ballerina, co-founded the Canada’s National Ballet School, was born (d. 2004).

1925 Plaid Cymru was formed with the aim of disseminating knowledge of the Welsh language.

1928 – Carla Lane, English television writer, was born (d. 2016).

1930 Neil Armstrong, American astronaut, was born (d. 2012).

1934 – Wendell Berry, American author, poet, and farmer, was born.

1940 World War II: The Soviet Union formally annexed Latvia.

1944  World War II: possibly the biggest prison breakout in history as 545 Japanese POWs attempted to escape outside the town of Cowra, NSW.

1944  Holocaust: Polish insurgents liberated a German labour camp in Warsaw, freeing 348 Jewish prisoners.

1949  In Ecuador  an earthquake destroyed 50 towns and killed more than 6000.

1957  American Bandstand debuted on the ABC television network.

1960  Burkina Faso, then known as Upper Volta, became independent from France.

1962 Nelson Mandela was jailed.

1963  The United States, United Kingdom, and Soviet Union signed anuclear test ban treaty.

1964  Vietnam War: Operation Pierce Arrow – American aircraft from carriers USS Ticonderoga and USS Constellation bombed North Vietnam in retaliation for strikes which attacked U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.

1979   In Afghanistan, Maoists undertake an attempted military uprising.

1988 The Cartwright report condemned the treatment of cervical cancer.

Cartwright Report condemns cervical cancer treatment

1995  The city of Knin, a significant Serb stronghold, was captured by Croatian forces during Operation Storm.

2003  A car bomb exploded in Jakarta outside the Marriott Hotel killing 12 and injuring 150.

2010 – Ten members of International Assistance Mission Nuristan Eye Camp team were killed by persons unknown in Kuran wa Munjan District of Badakhshan Province in Afghanistan.

2010 – Copiapó mining accident  trapped 33 Chilean miners approximately 2,300 ft below the ground.

2012 – The Oak Creek shooting took place at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, killing six people; the perpetrator was shot dead by police.

2015  – The Gold King Mine waste water spill released 3 million gallons of heavy metal toxin tailings and waste water into the Animas River in Colorado.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


World Food Day

October 16, 2017

Today is World Food Day:

FAO celebrates World Food Day each year on 16 October to commemorate the founding of the Organization in 1945. Events are organized in over 150 countries across the world, making it one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. These events promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all.

World Food Day is a chance to show our commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030.

It’s also a day for us to celebrate the progress we have already made towards reaching #ZeroHunger.

Why should we care about World Food Day and #ZeroHunger?

• The right to food is a basic human right.

• Investing in sustainable food systems and rural development means addressing some of the major global challenges – from feeding the world’s growing population to protecting the global climate, and tackling some of the root causes of migration and displacement.

• Achieving the 17 SDGs cannot happen without ending hunger, and without having sustainable and resilient, climate-compatible agriculture and food systems that deliver for the people and the planet.

• Reaching #ZeroHunger is possible: out of the 129 countries monitored by FAO, 72 have already achieved the target of halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015; over the past 20 years, the likelihood of a child dying before age five has been nearly cut in half, with about 17,000 children saved every day; extreme poverty rates have been cut in half since 1990.

Ten facts you need to know about Hunger

  1. The world produces enough food to feed everyone, yet, about 800 million people suffer from hunger. That is one in nine people. 60% of them are women.
  2. About 80% of the world’s extreme poor live in rural areas. Most of them depend on agriculture.
  3. Hunger kills more people every year than malaria, tuberculosis and aids combined.
  4. Around 45% of infant deaths are related to malnutrition.
  5. The cost of malnutrition to the global economy is the equivalent of USD 3.5 trillion a year.
  6. 1.9 billion people – more than a quarter of the world’s population – are overweight.
  7. One third of the food produced worldwide is lost or wasted.
  8. The world will need to produce 60 percent more food by 2050 to feed a growing population.
  9. No other sector is more sensitive to climate change than agriculture.
  10. FAO works mainly in rural areas, in 130 countries. We work with governments, civil society, the private sector and other partners to achieve #ZeroHunger.

Let’s not forget where most of the food comes from:

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling

Eating is an agricultural act – Wendell Berry.

Image may contain: one or more people and text

A farmer works to that the world can eat.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor and text

If you ate today, thank a farmer.


August 5 in history

August 5, 2017

25 – Guangwu claimed the throne as emperor after a period of political turmoil, restoring the Han Dynasty after the collapse of the short-lived Xin Dynasty.

642  Battle of Maserfield – Penda of Mercia defeated and killed Oswald of Bernicia.

910  The last major Viking army to raid England was defeated at the Battle of Tettenhall by the allied forces of Mercia and Wessex, led by King Edward and Earl Aethelred.

1100 Henry I was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

1305 William Wallace, was captured by the English and transported to London where he was put on trial and executed.

1388 Battle of Otterburn, a border skirmish between the Scottish and the English in Northern England.

1583 Sir Humphrey Gilbert established the first English colony in North America, at what is now St John’s, Newfoundland.

1620 The Mayflower departed from Southampton on its first attempt to reach North America.

1689 – 1,500 Iroquois attacked the village of Lachine, in New France.

1716 The Battle of Petrovaradin.

1735  New York Weekly Journal writer John Peter Zenger was acquitted of seditious libel against the royal governor of New York, on the basis that what he had published was true.

1763 Pontiac’s War: Battle of Bushy Run – British forces led by Henry Bouquet defeated Chief Pontiac’s Indians at Bushy Run.

1772 The First Partition of Poland began.

1827 – Deodoro da Fonseca, Brazilian field marshal and politician, 1st President of Brazil, was born(d. 1892).

1858 Cyrus West Field and others completed the first transatlantic telegraph cable after several unsuccessful attempts.

1860 Carl IV of Sweden-Norway was crowned king of Norway, in Trondheim.

1861   The United States government levied the first income tax as part of the Revenue Act of 1861 (3% of all incomes over US $800; rescinded in 1872) to help pay for the Civil War.

1861  The United States Army abolished flogging.

1862 Joseph Merrick, the “Elephant Man” , was born (d. 1890).

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Baton Rouge.

1864  American Civil War: the Battle of Mobile Bay began – Admiral David Farragut led a Union flotilla through Confederate defenses and sealed one of the last major Southern ports.

1870 Franco-Prussian War: the Battle of Spicheren resulted in a Prussian victory.

1876 – Mary Ritter Beard, American historian and activist, was born (d. 1958).

1884 The cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty was laid.

1888  Bertha Benz drove from Mannheim to Pforzheim and back in the first long distance automobile trip.

1901  Peter O’Connor set the first IAAF recognised long jump world record of 24ft 11¾ins.

1908 Harold Holt, 17th Prime Minister of Australia, was born(d. 1967).

1914 – New Zealand entered World War 1.

New Zealand enters the First World War

1914  World War I: The German minelayer Königin Luise laid a minefield about 40 miles off the Thames Estuary. She was intercepted and sunk by the British light-cruiser HMS Amphion.

1914 In Cleveland, Ohio, the first electric traffic light was installed.

1918 – Betty Oliphant, English-Canadian ballerina, co-founded the Canada’s National Ballet School, was born (d. 2004).

1925 Plaid Cymru was formed with the aim of disseminating knowledge of the Welsh language.

1928 – Carla Lane, English television writer, was born (d. 2016).

1930 Neil Armstrong, American astronaut, was born (d. 2012).

1934 – Wendell Berry, American author, poet, and farmer, was born.

1940 World War II: The Soviet Union formally annexed Latvia.

1944  World War II: possibly the biggest prison breakout in history as 545 Japanese POWs attempted to escape outside the town of Cowra, NSW.

1944  Holocaust: Polish insurgents liberated a German labour camp in Warsaw, freeing 348 Jewish prisoners.

1949  In Ecuador  an earthquake destroyed 50 towns and killed more than 6000.

1957  American Bandstand debuted on the ABC television network.

1960  Burkina Faso, then known as Upper Volta, became independent from France.

1962 Nelson Mandela was jailed.

1963  The United States, United Kingdom, and Soviet Union signed anuclear test ban treaty.

1964  Vietnam War: Operation Pierce Arrow – American aircraft from carriers USS Ticonderoga and USS Constellation bombed North Vietnam in retaliation for strikes which attacked U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.

1979   In Afghanistan, Maoists undertake an attempted military uprising.

1988 The Cartwright report condemned the treatment of cervical cancer.

Cartwright Report condemns cervical cancer treatment

1995  The city of Knin, a significant Serb stronghold, was captured by Croatian forces during Operation Storm.

2003  A car bomb exploded in Jakarta outside the Marriott Hotel killing 12 and injuring 150.

2010 – Ten members of International Assistance Mission Nuristan Eye Camp team were killed by persons unknown in Kuran wa Munjan District of Badakhshan Province in Afghanistan.

2010 – Copiapó mining accident  trapped 33 Chilean miners approximately 2,300 ft below the ground.

2012 – The Oak Creek shooting took place at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, killing six people; the perpetrator was shot dead by police.

2015  – The Gold King Mine waste water spill released 3 million gallons of heavy metal toxin tailings and waste water into the Animas River in Colorado.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Rural round-up

July 15, 2017

Wool needs red carpet treatment – Neal Wallace:

Wool growers need to put their hands in their pockets to fund the education of marketers and retailers on the merits of carpet wool, an industry veteran says.

Richard Bloemendal, a director of Tech ‘N’ Color, has worked in the New Zealand textile industry since 1980. He said key people in the retail chain today were ignorant of the merits of wool.

He was commenting on news that thousands of bales of short, strong crossbred wool were being placed in storage since the price collapsed because of a lack of demand from yarn manufacturers. . .

Young blood comes in from the cold –  Neal Wallace:

As the country shivered this week through its coldest period of winter so far, 28-year-old Nigel Woodhead conceded the timing wasn’t great.

For the past nine months or so the newly-crowned FMG Young Farmer of the Year confessed to most days making sure his stock was shifted, healthy and fed before returning home to study and prepare for the annual contest.

Now, as the mercury plummets, he has no such excuse. . .

Footrot result a boost for merino – Annette Scott:

A scientific breakthrough has put Kiwi farmers a step closer to breeding footrot-resistant flocks and increasing production of premium Merinos.

Scientists from the NZ Merino Company broke new ground using DNA sampling to accurately predict how resilient a sheep’s progeny would be to footrot.

The breakthrough was the result of four years research and studies using the world’s largest single-site central progeny test. . .

Stink Bug Agreement signed:

 The Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is one of the biggest threats facing New Zealand’s horticultural sector. It threatens the livelihoods of primary sector producers, and would impact on the quality of life of all New Zealanders if ever able to establish here.

An agreement to reduce the damaging impact of BMSB incursion was signed today by a number of horticultural sector groups and Government at the Horticulture NZ Conference in Tauranga. . .

Letters to a Young Farmer– Danielle Nierenberg:

Today, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture released Letters to a Young Farmer,  a book which compiles insight from some of the most influential farmers, writers, and leaders in the food system in an anthology of essays and letters.

The United States is on the cusp of the largest retirement of farmers in U.S. history, with more farmers over the age of 75 than between the ages of 35 and 44. Letters to a Young Farmer aims to help beginning farmers succeed through advice and encouragement, while inspiring all who work in or care about the food system. Among the 36 contributors to the book are thought leaders Barbara Kingsolver, Bill McKibben, Michael Pollan, Dan Barber, Temple Grandin, Wendell Berry, Rick Bayless, and Marion Nestle. I was honored to contribute to the book as well! . . 

Barbara Kingsolver Cheers on Young Farmers:

Letters to a Young Farmer is full of good counsel for the next generation from the likes of Wendell Berry, Michael Pollan, and the noted novelist Barbara Kingsolver.

Dear young farmer,

Let me speak to you as a familiar, because of all the years I’ve cherished members of your tribe. Of course, I also know you’re only yourself, just as I remember the uniqueness of every intern, WWOOFer, and summer weed-puller who has spent a season or two on our family’s farm. Some preferred to work without shoes. Some were captivated by the science of soils, botany, and pest management. Some listened to their iPods, or meditated, or even sang as they hoed and weeded, while others found no music among the bean bee­tles. A few confessed to finding this work too hard, but many have gone on to manage other farms or buy places of their own. In these exceptional souls I invest my hopes.

I don’t need to tell you what there is to love in this life; you’ve chosen it. Maybe you’ve even had to defend that choice already against family or academic advisers who don’t see the future in farming. . . 


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