Love for the Land


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Lessons from Farmers Who Persist in Place

Brooks Lamb

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A captivating exploration of presence and place told through the stories and insights of small farmers who, despite intense adversity, continue caring for their land
Love for the Land investigates the power and potential of people-place relationships. Through clear and compelling prose, it elevates the virtues of imagination, affection, and fidelity—concepts promoted by farmer-writer Wendell Berry—and shows how they motivate small and mid-size farmers to continue caring for their land, even in the face of systemic challenges. Paying particular attention to farmland loss from suburban sprawl, rampant agricultural consolidation, and, for farmers of color, racial injustice, Brooks Lamb reckons with the harsh realities that smaller-scale farmers face.
Relying on in-depth interviews and hands-on experiences in two changing rural communities, Lamb shares stories and sacrifices from dozens of farmers, local leaders, agricultural service providers, and land conservationists. His rural roots and farming background enable him to cultivate honest, trusting connections with the farmers he engages, yielding raw and powerful insights. Time and again, compelling evidence reveals that stewardship virtues encourage people to live and act as devoted caretakers.
With a refreshing and accessible approach, Lamb argues that these resilient and often overlooked farmers show rural and urban people alike a way forward, one that serves people, places, and the planet. That path is rooted in love for the land.

Brooks Lamb has served farms and farmers on local, state, and national levels. He currently works with American Farmland Trust and writes on agrarian and environmental issues. Originally from Holts Corner, Tennessee, he now lives in Memphis.

Love for the Land puts readers directly in touch with farmers, highlighting their hopes and concerns as they navigate a complex agricultural and land management landscape.”—Norman Wirzba, author of This Sacred Life: Humanity’s Place in a Wounded World

“Brooks Lamb uses the inspiring words of farmers who remain on their land to show how they exemplify the stewardship virtues of imagination, affection, and fidelity.”—Brian Donahue, author of Reclaiming the Commons: Community Farms and Forests in a New England Town
ISBN: 9780300267440
Publication Date: July 11, 2023
280 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
24 b/w illus.
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