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Fields of Learning: The Student Farm Movement in North America (Culture Of The Land) Hardcover – June 7, 2011

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Fields of Learning: The Student Farm Movement in North America (Culture Of The Land) + Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems (Community Resilience Guides)
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Editorial Reviews


"Fields of Learning makes a strong case for reorganizing the way we produce food in this country, specifically claiming that we put more people on the land―many more, not fewer, as has been the calamitous trend during the 'agribusiness' Reign of Error. And if it hasn't been obvious to educators that their institutions should actually help fix what Wes Jackson calls the 'eyes-to-acre ratio,' it ought to be now. This is a timely and hopeful book."―Jason Peters, editor of Wendell Berry: Life and Work"

"The opportunity for students to spend time learning on campus farms is not just a good idea–-it should be mandatory."―Gary Hirshberg, President & CEO, Stonyfield Farm"

"Some books are interesting, but not necessary. Others are necessary, but not interesting. Fields of Learning is a necessary book, and thankfully, interesting."―Wes Jackson, author of Consulting the Genius of the Place: An Ecological Approach to a New Agriculture"

"With only 1 1/2% of all Americans identifying themselves as farmers, our most urgent national security need is to recruit the coming generation of food producers in both rural and urban landscapes. Sayre and Clark provide an essential service toward meeting this need by showing how the student farm movement is doing more to train the future leaders of North America's food system than the Farm Bureau may be doing. Their lovely and inspiring message should be heard by all."―Gary Paul Nabhan, PhD., "father" of the local food movement, author of Coming Home to Eat and Where Our Food Comes From"

"As young, aspiring land stewards flock to the farm-food localization movement, Fields of Learning offers a blueprint for farm-school endeavors. What a wonderful addition to the how-to component that will energize a modern generation of Jeffersonian intellectual agrarians."―Joel Salatin, Polyface Farm"

"Fields of Learning helps answer the question, 'Where will future food, and more importantly, future farmers, come from?' It is inspiring and imminently practical, hopeful and instructive. The book illustrates the deep roots of the student farm movement, while planting seeds for future harvest. It is timely, relevant, and insightful, and should help restore food production as a multi-disciplinary, intelligent, and highly valued profession."―Jim Riddle, Organic Outreach Coordinator, UMN-Southwest Research and Outreach Center"

"The collection of essays. . . explores "the next generation of farmers," offering concrete answers to urgent questions surrounding who will be growing our food ― and how ― in the coming generations."―Prescott College"

"Sayre and Clark investigate student farming not only through the lens of sustainability but also as an opportunity for experiential learning, with the capability of teaching valuable lessons about the global market, biology, engineering , anthropology, and more." ―Hampshire College"

"Laura Sayre and Sean Clark compiled essays from staff on 15 farms to illustrate the trials, tribulations and sheer joys of establishing and maintaining such enterprises." ―USA Today"

"This book not only showcases successful undergraduate farm experiences, but alos provides an inventory of all US and Canadian student farm projects, including their age, size, and production foci. . . . Highly recommended."―CHOICE"

"An excellent book, useful for anyone interested in the past, or the future, of the student farm movement."―Journal of Agricultural & Food Information"

"Fields of Learning provides a useful first look at a phenomenon that promises to become an important part of debates on the future of agriculture in America." ― Dona Brown, University of Vermont"―

About the Author

Laura Sayre is a postdoctoral researcher with the French National Institute for Agronomic Research and a former senior writer for the Rodale Institute's She lives in Dijon, France.

Sean Clark teaches in and currently chairs the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Berea College in Kentucky. He lives in Berea, Kentucky.

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Product Details

  • Series: Culture Of The Land
  • Hardcover: 378 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813133742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813133744
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,085,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Bell on April 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must read for any one involved with the student farm movement. It tells the stories of several school farms written by the people involved including challenges and successes along the way. It is a MUST READ for those thinking of starting a school farm.

I work at a College as a Farm Manager and it was both helpful and eye opening to hear so many stories similar to mine. We all face so many of the same issues (financial, administrative support, seasonality) and our programs are similar in many ways, yet no two are the same. I have found this book imperative to help me make the argument of how important school farms are to the future of our campus and our food system and how they are not just a "fad", but a movement. Thank you to the authors and editors for sharing your stories!
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