Photos from yesterday's Lexington event
Adam Arvidson on Wendell Berry's "but"

Wendell Berry inspires young farmers

As college graduates flounder in dehydrated job markets, spending a few months working on farms doesn't look quite so bad when the alternative is moving back in with Mom and Dad.

Jenne and I were inspired, however, neither by trendy foodies nor by any pressing economic imperative.

Our catalyst was an essay written by Wendell Berry, the septuagenarian author, lifelong farmer, avowed Luddite, and longtime advocate of sustainable agriculture. (Forget pesticides; Berry is against tractors.)

When I came across The Necessity of Agriculture in Harper's Magazine last December, I knew almost nothing about Berry's vast body of work (it spans 50 books over five decades) or about his career as a farmer.

But I was moved by his message, which amounted to a kind of plea.



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