Encouraging the new generation of farmers through story-telling

Fellow farmers talk sustainable agriculture and share tried-and-true recipes in Forrest Pritchard’s new book

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE is a popular topic, and one of its chief proponents, seventh-generation farmer and bestselling author Forrest Pritchard, has written yet another book about the topic. “Growing Tomorrow is a classic American road trip,” Pritchard explains, “told in stories, photos, and recipes, focusing on extraordinary sustainable farmers from coast to coast.”

Pritchard drew from his own experiences in his first book — Gaining Ground — while Growing Tomorrow looks outward. Akin to “a National Geographic-style travelogue,” Pritchard explains that “readers will experience the sights and flavors of all corners of the country. From rooftop beekeepers in Dallas, to flowering orchards in Oregon, to sustainable fishing off Cape Cod and even urban farming in downtown Detroit, each story is a fascinating glimpse into our national food story.”

Pritchard won a reputation as a champion of small ag operators and Farmers’ Markets with Gaining Ground, which he maintains is “the story of my family’s farm in the Shenandoah Valley, ‘rebooting’ and rejuvenating a worn-out 20th-century farm that was on the brink of failure, and ultimately making it successful.” The book was successful too, making the New York Times’ Bestsellers List. Pritchard is quick to point out that the story is one that is shared by many. “Tens of thousands of small farms went out of business from the 1970s through the 1990s across the country, and this impacted us all,” he emphasizes. Pritchard’s latest book was released October 20 at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Georgia. During the expo, AgAmerica Lending, the nation’s premier land lender, was proud to sponsor live presentations by Pritchard, which was delivered twice daily at the Hoss Tools Sustainable Living Stage.

The book itself is dedicated to those in the ag industry with stories to tell, accompanied by beautiful photographs and 50 tried-and-true recipes from the farmers themselves. Pritchard chose the photojournalistic style to personalize the experiences of those in agriculture and create a connection with readers. “By the end of the book, readers will feel so deeply connected to our food system, and understand how farming affects each day of our lives, whether we realize it or not,” Pritchard observes. He raises some sobering statistics. “For example, did you know that only 1.8 percent of Americans are farmers, and that the average age of the U.S. farmer is 59 years old? Still, the fact is that 100 percent of people need to eat.”

Growing Tomorrow is a collection of stories that relate to us all. For Pritchard, the book has a dual purpose. “I wrote this for two main reasons: One, to inspire consumers to ‘do the right thing’ when it comes to our food choices. Now more than ever, we have clear choices when it comes to how we eat, and as consumers, we can vote with our dollars each time we purchase food,” Pritchard shares, ever the proponent of healthy eating and of Farmers’ Markets. “Two,” he continues, “we must encourage and support an entirely new generation of farmers, giving them the inspiration they need to become full-time producers for an ever-growing, ever-hungry country. Perhaps more than anything, Growing Tomorrow shows why food and farming matters, and how it affects our health, environment, and local communities.” Now, that’s a story that will always be worth reading.


article by by ERIKA ALDRICH

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