The New American Farmer, 2nd Edition

Profiles of Agricultural Innovation

SARE Outreach
2005 | 200 pages
The New American Farmer

Hailing from small vegetable farms, cattle ranches and grain farms covering thousands of acres, the producers in The New American Farmer, 2nd edition have embraced new sustainable approaches to agriculture. They are renewing profits, enhancing environmental stewardship and improving the lives of their families as well as their communities. The second edition builds on our popular first book. We have updated many of the profiles originally researched and written in 2000 and added 14 new profiles to represent every state and two U.S. territories. The book now features more than 60 successful farmers and ranchers.

About This Resource

After decades of working with farmers and ranchers across the country, University of Missouri economist John Ikerd wanted a way to convince others that what he was seeing – thriving family-run operations making a profit, working in harmony with the environment and helping to improve their communities – was no fluke. To him, the ‘new American farm’ was a place where producers considered the ramifications of their practices on their financial, environmental and community goals, truly making farming and ranching a feasible, even noble way of living. Ikerd wanted to share their stories and dreamed of a project where he could plunk a stack of farm profiles in front of every skeptic he encountered and tell them that those farmers were finding ways to make sustainable agriculture work and, more broadly, were redefining the American farm.

Ikerd began working with former New Farm magazine editor Craig Cramer to develop a framework for the project. Cramer drew up a simple, yet thorough architecture for the profiles and began assembling a long list of potential farmers to feature before taking on a new assignment at Cornell University. The SARE program took Ikerd’s vision and Cramer’s groundwork and got to work.