Publication Date: October 10, 2023
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From a pioneer of the regenerative agriculture movement, a memoir-meets-manifesto on betting the farm on a better future for our food, animals, land, local communities, and our climate
Featured in Food and Country, premiering at Sundance 2023
Raised as a fourth-generation farmer, when Will Harris inherited White Oak Pastures he was a full-time commodity cowboy who played hard and fast with every tool the system offered – chemicals, antibiotics, steroids, and more. His ancestors had built a highly profitable, conventionally-run machine, but over time he found himself disgusted with the excess, cruelty, and smalltown devastation this system entailed. So he bet the farm on forging a different way of doing things. One that works with nature not against it, and bridges the quickly widening delta between consumers and their food. Armed with tenacity, conviction and an outsized tolerance for risk, Harris called his approach “radical traditional” and it made him the pioneer of regenerative agriculture long before the phrase existed.
At once an intimate, multi-generational memoir and a microcosm of American agriculture at large, A BOLD RETURN TO GIVING A DAMN offers a pathway back to producing food the right way. At a time when food supply chains are straining, climate-induced catastrophes are playing havoc with harvests, and concern around who owns America’s farmland are more prescient than ever, Will Harris urges us to consider where the food we eat really comes from, and to re-connect to the places and people who raise what we eat each day. With keen storytelling, a good dose of irreverence, and an unflinching willingness to speak truth to power, Harris shows us why it’s never been more important to know your farmer than now.
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