Small Farm Activist Offers Romantic Picture of Life on the Farm- Way Back WhenWed, 25 Apr 2012 03:30:00 CDT
More than 2,000 people turned out at the Kennedy Center in Washington earlier this week to hear Wendell Berry, populist Kentucky farmer and writer, deliver the National Endowment for the Humanities' 41st annual Jefferson Lecture.
In a lecture titled "It All Turns on Affection," Berry presented a romantic portrait of rural America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when his family established a small tobacco farm in Kentucky.
He also portrayed James Duke, the founder of the American Tobacco Company, which bought the tobacco, as a villain and was generally critical of modern mobility and industrial farming.
Berry talked extensively about the difficulties of the farmer, but did not mention the current affluence in most of American agriculture. Calling for more affection for the land, Berry said, "Farmers are now too likely to be merely the land's exploiters."
Berry also showed his affection for the so called "local" movement in food production today.
"Its purpose, to the extent possible, is to bring producers and consumers, causes and effects, back within the bounds of neighborhood, which is to say the effective reach of imagination, sympathy, affection and all else that neighborhood implies."
To see the presentation that was held in the Kennedy Center, click on the video play button in the video box below.
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