Go back a few generations and odds are that your family lived and worked on a farm. We’re going to go back to our roots with USU professors Joyce Kinkead, Evelyn Funda, and Lynne McNeill, authors of “Farm: A Multi-Modal Reader,” which explores what farms, farming, and farmers mean to us as a culture.
“Farm” moves from the Jeffersonian idealism of the yeoman farmer (“Cultivators of the earth are the chosen people of God”) to literature of the 19th and 20th centuries (Thoreau’s bean field, Cather’s prairie novel, Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, as well as very contemporary memoirs like Farm City) to current issues such as agribusiness and chemical farming. “Farm” also considers the farm in music (Woody Guthrie), art (Grant Wood), ecology (Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring), children’s and young adult literature, advertising (from early boosterism to Chipotle videos), print culture (farmers’ market and victory garden posters from both world wars), folklore (food culture, vintners, and veterinarian practices, for instance), popular culture (Farm Aid concerts), and more. Joyce Kinkead, Evelyn Funda, and Lynne McNeill dedicate the book to their farm families. We’ll ask you to tell us about your farming roots and how the culture of agriculture has affected you.