by James E. Horne, PhD, President, Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture,
Poteau Ok and Maura McDermott, Communications Director, Kerr Center.
From a prominent advocate for sustainable agriculture...
"A Well-Researched Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture!"
Provides Instructors a Useful Framework for Teaching the Essential
Points of Sustainable Agriculture. Use as a Supplemental Text for Courses
in Agriculture, the Environmental Sciences, and Rural Sociology.
Learn about the Eight Steps to a Sustainable Agriculture
> Written in a lively, non-technical style accessible to a broad
range of readers
> A personal story, told with humor and conviction, of a conventional
"aggie" who experienced a change of heart
> Covers what is being done across the nation to build an agricultural
system that is kind to the environment, responsive to consumers, and
fair to farmers
Readers with an interest in agriculture and environmental issues will
find the book to be . . .
"Accessible, practical, free of jargon. The chapter titles alone
give an idea of the books liveliness" USDA
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program
"What a delight to review a book which so eloquently traces
the history of American agriculture, delineates its current status
and shares a dream and guidance of how a sustainable future for agriculture
might be assured! This volume is a practical guide for the farmer struggling
to be productive and profitable in an increasingly hostile economic
environment. It would also be useful as a reference for agricultural
courses and outreach programs and the public, policy makers, and other
interested in agriculture. The volume is instructive, thought provoking,
and a stimulus for action
Norman J. Doorenbos, Auburn University, in Economic Botany
Agriculture is no longer an afterthought in the environmental
movement. Farming, our most extensive interface with the natural environment,
is now on the agenda of numerous environmental groups. A more general
awareness and understanding of the diversity, subtleties, and struggles
of farming, however, is still needed.
Authors James E. Horne and Maura McDermott offer a timely primer on the
state of sustainable agriculture at the turn of the new century. The
book takes on the whole story, putting industrial agriculture on trial
and laying out the fundamental tenets of a more sustainable approach.
Mrill Ingram, Department of Geography, University of Arizona,
Tucson, in Environment
The Next Green Revolution is a thorough introduction to sustainable
agriculture, written for students and farmers just starting to learn
about sustainable practices, but to be appreciated by people from all
walks of life who are fresh to the topic
The authors argue that nothing less than a new green revolution is
called for to lead society on a better path to an agriculture that
can be sustained. They sketch some of the history of sustainable agriculture
and its philosophical origins and definitionsessential background
for the intended reading audience: students in agriculture programs
and courses and individuals who are starting from scratch to learn
about sustainable agriculture. The book prescribes eight steps to the
next green revolution and is packed with basic information about such
topics as soil, nutrient cycles, water cycles, cover crops, pest management,
etc. There are several
"Checklists for Farmers" included, such as the one that lists
fourteen points on how to conserve water and protect its quality.
Land Stewardship Project Associate Director, in The Land Stewardship
"The Next Green Revolution is well-written
and replete with personal experiences and real-farm examples"
George Kuepper, agriculture consultant, AMAZON.com book review
"... a very timely, informative, and readable contribution
to the future of agriculture and rural communities in the United
States. It offers a vision of a more successful agriculture that
supports both farmers and rural communities, and an eight-step plan
for achieving it" Jill Shore Auburn, PhD, former
director of University of California Sustainable Agriculture Program,
now with USDA
"An insightful account of the struggle now underway to make
sustainable agriculture a truly viable alternative to conventional
farming. The authors' conviction is understandable and contagious"
Neill Schaller, PhD, former associate director, Henry A. Wallace
Institute for Alternative Agriculture
"It gives practical suggestions for increasing profits and reducing
risks while regenerating the soil, protecting the environment, and
being good neighbors. Horne and McDermott show us that sustainable
farming is not only possible, it is also very practical." -John
E. Ikerd, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri.
"Horne breathes life into the story of American agriculture,
its history, triumphs, and tragedies
-Lorraine Stuart Merrill, Farmer and Agricultural Journalist, Stratham,
Through The Next Green Revolution: Essential Steps to a Healthy
Sustainable Agriculture, by James E. Horne, PhD. and Maura McDermott,
one sees the social loss that accompanied the industrialization of agriculture.
What has happened to our society now that we can no longer offer a way
of life which teaches thriftiness, self-sufficiency, and intuitive understanding
of natural ecosystems? That social loss also encompasses neighborhoods
and communities which were interlaced in every way imaginable; socially,
by blood relation, economically, and in a less than perfect harmony with
the natural world and the seasons. Yes, there were problems in dirt poor,
farming America, but our century has been a consistent search for solutions
which cause even greater disharmony.
Dan Nagengast, Kansas Rural News
What Kind of Book is
The Next Green Revolution is written to be accessible and convincing
to people who are not currently involved in sustainable agriculture,
as well as those who are. It accomplishes this by drawing on Dr. Horne's
unique perspective. Horne started out as a conventional "aggie"
(MS Agricultural Economics, OSU 1972), suspicious of sustainable agriculture
and its adherents. But he slowly changed his mind, becoming in the process
an advocate for change on both the regional and national level. His is
the story of an agriculturist and educator coming to grips with the failings
of the conventional system and searching for alternatives.
Writing in the first person, Horne describes growing up in a sharecropper
family in Oklahoma, running his own ranch, and consulting with farmers
as an agricultural economist. He shares what he learned as the Kerr Center
experimented with new "sustainable" approaches to old problems
on the Center's ranch/farm, and the experiences he has had working with
the USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program.
He has a broad perspective on what is happening in sustainable agriculture
both on the farm and at the research station.
While many books have explored aspects of sustainable agriculture or
even attempted a comprehensive appraisal, none have synthesized its key
ideas into eight steps that farmers can follow and
educators can teach. This approach gives readers an easy-to-understand
framework for thinking about sustainable agriculture. It also provides
educators with a coherent framework for getting across the key ideas
of the subject.
Also of benefit to readers: the many "boxes" scattered throughout
the text which present more specialized material for farmers and ranchers,
even consumers. For each step there is a checklist of things that producers
can do to make changes on the farm.
Woven into the book are Dr. Horne's reflections on social justice, quality
of life, and how farmers and rural communities are inextricably linked.
Who Will Want to Read It?
For farmers, agriculture students, and educators curious about sustainable
agriculture, the book serves as a clear-eyed introduction to the field,
sweeping away common misconceptions and providing a compelling argument
for change. Non-farmers who are just casually acquainted with the term
"sustainable agriculture" will come away with a thorough understanding
of what it means, what is at stake, and what is needed for farmers to
achieve a sustainable agriculture and a healthier environment.
However, even people already convinced of the need for a more sustainable
agriculture will find this book quite useful for education and outreach.
The authors avoid the use of unnecessary jargon and rhetoric in presenting
the fundamental ideas of sustainable agriculture. The book will help
teachers and activists answer the question: What is sustainable agriculture?
It offers interesting examples of what is happening in the field and
also affords an instructive first-hand account of one group's attempt
to "go sustainable."
- Major problems in contemporary industrial-style agriculture and how
to solve them
- The meaning of sustainable agriculture
- Philosophical and historical roots of sustainable agriculture
- The politics of sustainable agriculture
- Applied research, experimentation at the Kerr Center
- Problems in Oklahomas agriculture and environment
- What farmers across the nation are doing to make their farms sustainable
- Eight steps to a sustainable
agriculture which address:
- healthy soil and water
- organic waste management
- Oklahoma-adapted crops and livestock
- biological diversity on the farm
- environmentally-safe pest management
- energy conservation
- farm diversification and profitability
About the Authors
Dr. Jim Horne has been head of the Kerr Center since its establishment
in 1985, and before that served as vice-president of the agricultural
division of the Kerr Foundation. He was among the handful that testified
before the Congress about the need for USDA programs in sustainable agriculture.
He has a rare blend of experiences in farming, policy, economics, education
and international agriculture that enables him to understand issues from
As communications director of the Kerr Center, Maura McDermott edits
Field Notes and other Kerr Center publications and also writes about
farmers and rural issues. She is also a nationally recognized magazine
writer, honored for her natural history/environmental features in the
state magazine Oklahoma Today. She specializes in making agricultural
and environmental topics accessible and interesting to a broad range
of readers. She works from her family farm near Checotah.
Order hard or soft cover copies (up to 5 copies) of the book from the Kerr Center at special discount prices– soft: $35; hard: $65. Shipping and handling is $4 for the first book, $1.50 for each additional.
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