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One fateful day in 1996, after discovering that five freight cars' worth of glittering corn have reaped a tiny profit of $18.16, young Forrest Pritchard vows to save his family's farm. What ensues-through hilarious encounters with all manner of livestock and colorful local characters-is a crash course in sustainable agriculture. Pritchard's biggest ally is his renegade father, who initially questions his son's career choice and rejects organic foods for sugary mainstream fare. But just when the farm starts to turn heads at local farmers' markets, his father's health takes a turn for the worse. With poetry and humor, this inspiring memoir tugs on your heartstrings and feeds your soul long after you've finished.
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Forrest Pritchard is the New York Times bestselling author of Gaining Ground and Growing Tomorrow. He is also a full-time organic livestock farmer and seventh-generation producer.From Booklist:
Once on the brink of virtually disappearing only decades ago, the family farm has recently been enjoying a resurgence due to the popularity of organic livestock and produce. Disenchanted with a looming desk job and eager to save his family’s multigenerational Shenandoah Valley farm, Pritchard celebrated his mid-1990s college graduation by rolling up his sleeves and brainstorming to find ways of keeping his parents’ 400-plus acres of land from being portioned off to agribusinesses. This engaging first-person account is filled with gentle humor and colorful anecdotes about the false starts and pitfalls Pritchard faced before finally settling on raising grass-fed cattle and sheep. Desperate to improve on the tiny profits the farm was making selling corn, Pritchard tried marketing firewood, then chickens, then beef, running a gauntlet of sometimes comical challenges, including broken-down farm equipment and his father’s attempt to sell frozen chickens from his D.C. office. Anyone who has been bit by the farming bug will find lessons aplenty here, while urban readers will enjoy a vicarious slice of farm life. --Carl Hays
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