Out Today — Bet the Farm: The Dollars and Sense of Growing Food in America

Bet the Farm cover

Bet the Farm cover

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Compelling, deeply personal narrative reveals the larger story of American agriculture.

Honest and authentic…Readers seldom get to view farming so accurately.”

— John Piotti, President, American Farmland Trust

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, October 5, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — In 2019, half of America's two million farms made less than $300. For Beth Hoffman, a journalist who’d spent decades reporting on food and agriculture, the hard financial truths of farming became painfully clear after she and her husband packed up their San Francisco life and moved to his family’s 530-acre farm in Iowa.

"Bet the Farm: The Dollars and Sense of Growing Food in America" (Publication Date: October 5, 2021) is a compelling, deeply personal narrative that delivers a unique view into the realities of the American farm. As a beginning farmer, Hoffman and her husband need to negotiate with her father-in-law, who is reluctant to hand over control of the land. They have to find somewhere – anywhere – to slaughter grass-finished beef and must weather the losses of a failed oat crop. Through her own struggles, Hoffman reveals the larger story of American agriculture and explores how a more economically and environmentally sustainable system may be possible.

"Bet the Farm" looks at issues as far ranging as a changing climate, rising land costs, limited health care options, ever-more expensive equipment, and farming’s emotional toll. But it also looks at the role myths play in pitting farmers against each other, trapping them in endless cycles of debt, and encouraging self-exploitation. Hoffman calls for a new national narrative, one that honestly addresses the financial realities of farming and reckons with agriculture’s dark history.

With savings and access to farmland, Hoffman knows full well that she’s among the privileged. If she can’t make it, how can farmers who also have to confront racism, lack access to land, or don’t have other jobs afford to farm?

Beth Hoffman is a beginning farmer on almost 530 acres in Iowa. For the last twenty years, she has worked as a journalist covering food and agriculture. Her work has been aired and published on NPR's Morning Edition, The Guardian, The Salt, Latino USA, and the News Hour.

Founded in 1984, Island Press works to stimulate, shape, and communicate the information that is essential for solving environmental problems. Today, with more than 1,000 titles in print and some 30 new releases each year, it is the nation’s leading publisher of books on environmental issues. Island Press is driving change by moving ideas from the printed page to public discourse and practice. Island Press’s emphasis is, and will continue to be, on transforming objective information into understanding and action. For more information and further updates be sure to visit www.islandpress.org.


Jaime Jennings
Island Press
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Source: EIN Presswire