Five Farms: Stories of American Farm Families Five Farms home page

Here are additional resources about family farming in the United States prepared by Autumn Ogden (pictured below). Autumn is the daughter of Craig and LaVon Griffieon, and is a graduate of Iowa State University. She and her husband Laramie work with Craig and LaVon on their family farm in Ankeny, Iowa. The family is one of the five farming families profiled in the Five Farms project.

Photograph by Elena Rue


Renewing the Countryside. Renewing the Countryside: Iowa.
Ames, IA: Sigler Printing and Publishing, 2003.
Captures the entrepreneurial spirit through stories and pictures of the Iowa countryside.

Hembd, Jerry; Padgham, Jody; Doyle, Jim. Renewing the Countryside Wisconsin: Stories of Sustainable Living, Working and Playing. Minneapolis: Publishing Renewing the Countryside, 2007.

Dankmeyer, J; Harrington,I. Renewing the Countryside: Washington.
Minneapolis: Renewing the Countryside, 2005.
Through restoration, conservation, farming, and entrepreneurship, these stewards of the land are making the Northwest a more sustainable.

Bergan, Sara. Renewing the Countryside: North Dakota. Minneapolis: Renewing the Countryside, 2003.
Collection of stories about entrepreneurs in agriculture and related fields.

Garkovich, Lorraine; Bokemeier, Janet L.; Foote, Barbara. Harvest of Hope: Family Farming/ Farming Families. Kentucky: University of Kentucky Press, 1995.
This book takes a look into the social fabric of farming families.

Jager, Ronald. The Fate of Family Farming: Variations on an American Idea.
Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England, 2005.
Explores the history and future of family farming.

Apps, Jerald. Every Farm Tells a Story: A Tale of Family Farm Values.
Minneapolis, MN: MBI Publishing Co., 2005.
A collection of "growing up on the farm" stories inspired by a mother's accounting ledger.

Harris, Max. Straight Rows: Life's Success Lessons Learned From Being Raised on a Farm. Kansas: Max Harris. 2002
A series of short stories about growing up on a farm and the life lessons it teaches.

Salatin. Joel. Family Friendly Farming: A Multi-generational Home-based Business Testament. Virginia: Polyface, 2001.
The story of how a successful Virginia farmer has involved multiple generations on his family farm.

Jackson, Dana L.; Jackson, Laura L. The Farm as Natural Habitat: Reconnecting Food Systems with Ecosystems. Washington: Island Press, 2002.
A look into how agricultural issues lie at the heart of America's conservation issue.

Dudley, Kathryn Marie. Debt and Dispossession: Farm Loss in America's Heartland. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2000.
The farm crisis of the 1980s, an economic disaster and how its social trauma continues to affect America's farmers today.

Renewing the Countryside. Renewing the Countryside: Minnesota.
Minneapolis: A.G. Johnson, 2001
Great stories and photography of Minnesota farmers, grocers, food cooperatives and craftsmen feel a connection to the land and work to enhance its beauty and vitality.

Mu, Dolly. The Tao of Cow: What Cows Teach Us. Stillwater, MN: Voyageur Press, 2001.
A humorous photo book of cows and the life lessons they offer.

Kimbrell, Andrew. eds. Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture. Washington: Island Press, 2002.
Moving photography and essays from today's leading thinkers on agriculture.

Munroe, Joe; Moulton, Kirby. Changing Faces on Our Land.
Des Moines: Meredith Corporation, 1990.
Black and white photography and descriptions exhibit how farm life has changed over the years.

Daniels, Tom; Bowers, Deborah. Holding Our Ground: Protecting America's Farms and Farmland. Washington D.C.: Island Press, 1997.
A primer on farmland preservation and success stories of landowners and farmers.

Kohn, Howard. The Last Farmer: An American Memoir. New York: Summit Books, 1988.
A memoir of how time reconciles the differences between farmer and son and the bond that is felt with the land.

Youngs, Bettie B. Values from the Heartland: Stories of and American Farmgirl. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc, 1995.
Stories of growing up on a family farm and the values instilled in farm families.

Levins, Richard A. Willard Cochrane and the American Family Farm.
Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.
This book is about the spirit of the family farm.

Terwan, Paul; Ritchie, Mark; van der Weijen, Wouter; Verschuur, Gerwin; Joannides, Jan. Values of Agrarian Landscapes: Across Europe and North America. Netherlands: Reed Business Information, 2004.
Explores many different types of agrarian landscapes and their benefits and values to society.

Hanson, Victor Davis. Fields Without Dreams: Defending the Agrarian Idea. New York: Free Press Paperbacks, 1997.
An explanation of how the disappearance of the family farm causes us to lose touch with the values upon which American society was formed.

Leopold, Aldo. A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc, 1949.
A great conservationist, Aldo Leopold, writes of America's relationship with the land and his families efforts to restore their farm.

Forbes, Peter; Moore, Kathleen Dean; Sanders, Scott Russell. Coming to Land in a Troubled World. San Francisco: The Trust for Public Land, 2003.
Three essays about how the devastation of the natural world affects our culture and community life.

Damerow, Gail. Barnyard in Your Backyard. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing LLC, 2002.
An educational guide to farm animals small and large.

Masumoto, David Mas. Epitaph for a Peach Harvest: Four Seasons on my Family Farm. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.
A young farmer/author's journey to make his farm work with nature

Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.
Highlights some of the changes the fast food industry has made in the way we farm and in Americans' lives.

Schlosser, Eric; Wilson, Charles. Chew On This. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2006.
A look at what goes into fast food and the effects it has on our society, especially teenagers.

Kingsolver, Barbara; Kingsolver, Camille; Hopp, Steven L. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Foodlife. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2007.
One family's story of how eating locally produced and homegrown foods for an entire year changed them.

Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin Books, 2006.
An account of how we grow, market and decide what we eat.


Dunlap, Julie. Aldo Leopold Living With the Land. New York: Twenty-First Century Books, 1993.
Children's book about Aldo Leopold and his life's work on conservation and preserving the land. (Elementary / Jr. High)

Apps, Jerry. In a Pickle: A Family Farm Story. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2008.
A fictional story of a young Wisconsin cucumber farmer in the 1950's. (Young Adult / Children's Book)


Sustainable Table
Educates consumers on food-related issues and works to build community through food.

Farm Aid Program
Began giving concerts and using the income to help keep farmers on their land during the farm crisis. The program continues to promote family farming across the country.

Renewing the Countryside
Shares stories of rural people making a difference in their communities.

Country Magazine
Great magazine! Gives an inside view of farm families across the country.

The Meatrix
Humorous cartoon characters guide you through their vision of agriculture and how it is changing. Has a nice guide to search for family farms offering products in your area by zip code following the cartoon clip.

Good Humus

Hopi Foundation


The Farmer's Wife. Dir. David Sutherland. Videocassette. David Sutherland Productions, 1998.
Story of the challenges a Nebraska farm family faces.

King Corn. Dir. Aaron Wolfe. Perf. Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney. DVD. Mosaic Films. 2008.
A documentary of the journey two east coast college friends take as they discover where their food comes from.


Five Farms: Stories of American Farm Families, Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, 1317 W. Pettgrew Street, Durham, NC 27705,

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