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Wendell Berry at the Agriculture for a Small Planet Symposium

July 1, 1974

Screen Shot 2014 07 01 at 4.59.37 PM 300x172 Wendell Berry at the Agriculture for a Small Planet Symposium July 1, 1974

Today marks the 40th Anniversary of Wendell Berry’s speech about the culture of agriculture that was delivered at the “Agriculture for a Small Planet” Symposium in Spokane, Washington.  The first few lines of this speech, written on a yellow legal pad in route to the symposium, inspired his book The Unsettling of America:  Culture and Agriculture published in 1977.  Berry’s speech was also a catalyst for the launch of the Tilth Movement in the Pacific Northwest.

 “Your symposium, as well as a lot of other meetings I’ve been to in other parts of the country, proves the existence of a thoughtful and even knowledgeable  constituency for a better kind of agriculture,” wrote Berry in a letter to Gigi Coe and Bob Stilger following the Symposium (July 4, 1974).

 Watch the rare footage from this conference online here.  Read the transcript from Berry’s speech and an excerpt from the letter that served as a catalyst for the Tilth Movement online.

 This fall, Mary Berry, Executive Director of The Berry Center, will continue this important conversation about the culture of agriculture at  Tilth’s 40th Anniversary Conference, Re-Imagine Agriculture, that will be held in Vancouver, Washington.  Learn more and make plans to join Mary in Washington on November 7-9, 2014.