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Catalog Archive / Spring 2020

Wildly Successful Farming
Sustainability and the New Agricultural Land Ethic

“An intriguing and even inspiring book”

By using innovative techniques, farmers across the American Midwest are balancing profitability and food production with environmental sustainability and passion for all things wild. In Wildly Successful Farming, Brian DeVore tells the stories of these next-generation agrarians and documents novel approaches in cover cropping, managed rotational grazing, perennial polyculture, integrated pest management, and more. His accounts provide insight into the impacts regenerative farming methods can have on wildlife, water, landscape, soils, and rural communities and suggest ways all of us can support these pioneering agriculturalists.


Brian DeVore.

Brian DeVore is a contributor to farm and conservation magazines and an editor with the Land Stewardship Project in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He grew up on a crop and livestock farm in southwestern Iowa and, while serving in the Peace Corps, managed a dairy cooperative in Lesotho, Africa.





“I could not help but feel wildly optimistic for a future when, while driving down country roads, one is never sure whether he or she is driving past a farm or a wilderness preserve, or maybe both. . . . I enjoyed Brian DeVore’s book and, on several winter mornings when it was still dark, with a cup of coffee, I looked forward to picking it up and reading about what is possible when individuals employ wisdom, their powers of observation and affection for their land when engaging the natural world and invite her to participate in their enterprise.”
Practical Farmers of Iowa

“DeVore’s valuable insights broaden the book’s scope beyond storytelling to address fundamental issues like responsible agriculture and climate change. Wildly Successful Farming is a book with a vital message.”

“This uplifting book documents the successes of midwestern farmers who do not follow mainstream conventions of agriculture as they achieve greater diversity, satisfaction, and sometimes profit on their land. The format is a series of easily digestible and inspiring profiles of farmers and their journeys. The tone is educational and inspiring but not righteous or self-important.”

“Meet optimistic realists—farmers, conservationists, and scientists—blurring occupational boundaries to reveal a world in which agriculture and ecology are productively intertwined. These are outliers in a sea of corn and soybeans (and resultant depauperate ecosystems), but their stories, told often enough, can change all of that.”
—Karen Oberhauser, director, University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum

“Most Americans have forgotten that the success of agriculture depends on the wild world it so often displaces. These farmers remind us that those two vital elements need not be mutually exclusive—indeed, the success of food production depends on a healthy natural world.”
—Lisa M. Hamilton, author of Deeply Rooted

“We don't have to choose between healthy land and productive land—we can have both. DeVore's careful chronicling of Midwest farmers who practice an agriculture that respects and supports nature will give you hope for the future.”
—Kristin Ohlson, author of The Soil Will Save Us

“Rich in the stuff of life. Its pages are full of people you’d like to meet, countryside you’d like to see, bees and bobolinks, beauty and soil. It feels like cheating to read it, knowing that you’re sharing in insights that others have gained through years of sweat and careful, loving observations of the land. The problems of the world are not all solved. But where things are moving in a good direction, these are some of the people who are likely behind it. . . . To convey everything that is great and affirming about this book would take a book.”
Agate Magazine




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Of Related Interest


Back to the Land
The Enduring Dream of Self-Sufficiency in Modern America
Dona Brown

Voices from the Heart of the Land
Rural Stories That Inspire Community
Richard L. Cates Jr.
Wildly Successful Farming, by Brian DeVore. Cover image of a beekeeper in a field of tall grass, a blue sky behind her. The title is presented in bold, dark purple letters in the upper right corner of the image. A leaf that matches the font forms the I in Wildly.

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New in Paperback!
March 2020
LC: 2018011392 S
224 pp.   6 x 9
17 b/w photos

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Paper $18.95
ISBN 9780299318840
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Casebound $26.95
ISBN 9780299318802
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