© 2022 Iowa Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

This Blessed Earth

George Hodan/public domain pictures
This Blessed Earth is the 2019 All Iowa Reads Selection

We all participate in our food system and here in Iowa none of us live very far from a field of corn or soybeans. But for those of us who don’t farm, there's a lot we don't understand about the business and lifestyle associated with agricultural work. 

The book "This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Farm Family" by Ted Genoways, gives readers an inside look at the business, history and lifestyle of farming in the Midwest. For forty years, Rick Hammond has raised cattle and crops on his wife's fifth-generation farm in Nebraska. But, as he prepares to hand off the operation to his daughter Meghan and her husband Kyle, their entire way of life is under siege. Following the Hammonds from harvest to harvest, "This Blessed Earth," is both a history of American agriculture and a portrait of one family's struggle to hold on to their legacy.

"This Blessed Earth," is the 2019 All Iowa Reads selection and in this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe convenes a Book Club to discuss it with corn, soybean and hog farmer Bruce Rohwer and organic vegetable farmer Kate Edwards. Jill Martinez, a member of the All Iowa Reads Committee and author Ted Genoways also join the conversation.

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Katherine Perkins is IPR's Program Director for News and Talk