Book Review: Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman

September Book Review by Juane Heflin

Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland

By Miriam Horn

Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland by Miriam Horn greatly augmented previous months' books, and provided an interesting juxtaposition to others.

The author discusses the critical role of balanced grazing to the environment, and how enlightened ranchers are mimicking wild herd behavior. Readers are introduced to the benefits of "no-till" farming (in contrast to the "plow everything so it will rain" mentality expressed by expansionists in the book about John Wesley Powell). Chapters related to water management included the stories of river men and shrimpers, as well as fishermen. The author incorporates an impressive amount of research in telling the stories of the stewards of land and water, along with alarming facts, including that all the topsoil in the US will be lost to erosion within 100 years if conventional farming methods continue, and that Louisiana will lose another 1,750 square miles of coast by century's end unless changes are made to existing levy systems.

Horn beautifully weaves together divergent points of view to allow readers to draw their own conclusions. And we highly recommend this book!

We're eagerly anticipating the showing of the documentary based on this book on October 18!