Much of the agricultural products produced in Kentucky comes from small farms.  These farms are vital to our way of life.  The Berry Center is raising awareness of this by advocating for small farmers, land-conserving communities, and healthy regional economies. 

Wendell Berry’s The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture, published in 1977, awakened a national and global conversation on the dire state of agriculture. The Berry Center was launched in 2011 to continue this conversation and put Berry’s inspiring writings and histories into action through multiple programs.  One program, The Farm and Forest Institute, provides future farmers with an education in agrarian thought and practice that is holistic and place-based. The curriculum is designed to serve students from generational farm families, rural communities, and urban agrarians around the nation.

The Norton Foundation recently modified its mission to incorporate agriculture by supporting programs that educate people about farming and good land use.  The Berry Center is the ideal partner, and the foundation is pleased to support it with a three-year grant (2024 – 2026) for general operations and The Farm and Forest Institute.  The funds will make it possible for the organization to deliver vital agrarian education; contribute to the development of an agricultural cooperative that can serve as a model for other communities; and, advance a much-needed conversation and set of practices in restorative forestry and development of a local forest economy.

We think The Berry Center’s work is critical, and we are proud to partner with such a forward-thinking organization.