Transforming Agriculture, Perennially

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Podcast from the Prairie: Respecting your Tools

Publication: Resilience

Author: Robert Jensen, Wes Jackson

In the inaugural episode of Podcast from the Prairie, Wes Jackson and Robert Jensen explored some of the key influences on Jackson’s distinctive philosophy, on how he came to embrace an ecological perspective and a “creaturely worldview.” In Episode 2, “Respecting Your Tools,” the focus is on the jobs Jackson has had in his life and what lessons he learned along the way. The story starts with work on farms and ranches while growing up, before Jackson became a welder to pay for college. After graduating, Jackson taught at a high school and then a college and university. In 1976, Jackson gave up the security of a tenured faculty position at a California university to return to Kansas and take a gamble on starting an alternative school, The Land Institute, that led to internationally recognized research on sustainable agriculture. In this episode, Jackson reflects on the importance of honoring the people and tools one works with, on the sweat and joy that comes in committing fully to a task, and the kind of work necessary if there is to be a sustainable future.

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