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  • A Bold Return to Giving a Damn

  • One Farm, Six Generations, and the Future of Food
  • By: Will Harris
  • Narrated by: Will Harris
  • Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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A Bold Return to Giving a Damn

By: Will Harris
Narrated by: Will Harris
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Publisher's Summary

"If I could have one wish it is that every eater in America would read this book."—Ruth Reichl

From a pioneer of the regenerative agriculture movement, a memoir-meets-manifesto on betting the farm on a better future for our food, animals, land, local communities, and our climate

Raised as a fourth-generation farmer, when Will Harris inherited White Oak Pastures he was a full-time commodity cowboy who played hard and fast with every tool the system offered–chemicals, antibiotics, steroids, and more. His ancestors had built a highly profitable, conventionally run machine, but over time he found himself disgusted with the excess, cruelty, and smalltown devastation this system entailed. So he bet the farm on forging a different way of doing things. One that works with nature not against it, and bridges the quickly widening delta between consumers and their food. Armed with tenacity, conviction and an outsized tolerance for risk, Harris called his approach “radical traditional” and it made him the pioneer of regenerative agriculture long before the phrase existed.

At once an intimate, multi-generational memoir and a microcosm of American agriculture at large, A BOLD RETURN TO GIVING A DAMN offers a pathway back to producing food the right way. At a time when food supply chains are straining, climate-induced catastrophes are playing havoc with harvests, and concern around who owns America’s farmland are more prescient than ever, Will Harris urges us to consider where the food we eat really comes from, and to re-connect to the places and people who raise what we eat each day. With keen storytelling, a good dose of irreverence, and an unflinching willingness to speak truth to power, Harris shows us why it’s never been more important to know your farmer than now.

Featured in Food and Country directed by Laura Gabbert and Ruth Reichl

©2023 Will Harris (P)2023 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"There’s a lot to like about the book — Harris’s cheeky sense of humor, for one. And his exploration of his family’s roots, their sacrifices and hard-earned victories...But it’s Harris’s dogged insistence on explaining the hidden costs of the “abhorrently cheap food”...that makes the book so necessary."—The Washington Post

"A Bold Return to Giving a Damn is more than a memoir—it is a full exploration of the history of food production in this country, with all its beautiful and ugly aspects. It’s the education we all need to embrace."—NY Journal of Books

"A solution-based offering from a Georgia farmer who has practiced regenerative agriculture for over three decades...Throughout, Harris pushes readers to have the courage to give a damn about the future. Two of his adult daughters came back home to farm; inspired readers will want to join them."—Booklist

What listeners say about A Bold Return to Giving a Damn

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A must listen

Loved hearing the story of White Oak Pastures, much a wonderful listen and very educational.
10/10 recommended.

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Stubborn enough to triumph

Thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. A riveting account of the history of White Oak Pastures and the chain of events that drove Will Harris to do an about turn on the way he was farming to pursue a better future for the land
… one that regenerates soil and ecosystem processes by mimicking nature.
His tenacity in the face of the obstacles he encountered is inspiring to me. A clarion call to make a difference to the way food is produced by changing the food we buy.

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