Agriculture as a stable, prosperous way of life is practically extinct. It doesn’t need to be. We have the power within our consuming choices to make a remarkable difference. Although the small family farm is being squeezed out by massive consolidation in industry and by bloated and counterproductive bureaucracy, it is ultimately the consumer who chooses. While “Big” seems to define every aspect of our modern society, “Small” is still alive and well; it just needs our attention. I ask people to rediscover their agrarian roots, “find their land,” even if only in a windowbox tomato-plant. If millions of Americans do this, we can rebuild an agricultural root structure that will prevent the erosion of some of our most cherished American values.
Federal land management is more likely to produce acrimony and lawsuits than cooperation. It doesn't have to be that way.