How can I use Bet the Farm in my classroom?

Bet the Farm was written for a general audience and is a primer on how the food system in the United States actually works. The book is easy to read as it is written in a first person, journalistic style with intimate examples of Beth's personal story as well as well researched data about agriculture. 

Topics in Bet the Farm for discussion:
 

  • An increasing number of farms in the US are being transferred to the next generation, a generation that has often never lived on the farm. Bet the Farm looks deeply into the challenges of farm transfer.

  • Farming, processing and selling anything that isn’t commodity corn, soy or hogs is extremely challenging. Beth explains those challenges and discusses why farmers grow commodity crops.

  •  98% of land in the United States is White owned and the system has not worked for farmers of color. Bet the Farm can be used to open discussions about race and privilege in agriculture in the United States.

  • USDA subsidy programs are confusing, even to farmers. Learn why and about the lack of expertise available to farmers at our USDA offices.

  • Bet the Farm dives deeply into history of agriculture in the United States and how it differs from the stories told about it in the media.

  • There are two overarching myths about farming that impede a farmer’s ability to make a profit and to organize themselves to look out for their own best interests

  • ...And there are new narratives which can help make farming more accessible, less stressful, and more profitable.