Reading: Ted Genoways, Kathryn Gamble & Barbara Hall

For forty years, Rick Hammond has raised cattle and crops on his wife’s fifth-generation farm. But as he prepares to hand off the operation to his daughter Meghan and her husband Kyle, their entire way of life is under siege. Confronted by rising corporate ownership, encroaching pipelines, groundwater depletion, climate change, and shifting trade policies, small farmers are often caught in the middle and fighting just to preserve their way of life. Following the Hammonds from harvest to harvest, Ted Genoway‘s This Blessed Earth is both a history of American agriculture and a portrait of one family’s struggle to hold on to their legacy.

Women and the Land, by Kathryn Gamble and Barbara Hall, takes a look at more than twenty-five women who are impacting Iowa’s farmland. Some of them have inherited rural property and are managing the agriculture practices from afar. Some are working the land directly, providing food to the heartland. Some are working in tandem with their husbands, fathers, sisters, daughters. Many of them grew up on a farm, left the land to get an education and left the state to follow their passions, only to find that their deepest passion is really the land, and have returned to it. Each of the women is affecting the land in her own unique and feminine way.

10:00 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St., Iowa City, IA