S2E30: How to "think little"—w/ Mary Berry, Executive Director of The Berry Center


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“We have not settled America. We have colonized America. Now, we’ve got to figure out … how to actually live here. How are we going to move forward? Everybody needs to be an agrarian now.”

— Mary Berry

We live in a culture that pushes us to keep moving. Obsessed with upward mobility, we keep searching for something more. But this ‘problem of mobility’ robs us of the opportunity to belong to a place. To develop deep cultural ties with the land and each other. And Mary Berry contends that this disconnection and lack of community is the source of many of our problems here in the US.

Mary Berry is the Executive Director of The Berry Center, a nonprofit that advocates for farmers, land-conserving communities, and healthy regional economies. On this episode of Reversing Climate Change, Mary joins Ross to explain how her family’s history as part of the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative inspired her to build The Berry Center and describe how the Burley Tobacco program’s principles are at work in her team’s Our Home Place Meat initiative.

Mary offers insight around the value of belonging to a place we love, discussing what it means to be part of a community and why we need to initiate small solutions locally—rather than waiting for one big policy or program to save us. Listen in to understand Mary’s argument against our current economy and learn how The Berry Center’s work goes beyond agriculture to foster cultural change.



The Berry Center

The Berry Center on Facebook

Call (502) 845-9200

Agrarian Culture Center & Bookstore

Our Home Place Meat

Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association

Wendell Berry Farming Program at Sterling College

Wes Jackson

Nick Offerman

Becoming Native to This Place by Wes Jackson

Gary Snyder

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert D. Putnam

Wendell Berry’s Port William Novels

The World-Ending Fire by Wendell Berry

Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander

50-Year Farm Bill

Organic Valley Dairy Cooperative

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169 episodes