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Roots of Change

Nebraska's New Agriculture

Roots of Change by Mary Ridder
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Among the vast corporate and smaller family-sized farms and agribusinesses of Nebraska, the old pioneering spirit of entrepreneurship is rising again, this time in the form of sustainable and organic growers, cooperatives, artisans, and visionaries—those who seek to enhance the quality of life and ensure its future on the farm, in the community, and throughout the world.

Mary Ridder profiles these enterprises in Roots of Change, a project that took her down Nebraska’s highways and byways for more than two years as she sought out, interviewed, and photographed producers of meats and wines, makers of wood products, ethanol visionaries, the patrons of a community-owned grocery story, the folks behind the state’s first year-round, locally produced food market, and the owners of a sheep’s milk dairy turned soap business. The result is a map of the future for those who wish to regain control of, and add profit to, the products of their land and their labor.

Mary Ridder lives and works on her family’s ranch near Callaway, Nebraska. She and her husband received the 2004 Citizen Award from the Center for Rural Affairs, given for remarkable grassroots assistance in agricultural public policy work. For more information about the author, visit

University of Nebraska Press; May 2007
157 pages; ISBN 9780803207455
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Title: Roots of Change
Author: Mary Ridder