Histories


Leaders in Alternative and Sustainable Agriculture: Oral History Interview Series

Oral histories are in-depth, face-to-face interviews. Staff of the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center have conducted videotaped interviews with people who have provided leadership and inspiration in the field of alternative or sustainable agriculture. Our goal is to record the recollections of people who have influenced the direction of American agriculture, both for current use and as an historical record. To date, interviews with eleven pioneers have been concluded.

The National Agricultural Library does not verify the accuracy of the accounts described herein by participants in an Oral History Project. These oral histories are expressions of the views, memories and opinions of the interviewee. They do not represent the policy, views or official history of the United States Department of Agriculture or the National Agricultural Library.



Wes Jackson Oral History Interview with Wes Jackson

USDA. NAL. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.

WES JACKSON, Ph.D., Salina, Kansas: Co-founder, with Dana Jackson, of The Land Institute, Dr. Jackson is a farmer, philosopher and author of several landmark books on the subject of sustainable agriculture.


Fred Kirschenmann Oral History Interview with Fred Kirschenmann

USDA. NAL. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.

FRED KIRSCHENMANN, Ph.D., Windsor, North Dakota: At the time of this interview, Dr. Kirschenmann had returned from the world of academia to operate a 3000+ acre certified organic family farm in Windsor, North Dakota and successfully converted it to organic production. He is still active in sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation organizations and in demand as a conference speaker.


Jayne MacLean Oral History Interview with Jayne T. MacLean

USDA. NAL. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.

JAYNE T. MACLEAN, McLean, Virginia: Jayne MacLean was Coordinator of the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, National Agricultural Library, from 1986 until her retirement in December, 1993. She was one of the first USDA employees to openly support alternative agriculture.


James Patrick Madden Oral History Interview with James Patrick Madden

USDA. NAL. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.

J. PATRICK MADDEN, Ph.D., Glendale, California: Dr. Madden was for many years a professor at Pennsylvania State University and acting director of USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, formerly known as LISA. He helped to design and develop the program.


Robert Rodale Oral History Interview with Robert Rodale

USDA. NAL. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.

ROBERT RODALE, Emmaus, Pennsylvania: Son of J.I. Rodale, the pioneer promoter of organic farming and gardening in the United States, Robert Rodale carried on his father's work through publications, lectures and inspirational leadership. He built the family publishing company into a major entity.


Dick Thompon Oral History Interview with Dick Thompson

USDA. NAL. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.

DICK THOMPSON, Boone, Iowa: Mr. Thompson is a farmer who advocates and practices sustainable agriculture techniques, sharing his knowledge through lectures, workshops and field days. He is a nationally known expert on ridge tillage.


Garth Youngberg Oral History Interview with Garth Youngberg

USDA. NAL. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.

GARTH YOUNGBERG, Ph.D., Greenbelt, Maryland: Dr. Youngberg, formerly employed by the USDA, was founder and director of the Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, and editor of the American Journal of Alternative Agriculture.


James A. Duke Oral History Interview with James A. Duke

USDA. NAL. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.

JAMES A. DUKE, Ph.D., Beltsville, Maryland: Lecturer, author, plant explorer and USDA botanist with the Agricultural Research Service, Dr. Duke is also famed as an expert on herbs and alternative crop plants.


Charles A. Francis Oral History Interview with Charles A. Francis

USDA. NAL. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.

CHARLES A. FRANCIS, Ph.D., Lincoln Nebraska: Director of the Center for Sustainable Agricultural Systems at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As an author, speaker, and professor, Dr. Francis is an influential spokesperson on behalf of sustainable agriculture.


William J. Lockeretz Oral History Interview with William J. Lockeretz

USDA. NAL. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.

WILLIAM J. LOCKERETZ, Ph.D., Medford, Massachusetts: Originally trained as a physicist, Dr. Lockeretz turned his considerable research talents to environmental concerns, especially as they influence agriculture. He is an original thinker and a sought-after speaker who has long championed sustainable agriculture.


Paul F. O'Connell Oral History Interview with Paul F. O'Connell

USDA. NAL. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.

PAUL F. O'CONNELL, Ph.D., Washington, DC: Formerly the Deputy Administrator of the USDA's Cooperative State Research Service, Dr. O'Connell has provided leadership for the administration of the Sustainable Agriculture (LISA) Program since its inception in 1988.