Farming and the Fate of Wild Nature addresses an urgent and complex issue facing communities and cultures throughout the world: the need for heightened land stewardship and conservation in an era of diminishing natural resources. Agricultural lands in rural areas are being purchased for development. Water scarcities are pitting urban and development expansion against agriculture and conservation needs. The farming population is ageing and retiring, while those who remain struggle against low commodity prices, international competition, rising production costs, and the threat of disappearing subsidies. We are living amidst a major extinction crisis - much of it driven by agriculture - as well as an increasing shift toward a global urban populace. The modern diet, driven by a grain-fed livestock industry, is no longer connected with the ecosystems that support it. In international circles, experts are arguing that further intensification of agriculture (through industrialization and genetic modification) will be necessary to both feed an exploding human population and to save what is left of wild biodiversity.
Daniel Imhoff is a writer, independent publisher, and homestead farmer whose work addresses food, farming, the environment, and design. Jo Ann Baumgarner is Executive Director of the Wild Farm Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing agricultural systems that support wild nature.