A Bold Return to Giving a Damn: an invitation

Who We’re Reading: Will Harris, owner of White Oak Pastures

by Robin Kelson

Published in 2023, Will Harris’ book A Bold Return to Giving a Damn, picks up where Gabe Brown’s 2018 Dirt to Soil left off in the public’s education of regenerative farming practices and this critical moment in how we as a culture choose to feed ourselves and future generations.

Blunt, unapologetic, and exceptionally thoughtful, Harris details his 30-year journey transitioning from a successful industrial ag cattleman to a successful regenerative land and livestock steward who talks about his farm as an organism, populated by a hundred thousand beating hearts, that is so much more than the sum of its parts.

Along the way, he pulls back the curtain on Big Ag, Big Food, and Big Grocery. If any of these terms are new to you, this is the book to pick up to understand the measure of the ways in which our conventional food system is broken.

With help from Amely Greeven, Harris’ book is an engaging read; likely you’ll come to the last page before you’re ready to be done. Regardless, you’ll close the book with a profound understanding of just exactly where we stand as a country in our stewardship of our food, our health, and the resources available for future generations. It’s not pretty.

That said, you’ll also come away with a clear understanding of an alternative that is both hopeful and real – an approach to food and farming that is sustainable, profitable, reliable, possible, and honest. Clearly, Harris, everyone at White Oaks Pastures, and producers on similarly-run farms and ranches around the country and the globe are doing their part to make the alternative the norm. Harris’ invitation is clear: are we, as consumers, willing to do our part?

Alternative Energy Resources Organization

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