Willoughby Hills
Willoughby Hills with Heath Racela
121. Reporter Sarah Mock on American Agriculture

121. Reporter Sarah Mock on American Agriculture

Welcome to another episode of the Willoughby Hills podcast!

Sarah Mock

On today’s episode, I speak with Sarah Mock. Sarah is a seasoned agricultural reporter and author of two books: Farm (and Other F Words): The Rise and Fall of the Small Family Farm and Big Team Farms: Growing Farms Differently. She is also the host and producer of the new podcast from Ambrook Research: The Only Thing That Lasts.

Sarah was raised on a farm in Wyoming and has had agriculture in her blood from an early age. But she’s also quick to dispel the myths around the American farm and farmers.

In her first book, she writes:

“The tougher pill to swallow is that our ‘amber waves of grain’ love affair with these farms is rooted in hundreds of years of white settler culture. It may seem benign, but the warm, fuzzy feelings we get when we shop at the farmers market or think of Old MacDonald on his farm are irrevocably tied to a version of the American Dream that encouraged white immigrants to take Indigenous land, enslave people to work it, and transform it into cash by whatever means necessary. These are the two faces of America’s agrarian dream, and they cannot be separated.”

This paragraph seems to perfectly encapsulate Sarah’s work for me. She is a pragmatist who is willing to see our farming system for what it is, not what it mythologizes itself to be. She sees economic, housing, and social justice through an agricultural lens. Her work serves as a reminder that racism and inequality touch nearly every aspect of American society and culture. She’s a chronicler of modern American farms, and she’s not going to sugarcoat what she sees.

Sarah’s new podcast is available to stream now on all podcast platforms. You can purchase her books here.

If you enjoy this interview, you may also like my twice-weekly email newsletter about our changing relationship to home, work, building, shopping, eating, and more. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox, plus get notified when new podcast episodes are posted:

Related Episodes:

Listening Tip:

You can stream this episode on the go using the Substack app.

Read Willoughby Hills in the Substack app
Available for iOS and Android

You can also click “Listen On” in the player at the top of this post to load this episode on your favorite podcast app, or search “Willoughby Hills” in your favorite podcast app too.

Willoughby Hills
Willoughby Hills with Heath Racela
Quarantine Creatives is now Willoughby Hills. Join TV producer/director Heath Racela as he chats with interesting guests with unique perspectives on our ever evolving relationships to work, home, community, culture, food, the environment, and more.