My Farm Roots
The fifth-generation to run his family farm, Mark Kenney says the '80s farm crisis taught him lessons for today. (Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media)

My Farm Roots 2013

In Farm Country, Roots Run Deep

Farming isn’t a job, it’s a way of life.

The people who live in farm country are tough and independent and pride themselves on working hard and loving the land. From central Illinois soybean farmers to western Kansas ranchers, from the rolling hills of southern Missouri to the sand flats of Nebraska, from dairies to farmer’s markets to horizons filled with Iowa corn, Midwestern farmers help feed the country, even the world.

So, in the midst of the 21st century, what is farm country? Where do today’s farmers and ranchers come from and what is important to them? What holds farmers to the land and why do those bonds break?

Harvest Public Media wants to understand the history of the Midwest and the people who live here. We want to explore what makes farm country special and we want to learn about the people that built America’s breadbasket. Because when you hail from farm country, roots run deep.

Listen to Americans' stories and memories of rural life by clicking on a My Farm Roots story to the left.

You'll hear young people speak passionately about their upbringing on their family's farm and about the powerful connection they have to farming as a way a life. You'll hear about families who have farmed Midwestern land for generations and who could never be moved -- not by flooding, not by tornadoes, not by suffocating dust. You'll hear about why a farm is more than a collection of buildings and land -- it represents family life, history, tradition and a legacy.

This is the second edition of My Farm Roots. For more My Farm Roots stories, click here.

Share the story of your Farm Roots

We need you.

Do you have a powerful connection to the land? Did you grow up on a farm or do you hope to start a new life on one? Do you know someone with deep, strong ties to the farm? We want to hear the story of your farm roots -- we may even contact you so we can tell your story.

Click here to share your story via the Harvest Network, our Public Insight Network. We read every story and we'll make sure to get back to you. 

You can also connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.