Welcome! Big Picture Agriculture is produced by Kay McDonald [photo] of Boulder, Colorado. I grew up on a family farm in Northeastern Nebraska, where my family still farms. Since I began writing about agriculture online in 2009, my writing has appeared on NYT’s Room-for-Debate and Dot Earth, CNN.com Opinion, Yale Environment 360, and, I’ve been interviewed on AlJazeera Live (Europe).
E-Mail: bigpictureagriculture (at) gmail (dot) com
My “holistic view” of farming stems from a number of values and observations:
• I’ve watched, sadly, as the region of my childhood has depopulated over the years. Ignoring the human side of the farming equation doesn’t work, as today’s rural (especially Midwestern) areas are finding out.
• The efficiency model for agriculture doesn’t work for the soil, for the Monarch’s, or for the bees. Farming can’t just be about bushels per acre.
• I embrace science. I also embrace keeping things simple and affordable for the farmer because the bottom line is that the farmer has to make a living.
• My background in medicine gives me a realistic view of human diets and health; it helps me differentiate between fads and hype versus the truth.
• I support integrating livestock and poultry into farm systems as they are important in ecosystems and for soil health.
• Energy issues are also an important consideration in evaluating methods used in our food production systems.
• We should be vigilant in preventing pollution of air, water, soil, and food.
My formal education spanned the areas of science, humanities, and medicine. It is my hope that my appreciation of art and literature comes through to readers here.
This site’s goal is to inform, explain, and surprise readers while showing the global story of food and agricultural production through the use of pictures and other visuals, along with an occasional rant from me.
For the curious: This site is my hobby and receives no outside funding. Google ads barely cover the site’s expenses.