Welcome! Big Picture Agriculture is produced by Kay McDonald of Boulder, Colorado. I grew up on a family farm in Northeastern Nebraska, left the farm for city lights, and never dreamt that I’d return to my roots by writing about agriculture, like I do now.
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.
My work has appeared on:
- Best of the Web WSJ Aug 2014
- Boerderij Interview January 2014 print edition (largest farm magazine in Netherlands)
- Washington-Post on Fertilizer April 2013
- AGree on Synthetic Biology April 2013
- Mark Bittman, food writer for NYTs Links multiple times 2013
- Boerderij Interview January 2013 print edition (largest farm magazine in Netherlands)
- Al Jazeera Live News Interview August 20, 2012
- CNN Opinion Piece: “Paying more for food? Blame the ethanol mandate” August 2012
- NYTs Room for Debate: Corn’s Dominio Effect February 2011
- NYTs Dot Earth here and here and here
- Mother Jones/Tom Philpott and here SEP 2013.
- The Atlantic
- Forbes here and here
- Seeking Alpha Editor’s Pick: Will Price Inflation Of Meat, Corn, Food, And Farmland Continue? February 2012
- Michael Pollan, Naked Capitalism, Abnormal Returns, Energy Bulletin, The Oil Drum, CME Group, Genetic Literacy Project, and More.