The Family Farm in Community Life


One of our first tasks is to become acquainted with the general character of family farming in Knox County. Fortunately, participants in the first year of the Family Farm Project did much to document the general character of family farming and presented their findings in Rural Delivery. This assignment is designed to introduce you to the work already completed and to the resources you can draw upon as you examine family farming in community life.

Your primary task is to read the booklet and listen to the tape comprising Rural Delivery. As with other "reading" assignments, write a response consistent with the guidelines I presented in the Journals handout. Rural Delivery is a public project as well as a piece of scholarship, and it should be examined on both counts. Consider the following questions (but don't feel limited to these) as you review the material and write your response:

If your family or friends back home asked you to describe the character of family farming in Knox County, what would you tell them?

What are the major themes or issues relevant to understanding family farming?

Do the issues you identify emanate from the farm community or from the fieldworkers?

How effectively does Rural Delivery convey the character of family farming in community life?

Rural Delivery was broadcast as a radio series on Knox County radio station WMVO, and copies of the boxed tape and booklet have been sold throughout Knox County. How would the local community respond to this series? What do you imagine would be the responses of local farmers and of the non-farming community?

What questions remain unanswered in your mind about family farming and community life? What issues require further investigation?

Your second task is to visit the Family Farm Project research room and familiarize yourself with the files in the two file cabinets. These cabinets contain a wealth of materials about family farming in Knox County and beyond. After going through the cabinets, select one file that interests you and examine it in detail. Summarize what you learn from the file and record your responses to that material along with your comments on the reading. We'll share what we've found in the cabinets as part of our upcoming class discussion.

E-mail The Family Farm Project