Publication date: January 2009
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Publication date: March 2010
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The Family Ranch
Land, Children, and Tradition in the American West
Ranch families in the twenty-first century face many challenges, from competition with government-subsidized agribusiness corporations to tax laws that encourage development over agriculture and prevent the smooth transfer of land from one generation to the next.
As a stabilizing force in the American West, ranch families play a critical role in our country, perhaps more so today than ever before, yet their stories have rarely been told. They contribute to our nation with the food they raise, the environments they protect, and the resources they manage, and they preserve our western heritage while holding the West open for the rest of us.
In The Family Ranch, award-winning author Linda Hussa offers readers a personal, inside view into the lives of six diverse ranching families and the land that shapes their days and nights. Photographer Madeleine Graham Blake provides engaging and often moving images that portray each family at work and at play.
With chapters on the critical issues that face each of themfrom grazing rights and water use, to children's education and the emerging rural marketplacethese family profiles are set in a larger context. This is family ranching as it is now, a tracing of how it always was, but made far more complex in modern times. By combining their traditions with the tools of modern technology, these people strengthen the ideal of family and give the business of ranching a vibrant and viable future.
The Family Ranch is rich in remarkable stories of what happens when parents, children, work, and nature come together for a lifetime of commitment. It speaks to urban and rural people in important ways, illuminating the realities of the western ranch and the people who make their living, and their lives, on it. Essential reading for people who love the West and care about its future. The Family Ranch inspires thoughts about tradition, values, and responsibility that are applicable to all communities.
"Linda Hussa's book explores major issues and changes in ranching in the American West. Anyone interested in learning about the reality of ranching life would enjoy this book." - Judy Blunt, author of Breaking Clean
"In this book Linda Hussa tugs seriously at our heart strings with stories of incredible dedication, hard work, love, and persistence. The teacher and mentor in all these things is nature. The classroom is the family ranch. The lessons that begin in youth are life-long. The reason she tells us is to make us aware that this way of life is too valuable to lose. The threats are many and serious, and we all participate in them to some degree. Read this and pass it on." - Dan Dagget, author of Beyond the Rangeland Conflict: Toward a West That Works and Gardeners of Eden: Rediscovering Our Importance to Nature
"The role of nurture in the West may well be its most untold story, and the portraits of the six families painted here are both moving and essential as we try to buld a sustainable world." - Teresa Jordan, author of Riding the White Horse Home: A Western Family Album
"The Family Ranch offers an unforgettable portrait of enduring family traditions. A treasury of insight into the traditions and legacy of a distinctly American way of life." - The Midwest Book Review
"Linked images and stories...make this book an important contribution to a more nuanced understanding of our modern American West." - Oregon Historical Quarterly
"Author Linda Hussa demonstrates an impressive eye for detail as she chronicles the challenges and the rewards of modern-day ranching life in The Family Ranch." - American Cowboy
"...she has drawn well from her own experience to paint a remarkable portrait of contemporary ranch life. One would look far and wide for a more intriguing or thorough treatment." - Annals of Wyoming