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Kathy O. Brozek’s new book, The Transformation of American Agriculture, might just turn out to be the ‘carry-around bible’ for social entrepreneurs working in food systems.”

Richard McCarthy, Executive Director, Slow Food USA

The Transformation of American Agriculture exposes and illuminates the two momentous and radically different transformations currently underway in American agriculture, which may ultimately leave us with two utterly disconnected food systems. Kathy O. Brozek’s meticulously researched and highly engaging book highlights key milestones in these transformations—including the advent of genetically modified crops and hyper-industrialization.

First Brozek unravels the tangle of political, governmental, technological, and financial forces that shape the $400 billion American agriculture industry by focusing on Illinois and on the USA’s ubiquitous crop—corn.

Consumers who want their ideal of American agriculture to take hold are growing in number, fervor, and entrepreneurial savvy.

She delves into the particular role corporate giant Monsanto plays in American agriculture, breaking down scientific developments and their effects, many unintended. She then explores another, divergent track—the local and sustainable food movement—as well as the complex (and not so complex) ways we get our food. Again offering a clear and concise translation of complicated terminology, she defines the often puzzling food labels in grocery stores and discusses new investment vehicles available to individual investors, developed to help grow the sustainable agriculture sector.

Brozek then presents the antidote to hyper-industrialization, ten entrepreneurial organizations—from a grass-fed cattle operation to a private equity firm that converts swaths of farmland to certified organic—that have created successful business models within the sustainable food movement. The work of these organizations resonates across regions and offers scalable models to replicate, while strengthening communities and often families.

The Transformation of American Agriculture shows how the disparate approaches to American agriculture are born of a desire to produce food in the most successful way possible, however that may be defined. Consumers who want their ideal of American agriculture—locally and sustainably grown food—to take hold and receive the same government support as commodity agriculture are indeed swimming upstream. But as Brozek skillfully explains, this contingent of consumers is also growing in number—and in fervor and entrepreneurial savvy as well.

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“Kathy has written an insightful and timely book that challenges us all, as consumers, to be more thoughtful (and demanding) about the foods we buy… she has also done a masterful job of outlining many of the realities of farming in the U.S., balanced with inspiring stories of innovative entrepreneurs who are leading the way.” —Gloria Nelund, Chairman & CEO, TriLinc Global
If you’re thinking about the role of food in your life and community and how you can help create more resilient local food systems, read The Transformation of American Agriculture!” —Don Shaffer, President & CEO, RSF Social Finance
“Kathy O. Brozek’s book wraps the reader snugly in understanding how we can feed Americans with other agricultural models, ones often used for centuries, and why those may be better for human, animal, and environmental health.” —R. Paul Herman, CEO, Founder & Chief Investment Officer, HIP Investor Inc.

tag-001-166x189Kathy O. Brozek makes her home in northern California, where she found her way to nonfiction writing after a career in financial services with the Fortune 500. She now works as a management consultant to nonprofit organizations and to businesses whose mission includes creating positive social change. Kathy received an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and has published articles on impact investing and corporate philanthropy in Stanford Social Innovation Review and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Community Development Investment Review, and at GreenBiz.com.

© 2013 The Transformation of American Agriculture. All Rights Reserved.

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