Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2002


Published in Great Plains Research 12:1 (Sprig 2001). Copyright © 2002 Center for Great Plains Studies.


This book makes a significant contribution to the literature on the sustainable agriculture movement in the United States. While Hassanein acknowledges that the movement arose in response to systematic, global problems, her purpose here is to go beyond large-scale analysis of the movement and dig deeply into what makes it tick at the local level. Her interest is in the dynamics within the movement and in the ways that knowledge is created and disseminated in the sustainable farming networks that operate largely outside public agricultural research and extension systems. For this she selects two case studies, the Ocooch Grazers Network and the Wisconsin Women's Sustainable Farming Network. Her study of the grazers illustrates the tensions inherent in developing alternative practices, particularly in the socialization of knowledge and in making strategic decisions about when to focus on practices alone or on larger social goals.