Journalist and Author Kiera Butler reads from her new book "Raise: What 4-H Teaches 7 Million Kids and How Its Lessons Could Change Food and Farming Forever"
Join Pollinate Farm & Garden as we welcome journalist and author Kiera Butler for a reading and discussion from her book Raise.
"Kiera Butler's Raise is a delightful behind-the-scenes look at the fascinating subculture of 4-H. You'll root for the kids she artfully profiles, in addition to falling in love with the animals tended by these kids. The book proves once again that animals do make us human, especially when you are a teenager at a state fair, in it to win it."
--Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer
When city-dwelling journalist Kiera Butler visits a county fair for the first time, she is captivated by the white-uniformed members of 4-H club and their perfectly-groomed animals. She sets off on a search for a "real" 4-H'er, a hypothetical wholesome youth whom she imagines wearing cowboy boots and living on a ranch.
Along the way, she meets five teenage 4-H'ers from diverse backgrounds and gets to know them as they prepare to compete at the fair. Butler's on-the-ground account of the teens' concerns with their goats, pigs, sheep, proms, and SAT scores is interwoven with a fascinating history of the century-old 4-H as it moves to rely increasingly on corporate donations from top agribusiness firms such as DuPont, Monsanto, and Cargill.
Her quest takes her from California's cities and suburbs all the way to Ghana, where she investigates 4-H's unprecedented push to expand its programs in the developing world and the corporate partnerships that are supporting this expansion.
Following the reading, Ms. Butler will be on hand to sign copies of her book
Author Bio: Kiera Butler is a senior editor at Mother Jones. At Mother Jones, Kiera writes and edits stories about the environment, nutrition, health, and agriculture, including her award-winning column, Econundrums. Her piece about a dietitians' convention sponsored by McDonald's was featured on NPR's All Things Considered. Kiera's work through the Climate Desk collaboration has been published in the Atlantic's CityLab, Wired.com, Slate, and Grist. Kiera lives in Oakland, California. Her favorite ride at the county fair is the Matterhorn. (You guys ready to go backwards!?)
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