Mission and Vision


The Berry Center is putting Wendell Berry’s writings to work by advocating for farmers, land conserving communities, and healthy regional economies.


The Berry Center’s vision is grounded in the lives of three men. John M. Berry, Sr., a lawyer and farmer, devoted his life to rural Kentucky and its farmers. His sons, John M. Berry, Jr. and Wendell Berry, followed in his footsteps: John as a farmer and lawyer, and Wendell as a farmer and writer. Following these three farmers’ examples, The Berry Center will focus on issues confronting small farming families in Kentucky and around the country. We will encourage and conduct study into where we have been, where we are, and where we are going in the rural landscapes. By collecting and archiving the papers of the Berry family, we will give people the opportunity to study and work to learn from the past in order to shape the future. We will bring into focus issues of land use, farm policy, local food infrastructure, urban education about farming, and farmer education that is lacking in Kentucky and the country as a whole.

Our focus may shift because of need, but it will not move from what we believe to be the central issue of our time: a healthy and sustainable agriculture in this country.