Wendell Berry ’s The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture, published in 1977, awakened a national and global conversation on the dire state of agriculture. The Berry Center was launched in 2011 to continue this conversation and preserve the legacy of Wendell Berry’s work and writings and the exceptional agricultural contributions of his father John Berry, Sr., and his brother John Berry, Jr. We are putting these inspiring writings and histories into action through our Archive at the Berry Center, Agrarian Culture Center and Bookstore, Home Place Meats—A Local Beef Initiative, and The Berry Farming Program. The core of our work is to advocate for farmers, land conserving communities, and healthy regional economies.
Our work seeks to provide solutions to essential issues that are rarely in public discourse and certainly not reflected in agricultural policies. “What will it take for farmers to be able to afford to farm well?” and “How do we become a culture that supports good farming and land use?” These are just a few of the questions that The Berry Center is addressing. We believe that the answers—while firmly rooted in local work—are central to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems including the devastation of natural resources and biodiversity; rapid onset of climate change; economic and social inequities; and the collapse of healthy farming and rural communities.
Visitors from all over the world travel to The Berry Center to visit our archive and neighboring Agrarian Culture Center and Bookstore and learn about our agricultural programs. Located in the handsome 1820 Oldham House in downtown New Castle, Kentucky, we are becoming a principle destination for historians, researchers, students, and agrarian leaders seeking information and history that is difficult to find or even unavailable.