Rural life in North America has changed dramatically since the days of the family farm, when people worked the same land for generations, let their cows graze in pastures and their chickens scratch in dirt, and sold their produce locally. The few remaining small farmers now struggle to survive, strangled by debt and a rash of complex regulations designed to drive them out of business. In their place are corporate-backed factory farms with little understanding of, or sympathy for, rural life. But the corporate and political interests determined to make this life extinct are meeting with fierce resistance. In this passionate and persuasive book, writer and farmer Thomas Pawlick uses his own rural community as a microcosm for the battle between industrial agriculture and local farming a clash whose outcome will determine the future of rural life in North America and also the quality and sustainability of our food, water, soil, and air.