Author to farmers, environmentalists: Collaborate or fail

BarnyardsandBirkenstocks-coverPULLMAN, Wash. – Author Don Stuart believes two dangerous trends – loss of farms and damage to ecosystems – are connected and are largely caused by political deadlock between farmers and environmental activists.

In his new book, “Barnyards and Birkenstocks: Why Farmers and Environmentalists Need Each Other,” Stuart offers a radical proposal: collaboration.

The 6 x 9-inch, 288 page paperback retails for $28.95 and is available through bookstores nationwide or direct from WSU Press (800-354-7360 or online at

A nonprofit academic publisher concentrating on scholarly books with a cultural or historical relationship to the Pacific Northwest, WSU Press is associated with Washington State University.

An attorney who has held director positions with American Farmland Trust, a commercial fisheries trade association and the Washington Association of Conservation Districts, Stuart argues that combining efforts could advance the economic needs of farmers while furthering conservation activities of environmentalists. He also points out costs of continued political impasse.

“(Stuart) forcefully makes the case that there is significant peril to the goals of each if the current stalemate over environmental concerns about farming operations continues unresolved,” says Peter Goldmark, Washington state commissioner of public lands.

To promote empathy between farmers and environmentalists, the author presents opposing perspectives on a range of topics such as incentives, regulations, government spending, environmental markets, growth management, climate change, public lands grazing and the federal farm bill.

Drawing from multiple case studies and a lifetime spent resolving conflicts, he identifies characteristics of successful community programs and suggests a model for a prosperous, healthy future.

In addition to the farmers and environmentalists mentioned in the subtitle, Stuart’s book targets conservation professionals working in nonprofit organizations as well as environmental and agricultural government agencies.