Grass plays a vital role in ensuring a sustainable future for American agriculture, claim the editors of a new book.

Grassland: Quietness and Strength for a New American Agriculture examines the many functions of grassland today and looks at the benefits grass-based agriculture can provide when grass is treated as an essential resource. It has three main sections:

  • “Past Is Prologue” tracks the history of grassland farming, emphasizing some of the philosophical arguments that advocate for grasslands as a vital component of an evolving American society.
  • “The Present: Transitions Over 60 Years” aims to give readers the foundation needed to move into the future, including updated information on cropping systems that include perennial grasses and legumes.
  • “The Forward Look: Opportunities and Challenges” looks at the role of grass-based agriculture in maintaining the stability of rural communities, including the human health benefits when grasses and legumes are made a primary resource in the food chain.

Published by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America, it was edited by Walter Wedin, emeritus professor of agronomy at Iowa State University, and Steven Fales, Iowa State agronomist. Wendell Berry, a farmer and author of more than 40 books and essays about culture and agriculture, wrote a forward that stresses the importance of properly educating farmers about the land and the roles of grasslands.

The book can be purchased online for $80, Item No. B40722 at, by phone at 608-268-4960, or by email: