82 books like Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman

By Miriam Horn,

Here are 82 books that Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman fans have personally recommended if you like Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Fate of Food: What We'll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World

Lewis H. Ziska Author Of Greenhouse Planet: How Rising CO2 Changes Plants and Life as We Know It

From my list on climate and plants, from forests to farms.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated with plants. Their shapes, their colors, their beauty, even the plants that are known to be harmful to humans (poison ivy, puncture vine) had appeal to me. Plants are, by far, the most prolific, the biggest, the oldest, the most complex of organisms. And yet, as a pre-med student, classes on botany were never recommended. Sad. These books delve into the complexity, the wonder of plants, and how they interact with humans. From the sheer poetic pronouncements of Michael Pollan to the straightforward prose of Richard Manning, here is a chance to see the breadth and depth; our rewards and struggles with the plant kingdom.  

Lewis' book list on climate and plants, from forests to farms

Lewis H. Ziska Why did Lewis love this book?

Well-researched with on-the-ground examples of climate change, this provides a food systems outlook that anyone who has ever stepped foot on a farm can relate to.  Easily read and understandable, it provides a global perspective of climate risks from fisheries to the role of GMOs in addressing shortages, it is an excellent primer for anyone interested in the future of food.

By Amanda Little,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Fate of Food as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


WINNER OF THE 2019 NAUTILUS BOOK AWARD 

In the fascinating story of the sustainable food revolution, an environmental journalist and professor asks the question: Is the future of food looking bleak—or better than ever?
 
“In The Fate of Food, Amanda Little takes us on a tour of the future. The journey is scary, exciting, and, ultimately, encouraging.”—Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sixth Extinction

Climate models show that global crop production will decline every decade for the rest of this century due to drought, heat, and flooding. Water supplies are in jeopardy. Meanwhile, the world’s population is expected to…


Book cover of Cowed: The Hidden Impact of 93 Million Cows on America’s Health, Economy, Politics, Culture, and Environment

Richard Munson Author Of Tech to Table: 25 Innovators Reimagining Food

From my list on the future of food.

Why am I passionate about this?

Innovators long have fascinated me. I helped launch a clean-energy startup and advance legislation promoting environmental entrepreneurs. I’ve written biographies of Nikola Tesla (who gave us electric motors, radio, and remote controls) Jacques Cousteau (inventor of the Aqua Lung and master of undersea filming) and George Fabyan (pioneer of modern cryptography and acoustics), as well as a history of electricity (From Edison to Enron). I love reading (and writing) about ingenious and industrious individuals striving to achieve their dreams. 

Richard's book list on the future of food

Richard Munson Why did Richard love this book?

When it comes to discussions about meat, wouldn’t you like something balanced rather than strident? Denis and Gail Hayes offer a well-researched and well-written look at the role of cows in our history and diets. The book’s appeal is that it is both too radical for most cowboys (except the couple hundred ranchers actually doing it right) and too honest about the important role animal protein played in human evolution for the vegans. Cowed also delivers an array of quotable facts, such as “Eating a pound of beef has a greater climate impact than burning a gallon of gasoline.” 

By Denis Hayes, Gail Boyer Hayes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cowed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Cowed, globally recognized environmentalists Denis and Gail Boyer Hayes offer a revealing analysis of how our beneficial, centuries-old relationship with bovines has evolved into one that now endangers us.

Long ago, cows provided food and labor to settlers taming the wild frontier and helped the loggers, ranchers, and farmers who shaped the country's landscape. Our society is built on the backs of bovines who indelibly stamped our culture, politics, and economics. But our national herd has doubled in size over the past hundred years to 93 million, with devastating consequences for the country's soil and water. Our love affair…


Book cover of Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World

Richard Munson Author Of Tech to Table: 25 Innovators Reimagining Food

From my list on the future of food.

Why am I passionate about this?

Innovators long have fascinated me. I helped launch a clean-energy startup and advance legislation promoting environmental entrepreneurs. I’ve written biographies of Nikola Tesla (who gave us electric motors, radio, and remote controls) Jacques Cousteau (inventor of the Aqua Lung and master of undersea filming) and George Fabyan (pioneer of modern cryptography and acoustics), as well as a history of electricity (From Edison to Enron). I love reading (and writing) about ingenious and industrious individuals striving to achieve their dreams. 

Richard's book list on the future of food

Richard Munson Why did Richard love this book?

I first “met” Shapiro during one of his fascinating TEDx presentations. His book only adds to my fascination with the race among entrepreneurs to create and commercialize cleaner, safer, sustainable meat—without slaughtering animals. Shapiro offers a front-row seat to that race to create enough food for the world’s ever-growing, ever-hungry population. Meet the innovators offering clean meat—real, actual meat grown (or brewed) from animal cells. 

By Paul Shapiro,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Clean Meat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Paul Shapiro gives you a front-row seat for the wild story of the race to create and commercialize cleaner, safer, sustainable meat—real meat—without the animals. From the entrepreneurial visionaries to the scientists’ workshops to the big business board­rooms—Shapiro details that quest for clean meat and other animal products and examines the debate raging around it.

Since the dawn of Homo sapiens some quarter million years ago, animals have satiated our species’ desire for meat. But with a growing global popula­tion and demand for meat, eggs, dairy, leather, and more, raising such massive numbers of farm animals is woefully inefficient and…


Book cover of Billion Dollar Burger: Inside Big Tech's Race for the Future of Food

Richard Munson Author Of Tech to Table: 25 Innovators Reimagining Food

From my list on the future of food.

Why am I passionate about this?

Innovators long have fascinated me. I helped launch a clean-energy startup and advance legislation promoting environmental entrepreneurs. I’ve written biographies of Nikola Tesla (who gave us electric motors, radio, and remote controls) Jacques Cousteau (inventor of the Aqua Lung and master of undersea filming) and George Fabyan (pioneer of modern cryptography and acoustics), as well as a history of electricity (From Edison to Enron). I love reading (and writing) about ingenious and industrious individuals striving to achieve their dreams. 

Richard's book list on the future of food

Richard Munson Why did Richard love this book?

Here’s another engaging tale of the entrepreneurs and renegades fighting to bring lab-grown, cell-cultured meat to the world. I appreciated Purdy’s description of this competition as an “edible space race,” and unlike my other highlighted book, Billion Dollar Burger highlights the “difficult regulatory landscape” concocted by Big Meat lobbyists trying to keep protein alternatives off the shelves. He outlines ways to overcome that opposition and create healthier, more sustainable, and more humane food options.

By Chase Purdy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Billion Dollar Burger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fast-paced, gripping insider account of the entrepreneurs and renegades racing to bring lab-grown meat to the world.

The trillion-dollar meat industry is one of our greatest environmental hazards; it pollutes more than all the world's fossil-fuel-powered cars. Global animal agriculture is responsible for deforestation, soil erosion and more emissions than air travel, paper mills and coal mining combined. It also depends on the slaughter of more than 60 billion animals per year, a number that is only increasing as the global appetite for meat swells. The whole world seems to be sleepwalking into a food crisis.

But a band…


Book cover of Strange Natures: Conservation in the Era of Synthetic Biology

Menno Schilthuizen Author Of Darwin Comes to Town: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution

From my list on biology in the Anthropocene.

Why am I passionate about this?

Menno Schilthuizen is a Dutch evolutionary biologist and ecologist with more than thirty years of research experience under his belt, feeling at home in tropical rainforests as well as in urban greenspaces. He writes in a humorous and accessible manner for the general public about the ways in which the world's ecosystems are shifting and evolving under an increasing human presence. He works and teaches at Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, the Netherlands.

Menno's book list on biology in the Anthropocene

Menno Schilthuizen Why did Menno love this book?

When speaking of the role of technology in nature conservation, one might envisage drones to survey habitat destruction, or endangered elephants with radio collars. But technology might go much further. In this book, the authors show how genetics could help us to re-engineer species, even entire food webs to meet the environmental challenges of the future.

By Kent H. Redford, William M. Adams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Strange Natures as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking examination of the implications of synthetic biology for biodiversity conservation

"What is natural and what is artificial in the era of the Anthropocene? This is the core question addressed by Kent Redford and William Adams' book, Strange Natures. . . . It is impressive how the book manages to be so rich in perspectives on such a complex and controversial phenomenon, yet so cautiously and open-mindedly written that it invites contemplation and reflection rather than hasty conclusions."-Adam Wickberg, Global Environmental Politics

Nature almost everywhere survives on human terms. The distinction between what is natural and what is human-made,…


Book cover of Aldo Leopold: A Sand County Almanac & Other Writings on Conservation and Ecology

Adam M. Sowards Author Of An Open Pit Visible from the Moon: The Wilderness Act and the Fight to Protect Miners Ridge and the Public Interest

From my list on helping you get deep in the wilderness.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I first started reading about wilderness, I accepted it as an obvious thing—a place without people. That lasted a short time before I realized the enormous historical complexity of such places. Rather than places without people, without history, without politics, “wilderness” became a laboratory of American society. I tried to capture that vibrancy in my book An Open Pit Visible from the Moon where I showed all the claims various people made on one wilderness area in the North Cascades. I'm a writer, historian, and former college professor who now calls the Skagit Valley of Washington home. As much as I enjoy studying wilderness, I prefer walking through it and noticing what it teaches.

Adam's book list on helping you get deep in the wilderness

Adam M. Sowards Why did Adam love this book?

I first read A Sand County Almanac in college, and it inspired me to think deeply about nature. In fact, it helped inspire my career. Aldo Leopold wrestled with our obligations to wild creatures and places arguably more seriously than any contemporary. This is the sort of book where you can open a random page, read a passage, and spend the rest of the afternoon mulling over the ideas, their implications, and the beauty of their expression. This volume collects not only his most famous book but dozens of articles and letters where you can see his mind evolving and changing. Leopold modeled an integrity and a curious mind at work that I try to emulate. I know I’m not alone. 

By Aldo Leopold,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Aldo Leopold as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A special edition of one of the greatest masterpieces of the environmental movement-plus original photographs and other writings on environmental ethics

Since his death in 1948, Aldo Leopold has been increasingly recognized as one of the indispensable figures of American environmentalism. A pioneering forester, sportsman, wildlife manager, and ecologist, he was also a gifted writer whose farsighted land ethic is proving increasingly relevant in our own time. Now, Leopold's essential contributions to our literature-some hard-to-find or previously unpublished-are gathered in a single volume for the first time.

Here is his classic A Sand County Almanac, hailed-along with Thoreau's Walden and…


Book cover of Wilding: Returning Nature to Our Farm

Caro Feely Author Of Cultivating Change: Regenerating Land and Love in the Age of Climate Crisis

From my list on biodiversity, plants and natural magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a published author specializing in nature, travel, and wine writing, and I have been an organic farmer for nearly two decades on an award-winning estate in France. I’ve written four books about the transformation of our organic farm. In my latest, Cultivating Change, I explore how biodiversity helps us address climate change and how important it is to the health of the land. It is also a human story; like the books below, stories are key to bringing these subjects to life. My list is women authors, not because I set out to do that, but because these books are beautiful, intuitive, and deep, like the women who wrote them.

Caro's book list on biodiversity, plants and natural magic

Caro Feely Why did Caro love this book?

This book by Isabella Tree is the story of how Isabella and her husband, Charlie Burrell, transformed their massive 3500-acre farm in England (100 times the size of our organic farm in France) from an intensively farmed operation that was losing money into a conservation haven and an icon of rewilding or ‘wilding’ as Isabella has termed it. Questions remain about exactly how this model can work without subsidies and/or a heavy emphasis on tourism (they are less than 2 hours drive from London and offer glamping and more) and where/how serious food production fits into this picture.

That said, the other model of intensive farming at Knepp failed both economically and environmentally. Wilding at Knepp is far kinder to the land and the wider environment. It’s economically successful, employing far more people than it did as an intensive farm, and the environmental benefits are off the charts. This book…

By Isabella Tree,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Wilding as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A poignant, practical and moving story of how to fix our broken land, this should be conservation's salvation; this should be its future; this is a new hope' - Chris Packham

In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the 'Knepp experiment', a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.

Winner of the Richard Jefferies Society and White Horse Book Shop Literary Prize.

Forced to accept that intensive farming on…


Book cover of The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America

Nate Schweber Author Of This America of Ours: Bernard and Avis Devoto and the Forgotten Fight to Save the Wild

From my list on public lands and conservation.

Why am I passionate about this?

By lucky lottery of birth, Missoula, Montana, nestled between forested mountains and sliced through by trout-filled rivers, is where I was born and raised. Public land conservation came into my consciousness naturally as clean, pine-scented air. But when I moved to overcrowded New York City in 2001 to try a career in journalism, homesickness made me begin researching conservation. Why are there public lands in the West? What forces prompted their creation? Who wants public lands, and who opposes them? Can their history teach us about our present and our future? These books began answering my questions. 

Nate's book list on public lands and conservation

Nate Schweber Why did Nate love this book?

When historian Douglas Brinkley said he intended to write a trilogy of thick environmental books, comedian Jon Stewart quipped, "How many trees will you kill to do it?" But Brinkley's gift is no joke. He did our world a remarkable service by writing this encyclopedia of American conservation.

Despite profiling great presidents, a lesson I learned repeatedly from Brinkley is how much conservation history has been driven by everyday Americans caring about a part of the country and acting. 

By Douglas Brinkley,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Wilderness Warrior as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From New York Times bestselling historian Douglas Brinkley comes a sweeping historical narrative and eye-opening look at the pioneering environmental policies of President Theodore Roosevelt, avid bird-watcher, naturalist, and the founding father of America’s conservation movement.

In this groundbreaking epic biography, Douglas Brinkley draws on never-before-published materials to examine the life and achievements of our “naturalist president.” By setting aside more than 230 million acres of wild America for posterity between 1901 and 1909, Theodore Roosevelt made conservation a universal endeavor. This crusade for the American wilderness was perhaps the greatest U.S. presidential initiative between the Civil War and World…


Book cover of The Rise of Conservation in South Africa: Settlers, Livestock, and the Environment 1770-1950

Gufu Oba Author Of African Environmental Crisis: A History of Science for Development

From my list on environmental history, science, and development.

Why am I passionate about this?

Gufu Oba (Professor) has taught Ecology, Pastoralism, and Environmental History at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences for 21 years. He previously worked for UNESCO-MAB on issues of environmental conservation. He has published four books on social and environmental history. His books include Nomads in the shadows of Empires (BRILL, 2013), Climate change adaptations in Africa (Routledge, 2014), Herder Warfare in East Africa: A social and Spatial History (White Horse Press, 2017), and African Environmental Crisis: A History of Science for development (Routledge, 2020).

Gufu's book list on environmental history, science, and development

Gufu Oba Why did Gufu love this book?

The Rise of Conservation in South Africa is an innovative contribution to the growing comparative field of environmental history. Beinart's major theme is the history of conservationist ideas in South Africa. He focuses largely on the livestock farming districts of the semi-arid Karoo and the neighboring Eastern Cape grasslands, conquered and occupied by white settlers before the middle of the nineteenth century. Concerns about environmental degradation reached a crescendo in the early decades of the twentieth century, when a Dust Bowl of kinds was predicted, and formed the basis for far-reaching state intervention aimed at conserving natural resources. Soil erosion, overstocking, and water supplies stood alongside wildlife protection as the central preoccupations of South African conservationists.

The book traces debates about environmental degradation in successive eras of South African history. It offers a reinterpretation of South Africa's economic development, and of aspects of the Cape colonial and South African states.…

By William Beinart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rise of Conservation in South Africa as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Rise of Conservation in South Africa is an innovative contribution to the growing comparative field of environmental history. Beinart's major theme is the history of conservationist ideas in South Africa. He focuses largely on the livestock farming districts of the semi-arid Karoo and the neighbouring eastern Cape grasslands, conquered and occupied by white settlers before the middle of the nineteenth century. The Cape, like Australia, became a major
exporter of wool. Vast numbers of sheep flooded its plains and rapidly transformed its fragile natural pastures. Cattle also remained vital for ox-wagon transport and internal markets. Concerns about environmental degradation…


Book cover of Crimes Against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation

Megan Kate Nelson Author Of Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America

From my list on America’s National Parks.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Colorado and visited national parks all over the country on summer vacations with my family. Now I write about U.S. Western history while living outside Boston, Massachusetts. My most recent book, The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West (Scribner 2020) was a finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in History. I have written about the Civil War and the U.S. West for The New York TimesWashington PostThe Atlantic, Smithsonian Magazine, and Civil War Monitor. Scribner will publish my next book, Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America, on March 1, 2022. 

Megan's book list on America’s National Parks

Megan Kate Nelson Why did Megan love this book?

Indigenous communities and land dispossession are the subjects of Crimes Against Nature, although Jacoby also brings white transgressors of federal policy into his book about the dark history of the American conservation movement. The rural communities he describes engaged in survival practices that quickly became defined and punished as crimes: hunting, fishing, tree-cutting, and foraging. Jacoby includes eastern parks in his assessment, writing about the Adirondacks before turning to Yellowstone and Grand Canyon. At the heart of this beautifully written book is the tension between what constitutes private and public space in American history, and how rural white and Indigenous Americans have often lived in the borderlands between them.

By Karl Jacoby,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Crimes Against Nature as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Crimes against Nature reveals the hidden history behind three of the nation's first parklands: the Adirondacks, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon. Focusing on conservation's impact on local inhabitants, Karl Jacoby traces the effect of criminalizing such traditional practices as hunting, fishing, foraging, and timber cutting in the newly created parks. Jacoby reassesses the nature of these "crimes" and provides a rich portrait of rural people and their relationship with the natural world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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