Boise nonprofit “Turtle Island Co-op” looks to purchase Idaho farmland for experimental agriculture community

One of the Turtle Island Co-op’s main goals is to bridge the gap between academic life and the rural lifestyle.

“The reason society decided to start dividing labor in the first place was so we could make more time in our days,” McKerracher said. “But what are we doing it all for if only a few of us are able to engage in academic pursuits— the fine arts? Why should that only be delegated to the few who are caught up in teaching it?”

McKerracher went on to further illustrate the societal divide between those growing our food and those sometimes referred to as the “academic elite.” According to McKerracher, people in urban, academic communities are often concerned with where their food comes from, but would be hard pressed to create it for themselves.

“The problem is if we need more of these sustainable, local farms, we need more farmers,” McKerracher said. “We want more people to go into the fields to make us this food. Why don’t we just go do it? Because we’re spending all our time studying something we think is more interesting. Something less culturally isolating.”

McKerracher went on to explain that creating an academic farming community, would not only help to close this social divide, but also potentially solve the problem of the standard family farm’s sustainability.

“The number one problem with family farms across the nation is that nobody’s kids want to stay on the farm. I didn’t,” McKerracher said. “When I talk about wanting to go back, it’s not so I can continue this family model. It’s to create this new community model.”

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