Fields of Resistance

The Far Middle

Mar 20 2024 • 25 mins

Far Middle episode 148 arrives at a special time: March Madness is here, spring has sprung, and America is celebrating National Agriculture Week.

At this time of renewal, farming is the featured theme and focus. Nick begins in “heaven,” aka Iowa, for this episode’s sports dedication, which goes to “the Heater from Van Meter", Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller.

While Felller eventually landed in Cooperstown, his stretch to more than 2,500 Major League strikeouts began with playing American Legion ball in Iowa, with Nile Kinnick behind the plate. Learn more about Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick in The Far Middle episode 138, “The Truth of the Matter.”

Bob Feller, who grew up on a family farm, plants the seed for this episode’s examination of the roots of American farmer activism in the late 19th century and the parallels to Europe today. Nick discusses the recent surge of farmer protests across several European countries, from Ireland to Romania. The conversation further explores Nick’s recent commentary, “Harvesting History: Farmer Activism is Democracy’s Early Warning System.

In this episode, Nick offers both an American agriculture history lesson and an update on current issues and strife affecting European farmers. Learn how and why climate change policies are the singular root cause of today’s European farmer protests, and why other so-called causes are simply associated symptoms of those climate policies.

“Farmers matter greatly in society—let's not mess with them,” says Nick. “They’re one of America’s great value creator classes—amongst creators, enablers, and servers—making society function, as I wrote in Precipice. Unfortunately, farmers are finding themselves under attack with this ever-pressing value appropriation by what might some call the takers, and that I reference in Precipice as the Leech.”

In closing, Nick wraps with a fitting look back at the first Farm Aid concert. Now nearly 40 years ago, Nick pays tribute to Eddie Van Halen and Sammy Hagar’s first performance together on stage.