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Drawn to the Land: The Romance of Farming    by Elizabeth Cockey & Barton M. Cockey order for
Drawn to the Land
by Elizabeth Cockey
Order:  USA  Can
Bridgeway, 2010 (2010)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Following on the heels of the Cockeys' last book, Upstate New York: Towns That We Love, comes this follow-up volume, Drawn to the Land: The Romance of Farming. As before, the reader is treated to Elizabeth's romantic artwork, with dreamy indistinct edges relating to the subject of this lovely coffee table book.

Drawn to the Land tells the tale of the upstate New York farmer, from living well off the land to having to compete with huge corporate farms. Readers learn how farmers are dedicated to their lives, wringing a livelihood from the land that their fathers and grandfathers tilled.

My granddaughter and her husband are on their way to Nebraska to celebrate his family's centennial on their farm. It can't be easy today. The rise of organically grown produce and meat has helped the small farmer to stay on his land. But how tragic it must be to be forced off the land of your fathers because the farm can no longer subsidize a viable living. My grandson-in-law's family are finding it difficult but have managed to stay on the farm. I hope the next generation can do so also.

Given its subject, one drawback to me is the fact that this book is printed and bound in China. That aside though, from its paintings of chickens, horses and a tractor to bales of new-mown hay, Drawn to the Land offers a step back in time. A good step.

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