SEAMUS MCGRAW – Betting the Farm on a Drought


~post by Kaitlyn

I come from three generations of farming families in Southwest Texas, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about farmers, it’s that their mood is dependent upon the weather. You can imagine the crankiness I’ve endured over the last several years as our state has struggled through an extreme drought, inching closer each day to the record-breaking drought it endured in the 1950s. (Still love ya, Dad!) All over my hometown of Uvalde, families pray for rain. Most refuse to believe the disparaging predictions made by climatologists and look forward to the day it will end.

In Betting the Farm on a Drought: Stories from the Front Lines of Climate Change (UT Press), Seamus McGraw documents the challenges the drought has forced upon Texas farmers, ranchers and fishermen. Through personal interviews he explores the drought’s consequences on their livelihoods and how they are responding.

I’m personally looking forward to being here on Sunday, April 12 at 5pm when McGraw is here at BookPeople, in cooperation with edible Austin, to discuss the issues he raises in Betting the Farm. Contributing to the conversation will be Katie Pitrie of Tecolote Farm; Edwin Marty, Food Policy Manager for the City of Austin; Hershel Kendall of Indian Hills Farm and moderator Elizabeth Winslow of edible AustinFarmhouse Delivery will provide tastings and beer will be served by Saint Arnold Brewing Company.

McGraw has covered other weather phenomenons including hydraulic fracking (The End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone) and he’s contributed to the New York Times, Huffington Post, Playboy, Popular Mechanics, Reader’s Digest, the Forward, and Fox Latin.


In case you want to prepare for the event, here’s a little background:

In 2011, Texas endured the worst single-year drought in its history. Here are some interactive statistics.

“How One Drought Changed Texas Agriculture Forever” – NPR on the 1950’s drought

I’ll be here. Hope you can join us!

6 thoughts on “SEAMUS MCGRAW – Betting the Farm on a Drought

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