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At the new Berry Center: plans to help us "major in homecoming."

Good boots, a wheelbarrow, and a shovel in use at a community orchard planting in Lexington, Kentucky

Mary Berry, director of the new Berry Center in New Castle, Kentucky, visited recently with 20 central Kentuckians who work toward strengthening and sustaining a local food economy. She quoted Land Institute founder and visionary plant scientist Wes Jackson as saying colleges and universities have been offering one major for quite a while: Upward Mobility. Jackson suggests it's time for a new major: Homecoming. Mr Jackson makes that case in this 1999 speech.

Later this year—April 4-6, at St. Catharine College—The Berry Center hosts its first conference, From Unsettling to Resettling: What Will It Take To Resettle America? Advance conference information previews the answers: Education for Homecoming, Land Use, Local Food Systems, Local Initiatives and Real Accounting.  (I added the emphases.) The conference sketch promises that "authors, activists, farmers, leaders, scholars, and theologians will come together to illuminate and discuss these issues.

That leaves us plenty of time for some homecoming homework. We can re-read Wendell Berry's The Unsettling of America, which, in 1977, helped launch this long-running conversation. The Berry Center's website says Information about conference registration will be posted this week.

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