An Enlightened Farmer In Kansas with Bryan Welch

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In the 1970s Mother Earth News was the handbook of the emerging environmental movement. And, while there's been a rumor afoot that the movement is dying, this almanac of sustainable living is more popular now than ever. Its publisher, Bryan Welch, is realistic about the American mindset, and the reluctance of the masses to give up the comforts of consumption in the name of sustainability. But he sits in the hub of innovation and evolution within the eco-conscious community, and in this intriguing dialogue shares his fresh and even optimistic perspective on what he sees from that vantage point. "It enriches our lives to live conscientiously," he says, "and it's very important to stress that enrichment and that fulfillment, rather than the negative effects of an American lifestyle. We'll recruit a better army for this cause, if we share how much fun it is to live conscientiously." (hosted by Michael Toms)


Bryan Welch holds a master's degree from Harvard University, and has worked in print media since 1976, gathering credits as a reporter, photographer, editor, general manager, and publisher of newspapers in Colorado, New Mexico, Washington, and Connecticut. In 1996 he founded Ogden Publications, Inc., and soon afterward acquired Mother Earth News. His company now publishes nine magazines, including Herbs for Health, Farm Collector, and Good Things to Eat. Mr. Welch and his family live on a fifty-acre farm in Kansas, where they raise cattle, sheep, goats, and chickens - sustainably, of course.

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • Why inducing guilt may not be the best way to get your neighbor to go organic
  • Where you're most likely to find progressives in the United States
  • Whether or not sustainable living is likely to catch on in mainstream America
  • How easy it would be to convert America to solar power
  • Why capitalism may be good for the environmental movement
Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 8/21/2005      Program Number: 3105