A National Endowment for the Humanities Video Project

Preserving Our Agricultural History

The Monroe County Historical Association is proud to offer this series of educational videos highlighting four heritage agricultural techniques.

This project was funded by a grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities and is administered through Northampton Community College. The 2014-2015 humanities theme, “Agriculture and the American Identity,” is an exploration of American culture through an examination of its food, how it's grown, and the people who grow it.

The individual Americans whose hands link the earth with food and clothing share far more than an agricultural tradition. Generation after generation, these agriculturalists keep alive the skills that have provided basic needs to a nation that is increasingly relegating such jobs to mega-corporations. A local beekeeper, fiber artist, dulcimer players, and herbalists narrate their stories of keeping alive the traditions, skills, and crafts that connect Americans with the earth.

“The participants’ ability to share their knowledge in a meaningful way will appeal to audiences of all ages,” says Kathy Boyle, member of the MCHA’s Education Committee. “Their enthusiasm for preserving our agricultural history is definitely evident is each video. The Monroe County Historical Association looks forward to using the videos for workshops for children, educators, and the public.”

“We are so proud to be a community partner with Northampton Community College and be able to provide an appreciation of the humanities through funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities,” says Amy Leiser, MCHA executive director.

Through this humanities program, Northampton Community College promotes an awareness of “how definitions of freedom and nationhood begin to become less in the hand of the people and more in the hands of food corporations” and to forge the relationship between agriculture and national identity.

“As the relationship with food begins to get further and further away from individual producers, so does the control over freedoms and national identity,” explains NCC’s promotional website.
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