‘The Berry Farming Program at St. Catharine College’


Click here for a ten minute segment of “Religion and Ethics” from PBS which focuses on Wendell Berry’s life work, the Dominican Sisters of Peace, and the innovative and hopeful way in which the Berry Farming Program at St. Catharine College (St. Catharine, KY) incarnates their values. Included in the piece are Berry Farming Program students Winnie Cheuvront, Sie Tioye and Rachel Mendoza as well as Wendell Berry, Mary Berry, Dr. Leah Bayens, Dr. Shawn Lucas, Professor Matt Branstetter, and Sr. Claire McGowan.

The Berry Farming Program at St. Catharine College is founded on the lifework of activist, farmer, and writer Wendell Berry. For more than fifty years, Berry has been a leading voice in the sustainable foods and farms movement – nationally and internationally.  In fiction, poetry, and essays, he urges readers to support small family farms and to use nature as measure in cultivation and land-use practices. This counsel is as prescient today as it was thirty-five years ago when Berry published The Unsettling of America and outlined the environmental, social, and economic problems produced by industrial agriculture.

To meet the urgent need for bolstering rural communities, small farm production, and local markets , Mary Berry Smith, Executive Director of The Berry Center in New Castle, Kentucky, sought a college with which the Berry family could further its commitment to improving farming through education.  St. Catharine College, sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Peace, proved an ideal fit because of its devotion to land stewardship and community engagement. For more about the Berry Farming Program, click here.