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George Washington

Pioneer Farmer
Alan Fusonie. Foreword by Nancy Kassebaum Baker
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This volume provides a fresh historical focus on George Washington as a pioneer farmer actively engaged in a new approach to agriculture: one based on a more scientific attitude toward crops, farm animals, and the land. As Alan and Donna Jean Fusonie examined his correspondence and diaries, the emerging profile of Washington was of a tireless experimenter eager to share his results with visitors and with farmers in other parts of the country and abroad. In his correspondence Washington used the power of his pen to convey important agricultural thoughts. He increasingly expressed his concern about the ruinous agricultural practices of many of his fellow farmers. Washington's complex shift to a more self-reliant and integrated system of agriculture proved him to be an informed, forward-thinking decision maker who focused on the long-term productivity and conservation of his land at Mount Vernon. The authors, also practicing farmers, are intrigued by the similarity between Washington's outlook and that of an increasing number of today's farmers who use more sustainable approaches.