Homestead National Monument of America will be hosting a book discussion in partnership with Beatrice Public Library on May 16 at 7 p.m. Park Historian Jonathan Fairchild will be leading discussion on the 2019 One Book, One Nebraska selection “This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm” by Ted Genoways.

“This Blessed Life” is the latest selection in the One Book, One Nebraska program, which dates back to 2005. The Nebraska Center for the Book promotes the reading of literature to provoke Nebraskans to think about ourselves, our environment, and our relationships while adding depth and richness to the experience of reading. Previous selections include “Black Elk Speaks” by John G. Neihardt (2017), “O Pioneers!” by Willa Cather (2013), and many other classic works either by a Nebraska author, or set in Nebraska.

Genoways sums up “This Blessed Life”: “For forty years, Rick Hammond has raised cattle and crops on his wife’s fifth-generation farm. But as he prepares to hand off the operation to his daughter Meghan and her husband Kyle, their entire way of life is under siege. Confronted by rising corporate ownership, encroaching pipelines, groundwater depletion, climate change, and shifting trade policies, small farmers are often caught in the middle and fighting just to preserve their way of life. Following the Hammonds from harvest to harvest, “This Blessed Earth” is both a history of American agriculture and a portrait of one family’s struggle to hold on to their legacy.”

Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2018. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (HomesteadNM).

Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice, Nebraska and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day through Labor Day. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit http://www.nps.gov/home/.

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