Conversations with the Land author Jim VanDerPol was born to farming in the late 1940s, and was raised to it by a father who could not understand why anyone would want to do anything else. A childhood speech problem and his mother’s encouragement made him a reader, and Jim left for the city to earn a history degree from the University of Minnesota. In 1977 Jim returned to the family farm, where he and his wife, LeeAnn, raised three children. Today the VanDerPols operate a diversified crop and livestock farm and market their farm’s pork production through a variety of alternative channels. Jim’s writing has appeared in periodicals including Graze magazine, Farming magazine, and the Progressive Populist. Conversations with the Land is Jim’s first book.