The Ogallala Road
A Viking/Penguin Book
by Julene Bair
–Maude Barlow, chair of Food and Water Watch Board and author of Blue Future, Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever, coming out in the US early 2014
Author Julene Bair writes so evocatively of the land she loves that you can almost feel the wheat stubble under your feet and dust on your face. Her descriptions, in fact, make you want to drop everything you’re doing and go lie in the grass to savor the serene feeling she lends her readers….
For conservationists, romantics, or anyone who wants a soul-soothing read, I don’t think you can afford to pass this memoir up. –Terri Schlichenmeyer, Marco News
Julene Bair has inherited part of a large farm and fallen in love with a rancher from Kansas’s beautiful Smoky Valley. A single mother, she means to provide her son with the father he longs for and preserve the Bair farm for the next generation, honoring her own father’s wish and commandment, “Hang on to your land!” But part of her legacy is a share of the ecological harm the Bair Farm has done: each growing season her family—like many other irrigators—pumps over two hundred million gallons out of the Ogallala aquifer. The rapidly disappearing aquifer is the sole source of water on the vast western plains, and her family’s role in its depletion haunts her.