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Sociologist Douglas Harper
Sociologist Douglas Harper

The moral economy of milk: lessons from Italy

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In the 1970s, Douglas Harper moved to Madrid in St. Lawrence County. He started documenting the family farming traditions of 50 contiguous dairies. He was especially interested the concept of "changing works," neighbors pooling their labor to get big projects done, like harvesting or barn-raising. In 2001, Harper published a book about what he saw, called Changing Works: Visions of a Lost Agriculture. Now Harper's a sociologist at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He returns to the North Country Wednesday to speak at SUNY Potsdam. He's about to release a new book about more small, sustainable dairy farms, these in Italy. Harper told David Sommerstein American agriculture needs to reclaim what it lost when farms got bigger and bigger.

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David Sommerstein
Reporter/ Producer

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