Date of Thesis

Spring 2024


An agricultural revolution has begun to take place in light of the growing awareness of environmental issues that impact crop production on farms. In the beginning of the fall of 2022, I began to study the culture of regenerative agriculture in rural Pennsylvania using anthropological methods, including participant-observation and semi-structured interviews, working alongside local farmers. I was also interested in uncovering the flaws in our current industrial agricultural system and how farming could be reimagined to benefit farmers’ mental health, soils, and ecosystems while privileging the voices of those farmers committed to regenerative farming. The ongoing evolution of regenerative farming is made possible through the recognition of female voices in having a say in making decisions and managing a farm, all of which contribute to the sustainability of their practices. A longtime dominance of industrial agriculture that privileges male voices and that relies on pesticides, genetically modified seeds, and monocropping has damaged the health of natural environments and the mental health of farmers. A new way of agricultural production is emerging, one that embraces practices that provide meaningful labor and psychological fulfillment. Through a personal, spiritual, and intentional relationship with one’s farm lands, a regenerative-oriented farmer is able to replenish and heal soils. A culture of communal knowledge-sharing is taking place from farmer to farmer, uniquely shaping regenerative farming itself. This culture is born in the way regenerative farmers are connecting with their lands to care for the soils, and generate produce that is grown ethically. My thesis contributes to a small but growing body of literature on the anthropology of alternative agriculture in the United States and beyond.


Regenerative Agricultural, Sustainable Farming, Sustainability, Regenerative Farming, Farming Culture, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnography

Access Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts



Second Major

Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Edmund Searles

Second Advisor

Allen Tran

Third Advisor

Mark Spiro