Nathan Winters and His Bike Ride Across America

Nathan Winters, a northeastern farmer and locavore, completed a journey on a bike ride across America to discover rural life and community in the United States.

| September/October 2011

Few among us ever achieve a glimpse into the heart of rural America as broad and comprehensive as the one Nathan Winters experienced in the summer of 2009. Weary dairy farmers in Wisconsin, big cattle ranchers in Montana, corn growers in you-name-the-state.

From left-leaning young farmers in Vermont to right-leaning ranchers out West, every type of American farmer was among those Winters came face to face with on his 4,300-mile cross-country bike trip that summer.

What did he find? Rural America boasts a community of quality people concerned with our food production. And despite our individual beliefs and circumstances, we all might have more in common than we like to admit.

During a conversation with a Montana cattle rancher, Winters remembers the rancher mentioning that it’s fairly easy to get a hat from China, but not a steak from down the road, and how that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

“I think everyone across the country (thinks) we don’t need to be importing and exporting all this food. We’ve got plenty of it here in our own country, and we need to slow things down and get back to the basics. I think that was something everyone across the board was onboard with,” says Winters.

He also encountered that same local-centric emphasis throughout the northern states of the country.

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