Howard Kohn's The Last Farmer is a memoir of his father's last seasons working the Michigan farm where they both were raised. It is a place that Kohn, a former editor at Rolling Stone, has left many times but keeps coming back to.
Fredrick Kohn farmed the family homestead in the Saginaw Valley since his return from World War II. After forty years, with advancing age, failing health, bad weather, falling prices, pesky oil drillers, creeping suburban sprawl, and the exodus of his children, he starts to wonder if maybe the time has come to stop. The habits of a lifetime of hard work and economy are not easy to give up. Nor are the independence, the small gratifications, and the countless responsibilities that are the traditional farmer's lot.
The Last Farmer is a rare story of a father's determination and adaptation, a son's realizations about his father, and a family's love for the land that leads to understanding rather than tragedy.