Scott Terry, Husbandry,
And Christian-Agrarianism
On The Internet

Dateline: 12 March 2014

Scott Terry and his girls

Scott Terry is a dairy farmer in St. Lawrence County, New York. That’s way up near the top of the state. Scott hosts an online program every Friday night called Christian Farm and Homestead. I’m pleased to say that I help sponsor the program through my Planet Whizbang business.

Last week the program was about Husbandry (click here to listen to it), which is an agrarian topic that you sure won’t hear discussed on any other radio programs. The show was a conversation between Scott, Richard Grossman, and Tony Konvalin. Richard lives in Pennsylvania. Tony lives in Kentucky. I really enjoyed listening to the discussion. Fact is, I listened to the 2nd half of the show twice while working in my shop. 

The discussion tended to wander a bit last Friday, and that’s typical. I like the rabbit trails. Some of the comments and insights expressed were downright insightful. For example, Richard mentioned that he thought modern mega churches are like an industrial-agriculture confined feeding operation (a Sunday morning CFO). He said that traditional churches were more like the traditional family farm, meaning they were small enough that a pastor could be a shepherd to his flock, and that’s not the case with modern mega church ministers; they are more like a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). I think he’s right!

Then they talked about catechisms and how the Sunday school movement of the 1800s wasn’t necessarily all good. And Scott explained what a Presbyterian Scottish Revival is. Oh, and they discussed the subject of husbandry too.

Those three guys all talking together about Husbandry reminded me of the informal "Basement Tape" discussions that Rick Saenz made years ago (circa 2004) when he was part of the Highlands Study Center in Virginia. I don’t suppose most people reading this would remember the "Basement Tapes" but I’m sure Scott listened to some of them. There seemed to be a Christian-agrarian understanding at that church ministry back in those days. It was reflected in the Basement Tape discussions, and in Rick’s Draught Horse Press catalog...




I remember very well getting that 2004 catalog in the mail. It came with a free sampler CD of Basement Tape recordings. You can Click Here to see the inside pages of the catalog, and read about the Basement Tapes. 

Please take note of those three words at the top of the cover: Simple, Separate, Deliberate. That, my friends, is a Christian-agrarian credo in three words.

My interest in the 2004 Draught Horse Press catalog (which providentially came to me in the mail, as I did not order it) eventually led me to Rick’s blog, Dry Creek Chronicles. It was the first blog I ever did see. And from that blog I soon found my way to a blog called Homesteader Life, written by none other than Scott Terry, the same Scott Terry in the picture up top of this page. 





I really liked Scott’s subtitle on his blog: 

Learning to live Simple, Separate, and Deliberate lives. Enjoying creation, not worshipping it. Eating, Drinking and Being Merry. A blog dedicated to berry pickin’, chicken pluckin’, buck skinnin’, and building Christian Agrarian Culture.  

As you can tell from that delightful blog description, Scott grasped the Christian-agrarian credo expressed in the three words on the Draught Horse Press catalog, and so did I when I named this blog, The Deliberate Agrarian.


It was Scott's Homesteader Life that inspired me to start this blog. I think Scott started blogging in January of 2005, I started this blog on June 18 of the same year. You can Read My First Post Here. That first post is now the Introduction to my book, Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian

Scott has gone on to bigger and better things, hosting an agrarian radio program, but I’m still just a blogger. 

So now, for the record, you know a little about the "early days" of the Christian-agrarian movement on the internet. 

There were other Christian and agrarian folks back then who were inspired to start blogging by Scott's blog, and my own. Some eventually decided they didn't want to be associated with a Christian-agrarian movement (even though they were Christians and agrarians). A few of the bloggers from "back in the day"are still blogging, but most are not, for a variety of reasons.

People come and go, as bloggers (and as committed agrarians too). One of these days, my "voice" on the internet will pass on too. But I'm glad to be contributing to the discussion of building Christian-agrarian culture for now. And I'm pleased to see that so many other people are coming to understand the vital connection between Christianity and agrarianism.





16 comments:

Matt B said...

Wow, I thought Scott Terry was a relatively new-comer to Internet publishing. Interesting to know that he was an influence to your blog. I'm honestly puzzled by the decline in Agrarian and Christian-Agrarian blogs that are out there. With things getting tougher economically in the US and around the world I would think there would be more of a push for this kind of life. Specifically since it seems most of those who used to blog would touch on this very subject. I also find it sad that there are fewer Christian agrarian bloggers out there. I was once very encouraged by some of their writings. There is kind of a nostalgic feeling I have when I think about those days of reading several blogs each day and feeling the urge to adopt more of the "Simple. Separate. Deliberate" lifestyle. I have had a desire for a homestead of my own for years and years. I have prayed over it, and probably come close to making it a idol a few times (gotta be careful about that) and only since December of 2011 has God made those things possible (after I had children, which I think was all a part of God's plan). Now I have the land and the finances to grow my homestead and there is a slight feeling of "I missed the boat", to be honest. I REALLY wish there would be a revival in this area.

-Matt

The Midland Agrarian said...

Herrick,
I found your Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian book before I found your blog. I bought the book years ago at Lehman hardware Store. I seem to recall they had 10-12 copies on hand at the time.

As someone who uses electronic media, but is ambivalent about it, I have always been pleased that I "met" you on the printed page, before cyberspace.

Best Regards,

Richard Grossman

Herrick Kimball said...

Richard,

I'm glad you found that book and that you are now part of the agrarian discussion. I sure do appreciate your perspective (and Mrs. Grossman's too)!

Herrick Kimball said...

Matt,

I think there are several reasons for the decline in Christian-agrarian blogs, or discussion of Christian agrarianism like was once the case….

1. People are to busy to blog.

2. Some have publicly disassociated themselves from Christian-agrarianism because they have gotten a bad impression from some bloggers who identify themselves as Christian-agrarians.

3. There are some people who take issue with the Christian agrarian movement. Like This Guy. He is concerned that Christians are leaving the cities, not watching television, separating from the culture, and raising chickens, instead of taking dominion.

4. I sense that Christian-agrarianism has generated a lot of friction in some families. One spouse sees the wisdom of it and the other doesn't want anything to do with it. There is "unequal yoking" in respect to this issue.

5. People are trapped in the industrial-world matrix. It's very hard to break free once you become entangled in the matrix.

6. Agrarianism is hard, and dirty. When it is romanticized by some bloggers, it sets people up for failure.

7. There is a price to pay when you pursue an agrarian lifestyle. There is a difference between the "American Dream" that we all grew up with and the "Agrarian Dream." Most people don't want to pay the price.

8. Many Christians are now into prepping to survive, and that gets blogged about a lot. The biblical call to live simple, separate and deliberate is less of a focus than surviving. Not that there is anything bad about preparing for a crisis. That's just prudent.

9. Some people jump into an agrarian lifestyle out of conviction that it is right and then they burn out because they try to do too much at once. Rebuilding Christian-agrarian culture is a multi-generationsl vision. One step at a time.

10. Some people make an idol of it, as you said, and that is a mistake.

Tony Konvalin said...

Hi Herrick:

Thanks for the insight and background.

It was a fun show and it is often good to chase rabbits as they can lead to bigger things or at least to other things that may have been missed if we stayed on the trail.

I think what often happens when one speaks of Christian Agrarianism is that it makes people uncomfortable because it would lead them to have to give up much of what they have become accustomed to.

In the video you linked to he simply does not understand agrarianism from a Christian perspective. Interesting that he does not see Agrarianism as a way to proclaim the Gospel which I do. Maybe it is the fault of many agrarians for not being as overtly Christian in their views as we could be about agrarianism. I think Scott's show is one that works to dispel this myth in any number of ways.

Thanks again for supporting Scott's show.

trawlerman said...

Hi Herrick,

I'm a friend of Scott's from way back. When we were living closer together and talking often, I remember him always speaking highly of you.

As for when Scott started blogging, the Xanga site is no longer there, but a post at my old blog site reveals that celebrity radio host Scott Terry :) first started blogging on September 6th, 2004.
http://trawlerman.blogspot.com/2004/09/only-blog-with-semex-hat.html

I'm glad to have played a small part in goading Scott into blogging.

This September will mark Scott's tenth anniversary on the webs.

All the best to you and yours.

-John,
A big city boy transplanted to a rural life, with a deep sympathy for the "Christian-agrarian movement."



Herrick Kimball said...

Hi John,

Very good. Thanks for setting the record straight.

Herrick Kimball said...

Tony,

Good point about why Christian-agrarianism makes people feel uncomfortable. I think you are entirely correct.

I also think those people need to realize that what they have to give up isn't really all that worthwhile anyway.

The combination of Christianity with agrarianism yields so much better fruit than can be realized in the industrial-world (I think I could write a separate blog post on this subject).

As for that film clip, yes, the speaker doesn't really understand what he is criticizing. And I'm sorry to see it.

Thanks for your comment here.

Leigh said...

What a great post. Scott deserves a good pat on the back for his diligent efforts in support of the Christian agrarian movement. (Actually you do too). It's interesting to read how folks find one another on the internet.

I haven't listened to this particular program yet but downloaded the podcast for my husband. He said it was inspirational as well as thought provoking. I think so many of us interested in the original Plan for agrarianism need to learn new ways of thinking. We've been conditioned to a certain mindset and it is truly a stumbling block. Folks like Scott, Richard, Tony, and yourself are part of helping the rest of us learn there is another way of looking at life; another way of living life. A huge +1 for that.

timfromohio said...

Had to chime in on the mega church comment - it's nothing more than the corporate model infiltrating the church. Program-driven, activities tracked by metrics, segmented, and largely pre-packed feel-good entertainment. I say this after attending a church that was on the path to becoming one. Left for a MUCH smaller, family-integrated, independent Baptist church. One small church = one big family. Never before had we experienced the kind of fellowship, Christian love, and environment full of people living out their faith like that. It was small enough that the pastor could truly care for his flock. I can put into words how blessed my family and I were in that environment. I'd encourage everyone out there to search out such a church (if you're a Christian). Chances are you'll also find folks tending towards agrarian thinking as well:)

timfromohio said...

ps - meant "can't" put into words...

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi Leigh,

It's good of you to comment here. I enjoyed your interview on Scott's show. And I recently ordered a copy of your book.

I agree that new ways of thinking are needed. We've all grown up in the industrial-world paradigm, with industrial-world expectations. To think and live in a contrary way is not easy sometimes.

When I hear Scott say that his radio program is the "voice of the covenantal agrarian resistance," I think to myself that Christian-agrarianism is truly a resistance movement. It is resistance against the industrial order and the industrial expectations, as well as the "herd dependency" that the government and corporate powers are continually working to develop in the citizenry of this nation (and all nations).

Christian-agrarianism is about spiritual resistance (or battle) as much as it is raising chickens and growing a garden. And it so happens that, more and more, people who endeavor to separate from industrial-world dependencies are, in so doing, also engaging in a form of political resistance.

All of which might make for a great discussion on Scott's radio program someday. :-)

Herrick Kimball said...

Tim,

That is really well stated.

I can relate. The church I currently attend has about 15 adults every Sunday. I've always been a part of small fellowships,I have never been comfortable with the larger churches.

Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good said...

@ timfromohio

Family-integrated is key for us.

We joined a local Orthodox Presbyterian Church since they don't "do" Sunday School programs and all the corporate stuff. They have a simple, almost Puritan approach to Sundays... plue, they're much less influenced by pop psychology and "seeker-friendly" silliness. Lots of homeschoolers, solid theology... and you can have a cigar if you want and no one will crucify you for it. Interesting mix.

timfromohio said...

David,

Sounds like you have found a great church! In general, the only differences we had with our old church (just moved - reason we're no longer attending) were that we were less conservative on some issues - however, I figured I'd rather go someplace that was more conservative some of the time than not conservative enough all of the time. Nothing major - just things like my wife doesn't wear a skirt at all times, I enjoy the occasional hard cider (make my own), and we didn't go to absolutely every event.

Sorry Mr. Kimball - don't mean to hijack the comments section. Perhaps you should add a "Deliberate Agrarian forum"?

Best Regards to all,

TimfromOhio

Herrick Kimball said...

Tim,

This is a close to a forum as I'll get. So feel free to write as you please.