The Futures of Farming
From the towers of Wall Street to the dairy farms of New Jersey, a guided tour of the financialization of food.
Just off of Country Road 518 in Hopewell, New Jersey, sits Double Brook Farm. It’s run by a self-exiled New Yorker but it’s not one of those now-standard upstart farms, with roving bands of earnest college kids tending rocket and a hearty couple of ex-Brooklynites overseeing the whole grass-fed operation. Double Brook’s turn-of-the-century barn, its grazing cattle, and its hundreds of Rhode Island Reds clucking and strutting about all belong to Jon McConaughy, a 46-year-old with an all-American face, a football player’s build, and a beautiful wife. Last year, McConaughy exchanged a two-decade-long career as a commodities trader on Wall Street for these two hundred acres.
Double Brook, a small farm specializing in grass-fed meat, free-range poultry and sun-dried vegetables, symbolizes one of the most unexpected turns the American economy has taken in recent years. For decades, banks have shied away from granting loans to farmers because, like restaurants, the…
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