Seed Corn: The Economics of Farming

Mar 17, 2023 4:00PM—12:00PM


Rudolf Steiner Cultural Center, 4249 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL

Cost $75

Event Contact Kim Chotzen | Email

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An associative economics research event coordinated by economic and monetary historian, Christopher Houghton Budd.

As Bill Gates’s farmland acquisitions make evident, there is, as ever, a need to protect farmers from the intrusions of abstract finance, the more so when concentrated into the hands of single human beings, whose world view or mere whim, for better or worse, then drives economic life. If Bill Gates’s strategy was to free farmers everywhere from financial dictates and to leave them free to follow their “agricultural” noses, especially in the quest for true prices, that would be one thing. But that seems unlikely, and farmers who would do so are hemmed in on all sides by finances, social policies and arrangements that are not designed to protect their autonomy. Seeking to avoid the invasion of processes of industrialization and its extension through technology, many people have sought ways to rethink the economics of farming, from Baum’s The Wizard of Oz through Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, to today’s CSA movement, but have the core problems been addressed?

Focused on land ownership, farm tenure and affordable farm capital, this seminar is intended to ask whether Rudolf Steiner’s ideas, as discussed and developed by those mindful of “associative economics,” are ripe to be converted into policy and practice. With the accent on the three L’s (land, leasing and liquidity), the seminar will explore whether and how “associative” approaches to land tenure, farm capitalization and balance sheet management can take root in today’s market-driven

Economics Conference colleagues have long concerned themselves with these questions – see – but now feel the time is right to intensify their efforts. The event will bring together colleagues of the Economics Conference and other interested parties to consider the effectiveness to date and going forwards of our efforts to include Rudolf Steiner’s ideas in today’s mainstream discourse. In this regard, logistics permitting, we hope to include two presentations by Xavier Andrillon and Anna Chotzen about the expectations and challenges of their work in Latin America and Washington State respectively. (The site includes this book by Christopher Houghton Budd, from which the seminar takes its title:

Attendance fee (including refreshments): USD 75

Accommodation and meals will be to participants’ accounts using the many good and varied local eateries. The basic format will be a 25-person seminar in research mode with topics born of the main theme but carried mutually.

Final details are being prepared. For more information or to register, please contact Kim Chotzen at by 10 March 2023.

Organized by the Economics Conference of the Goetheanum
Supported by the Economics Group of the Anthroposophical Society in America