Don Stuart is an advocate for the economic, environmental, and political sustainability of working natural resource lands and fisheries. His 20 years of lobbying experience in state legislatures and in the U.S. Congress has informed his latest books—two of which are mystery novels set at the Washington State capitol.
No Farms, No Food: Uniting Farmers and Environmentalists to Transform American Agriculture
Published by Island Press in April 2022
Since 1980, the American Farmland Trust (AFT) has been bringing farmers and environmentalists together to work for healthy land and a healthy food system. No Farms, No Food traces the development of this powerful coalition, responsible for landmark achievements in farmland preservation.
With leadership from AFT, that constituency drove through Congress the first “Conservation Title” in the history of the U.S. Farm Bill; oversaw the development of agriculture conservation easement programs throughout the country; and continues to develop innovative approaches to sustainable agriculture.
No Farms, No Food is both an inspiring history of agricultural conservation, and a practical guide to creating an effective advocacy organization. For leaders of nonprofits, scholars, and anyone who cares about the future of our food, farms, and environment, this is an essential read.
Suspension of the Rules: A Washington Statehouse Mystery
Don’s newest novel, Suspension of the Rules, was a finalist in the prestigious 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
“There, face down and inert in the fetid liquid, was the unmistakable shape of a human body. Resting beside it, as if carefully placed there upon the lagoon’s crusted surface, was a spotless white, ten-gallon Stetson hat—the well-known personal trademark of their missing host, Fortis Henry.”
When a respected dairyman is found dead in his own new dairy livestock waste lagoon, his apparently accidental death ignites a deeply troubling furor in the Washington State Legislature. Lobbyist Sandy Dalton’s investigation uncovers the killer while also placing him and those close to him in danger from the fallout of a scandal that shakes the Washington State Legislature to its core.
Final Adjournment: A Washington Statehouse Mystery
Don’s first novel!
“Seated inside, behind an immaculate oak desk, was the Senator himself. He leaned far back in his huge executive chair. His arms hung limp at his sides. His suit jacket was opened wide and he wore no tie. In the center of his perfectly starched white shirt was a large dark stain. And from the center of that stain protruded the intricately carved bone handle of an antique Native American hunting knife.”
The scenic campus of the Washington state capitol is outwardly calm, but the Legislature is in session and no one better understands the turmoil that swirls beneath the surface than professional lobbyist Sandy Dalton. In the middle of a busy day, a powerful senator is found dead in his office with an antique Native American hunting knife in his chest…
Barnyards and Birkenstocks
Don’s landmark non-fiction book, Barnyards and Birkenstocks: Why Farmers and Environmentalists Need Each Other, is available from Washington State University Press. The book describes realistic steps toward a future that includes both prosperous, sustainable agriculture and a flourishing, healthy environment.
That farmers and environmentalists need each other may seem surprising given that they fight over nearly every major environmental issue we face. But if they would cooperate they could actually assure prosperity for agriculture and could dramatically improve our nation’s environment. Instead, their political deadlock is threatening the nation’s food and stalling progress on the environment.
This book shows how they can end that fight and why doing so would greatly benefit both them and the rest of us.
Other Research & Writings
Don provides writings and research on agriculture, salmon, natural resources, and the environment and on the political dimension in which they survive or fail. These materials are made available here as a resource for those seeking practical ways to preserve the environment while conducting economically viable natural resource enterprises. Explore more research & writings.