One Size Fits None (Paperback)

A Farm Girl’s Search for the Promise of Regenerative Agriculture

By Stephanie Anderson

University of Nebraska Press, 9781496205056, 312pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 2019

List Price: 21.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


“Sustainable” has long been the rallying cry of agricultural progressives; given that much of our nation’s farm and ranch land is already degraded, however, sustainable agriculture often means maintaining a less-than-ideal status quo. Industrial agriculture has also co-opted the term for marketing purposes without implementing better practices. Stephanie Anderson argues that in order to provide nutrient-rich food and fight climate change, we need to move beyond sustainable to regenerative agriculture, a practice that is highly tailored to local environments and renews resources.

In One Size Fits None Anderson follows diverse farmers across the United States: a South Dakota bison rancher who provides an alternative to the industrial feedlot; an organic vegetable farmer in Florida who harvests microgreens; a New Mexico super-small farmer who revitalizes communities; and a North Dakota midsize farmer who combines livestock and grain farming to convert expensive farmland back to native prairie. The use of these nontraditional agricultural techniques show how varied operations can give back to the earth rather than degrade it. This book will resonate with anyone concerned about the future of food in America, providing guidance for creating a better, regenerative agricultural future.

Download a discussion guide (PDF).

About the Author

Stephanie Anderson is an instructor of English at Florida Atlantic University. She grew up on a ranch, has worked as a writer and photographer for the humanitarian aid organization Cross International, and served as an editor for the agricultural newspaper Tri-State Neighbor in South Dakota. Anderson’s work has appeared in Grist Journal, Sweet, the Chronicle Review, the Rumpus, and Kudzu House Quarterly.

Praise For One Size Fits None: A Farm Girl’s Search for the Promise of Regenerative Agriculture

"For reasons of public health and in the interest of a healthy planet, our corporate food system badly needs to be repaired. In One Size Fits None, Stephanie Anderson crisscrosses the country, visiting the intrepid farmers who practice exactly the sort of farming techniques that will serve as models for that needed reform."—Matt Sutherland, Foreword

— Matt Sutherland

"Though these recollections have become complicated for Anderson due to her recent research, she writes convincingly that it is possible for her family's farm—and all farms— to find and implement the sustainable practices that will carry them into a better future. Even readers who are not directly involved in food production will come away from this book as more informed consumers, able to make better decisions about purchasing the food that sustains us, and with a much deeper understanding of how agricultural production has changed. And how it will—how it must—change again."—Katrina Gersie-Spronk, Hopper

— Katrina Gersie-Spronk

"It takes an agriculture reporter turned creative writer like Stephanie Anderson to do the legwork of reporting and research to explain how the world of industrial agriculture works. She does so clearly and convincingly, on every page of this book. But she’s not just throwing flames at big ag or careless consumers. She positions herself in the center of the bullseye, as she considers her own family ranch and what she’s come to understand as unsustainable management practices taking place there."—Julianne Couch, Daily Yonder

— Julianne Couch

"As an initial illustration of what regenerative agriculture could and does look like in practice, One Size Fits None is an invaluable resource, a step in the right direction of imagining alternative way of doing and organizing life around the soil and farming."—John C. Nichols, Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts

— John C. Nichols

"Anderson’s relatable, highly descriptive narrative deftly brings readers into the worlds of the five farmers featured in the book and presents a compelling take on industrial agriculture. Readers, both urban and rural, farm and nonfarm, will come away with a better understanding of how we can move toward changing a destructive system with solutions that are realistic and very attainable. One Size Fits None is sure to prompt fruitful discussions among reading groups, farm organizations, and students of agriculture."—Jenny Barker-Devine, Kansas History

— Jenny Barker-Devine

"This book is a call to bring farming away from abstraction and back into its concrete context as part of unique human and natural ecosystems. . . . I hope it finds readers who will take up its call to find creative ways to farm better."—Nathan Beacom, Front Porch Republic

— Nathan Beacom

 “A brave and clear-eyed book by a farmer’s daughter about the problems in our agriculture and the factors that keep farmers from making it better. Stephanie Anderson . . . points the way toward an agriculture that regenerates our soil, our land, and our hopes.”—Kristin Ohlson, author of The Soil Will Save Us

— Kristin Ohlson

“Stephanie Anderson deftly counterpoints profiles of innovative farmers with affectionate yet honest reflections on her family’s farm—and the compromises the industrial model demands. Anderson is a strong, new voice for an agriculture that works for public health, for nature, and for farmers.”—Judith D. Schwartz, author of Cows Save the Planet and Water in Plain Sight

— Judith D. Schwartz

One Size Fits None should be required reading for anyone who yearns for a clear-headed and informed account of our dysfunctional corporate food system, which also examines hopeful models for reform.”—Andrew Furman, author of Bitten: My Unexpected Love Affair with Florida and Goldens Are Here

— Andrew Furman

“Stephanie Anderson is a beautiful writer with a deeply personal understanding of America’s agricultural past and present. She grew up the daughter of a farmer who grew corn and raised cattle. Only after becoming a reporter on the farm beat does she start visiting other large farms, and questioning the way we produce food. Eventually Anderson becomes convinced of the wisdom of adopting regenerative agriculture, which restores and builds up the soil rather than depleting it. But she never loses her empathy for the farmers and ranchers trying to make a living the conventional way. In so doing, Stephanie suggests that the path to a better food system has room for everyone.”—Acadia Tucker, author of Growing Perennial Foods: A Field Guide to Raising Resilient Herbs, Fruits, and Vegetables

— Acadia Tucker