Read. think. share. Engage.

Tiffin-Seneca Public Library has selected “Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family” by Forrest Pritchard as the 2017 Community Read title. 
The best-selling author will speak on Thursday, March 30 at 7 pm at Sentinel Career and Technology Center.  

As part of the annual Community Read, the library encourages the Seneca County community to read the book and come together for special events and discussions celebrating it. Dates will be announced very soon. The Library is also providing books and discussion opportunities to Seneca County schools.

According to the website Booklist, “Gaining Ground” is the story of a family farm, once on the brink of virtually disappearing that has enjoyed a resurgence, due to the popularity of organic livestock and produce. Disenchanted with a looming desk job and eager to save his family’s multigenerational Shenandoah Valley farm, Pritchard celebrated his mid-1990s college graduation by rolling up his sleeves and brainstorming ways of keeping his parents’ 400-plus acres of land from being portioned off to agribusinesses. This engaging first-person account is filled with gentle humor and colorful anecdotes about the false starts and pitfalls Pritchard faced before finally settling on raising grass-fed cattle and sheep. Anyone who has been bit by the farming bug will find lessons aplenty here, while urban readers will enjoy a vicarious slice of farm life.

Pritchard is a seventh generation farmer and New York Times bestselling author, holding degrees in English and Geology from the College of William & Mary. 

The Library has also selected related books for children so that patrons of all ages can be part of the Community Read. “Farmed Out” by Christy Goerzen has been selected for late elementary students, and is the story of 15 year-old Maddie, who has big-city dreams and has found her chance to visit New York. An art magazine is holding a portrait contest, and the first prize is an all-expenses-paid trip to the Big Apple. Maddie plans to win, but her mother has different ideas for her: a mother-daughter adventure in organic farming. Maddie is furious. How will she find an inspiring subject for her portrait amid the goat poop and chickens?

“How Did That Get In My Lunchbox” by Chris Butterworth has been selected for early elementary students and focuses on how that delicious food got in a lunchbox. From planting wheat to mixing dough, climbing trees to machine-squeezing fruit, picking cocoa pods to stirring a vat of melted bliss, here is a clear, engaging look at the steps involved in producing some common foods. Health tips and a peek at basic food groups complete the menu.

All books are available for check out for 14 day circulation now at the Check-Out Desk. Books may be ordered for purchase at Paper and Ink.

The Community Read is made possible through a grant from the White Family Charitable Fund, of the Tiffin Community Foundation and generous local donors.

For more information or to be involved with the event series, please call the library at (419) 447-3751.


As part of the Community Read 2017, Tiffin-Seneca Public Library is to host a series of special programs to honor the book “Gaining Ground” by Forrest Pritchard. The Community Read encourages Seneca County residents to read a book, then come together to think, share, and engage.

As the featured event of the Community Read, the bestselling author will speak on Thursday, March 30 at 7:00 pm at Sentinel Career and Technology Center. Copies of the book will be available for sale and for autographs.

The Let’s Talk About It book discussion group will talk about “Gaining Ground” on Thursday, March 2 at 10:30 am at Tiffin-Seneca Public Library. Later that day, Seneca East Public Library in Attica, Ohio, will host a book discussion at 7:00 pm.

On Monday, March 6 at 6:30 pm, Tonia Hoffert from the Seneca County Museum; Beth Diesch, from the Seneca Conservation District; and Mike Burkholder, from Sunrise Cooperative will host the panel discussion “Agriculture in Seneca County: Past, Present, and Future.”

“Craftastic! For teens” will be Thursday, March 9 at 3:30 pm for teens in grades 6-12. The Franciscan Earth Literacy Center will help teens decorate pots and plant an edible plant.

The 2009 documentary “Fresh” will be shown on Sunday, March 12 at 2:00 pm. The 72 minute long movie features country and urban farmers, who discuss efficient ways to produce organic food, in a time of mass production.

On Monday, March 13 at 6:30, Katie Carey, a Heidelberg University student, Clay Hill and Riehm Produce Farm, LLC will present “Ag Innovations: Farm-to-Table, Organic Farming, CSAs and Agritourism.

“How Farmers are Making Soil Healthier and Water Cleaner,” presented by the Seneca Conservation District will be Wednesday, March 15 at 6:30 pm. The 90 minute program will share environmental actions that Seneca County farmers are taking, with hands-on activities, demonstrations, real facts and true stories.

The Library will host a public book discussion featuring “Gaining Ground” on Sunday, March 19 at 2:00 pm.

A panel discussion on Monday, March 20 at 6:30 pm will feature local producers that will include Snavely’s Sugar Shack, Wagner Angus and the Sandusky River Valley Beekeeping Association.

T-SPL’s cooking club “Cook by the Book” will meet on Tuesday, March 21 at 6:30 pm. The monthly cooking group will prepare and bring a dish from Pritchard’s cook book “Growing Tomorrow: A Farm-to-Table Journey in Photos and Recipes: Behind the Scenes with 18 Extraordinary Sustainable Farmers Who Are Changing the Way We Eat.”

On Wednesday, March 22, Tiffin’s Sentinel FFA Farmer Share Breakfast will be 7:30 to 9:00 am at Sentinel Career and Technology Center. Students will serve pancakes, sausage links, scrambled eggs, hash browns, orange juice or coffee, and a fruit. Cost is 50 cents, which represents what the farmer would make off of a similar meal.

“Ivy League Farmer” will be shown on Sunday, March 26 at 2:00 pm. The 2015 film is about 23 year-old Harvard grad, Joel Gilbert, who returns to the heartland to spend summer on his family's dairy farm. While there, he quickly learns that the three-generation family farm is in trouble. Using the skills he gained with his Ivy League degree, Joel is now faced with the difficult task of confronting his strong-willed father and convincing the proud man to take the ultimate risk to save the farm.

The Community Read is made possible through a grant from the Tiffin Community Foundation’s White Family Charitable Fund and generous local donors.

All events at the library are free and open to the public. No registration is necessary, and all events will take place in the Frost Kalnow Room, unless otherwise stated. Refreshments will be provided by the Friends of T-SPL.

For more information, please call the library at (419) 447-3751.


let us know what you think!

Do you have a question for the author? Something for the book discussion? Do you have a suggestion for next year's Community Read? We want to hear from you!