By Dave Thier, originally posted on The Atlantic.

The most obvious benefit of having Ryan Anderson around the farm was that he was big. Broad shoulders, heavy build, long arms: With one hand, he could do jobs that would take three scrawny undergrads an hour. He brought something else to the farm too, however. At a campus where the Bible is rarely treated as more than a piece of literature and at a place where the earth is a more pressing concern than the heavens, he brought an idea of God to our work.

Anderson was a student at the Yale Divinity School; he’s now training to be a Lutheran minister in Chicago. He got interested in the agricultural work at Yale because it seemed less intellectualized than the theological classes he had been taking a little farther up the hill. He also felt drawn to a relationship with the earth that went beyond physical experience.

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