What do you do as a farmer, when you are trapped in an agricultural system that values quantity not quality?
A system where you literally get paid for now much you produce, irrespective of how nutrient dense it is or how sustainable it is.
And how do you as a farmer work within that system if you don’t agree with it.
It’s not easy, and there’s going to be a lot of give and take. At the end of the day as a farmer you need to make money, and that may mean putting some of your ideology behind you to make that money. As we have heard on this show many times before chasing perfection may chase you right out of the farming business. There needs to be a balance there between your vision of the agricultural future, and what the market will bear. But balancing those out isn’t always easy and it can be challenge.
In today’s episode we’ll find out how Chris Kerston balanced those sides out.
Chris is now and employee of the Savory Institute, but before that he was a full time farmer. For 6 years Chris co-managed a 2,000 acre diversified farm based on holistic grazing and permaculture in the Sacramento Valley. The farm is comprised of old growth olive orchards, heirloom stonefruits and citrus groves, and also raises grassfed cattle, sheep, goats, and pasture-raised chickens for both meat and eggs.
Chris knows his stuff on the land and he knows what goes into being a farmer and producing food. But he also knows a lot about the current state of the agriculture movement. Through his role as the Savory Institutes Marketing and Communication Director he travels the world with Allan Savory in addition to visiting tons of farms. This has given him a wide ranging perspective on the agriculture space; something that we’ll play off in today’s episode.
We’ll talk about the differences between farming and ranching and why if you are worried about the big oil, you should really be worried about big grain. We’ll discuss the validity of organics, and is it economic.
And since Chris was a farmer we’ll talk some farming.
This isn’t just all macro ideas about the food space and the agriculture space.
Chris talks a lot farming nuts and bolts – pastured poultry in orchards, selling meat, advantages for selling wholes and halves versus cuts, and a whole lot more. There is a lot in this one, enjoy it.
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References that Chris talked about…
- The Savory Institute
- The Savory Institute on Facebook
- [BOOK] – You Can Farm by Joel Salatin
- [BOOK] – Beyond the Rangeland Conflict by Dan Dagget
- [BOOK] – The Lasater Philosophy of Cattle Raising by Laurence Lasater
Chris Kerston – Rockin’ Farmer
How grassfed beef will save the world
Innovation bears fruit for family farm
Chris Kerston on Organic Methods
Chris Kerston on Government Subsidies
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