Archive for the 'Conference' Category

Hosted by Ben Trollinger / Editor, Acres U.S.A.

Hello and welcome to Tractor Time podcast, brought to you by Acres U.S.A., the Voice of Eco-Agriculture. I’m your host, Ben Trollinger, and as always, I want to say thank you to our sponsors, BCS America.

You’re probably heard of kamut (kah-moot), also known as khorasan wheat, also known as King Tut’s Wheat. It’s drought resistant and highly nutritious. It’s in organic breakfast cereals. It’s in pasta. People with gluten sensitivity can eat it. Artisan bakers drool over it.

It’s one of organic farming’s biggest success stories. It’s a story that’s rooted deep in history and it that might just show us the way forward.

I’m joined by Bob Quinn and Liz Carlisle, co-authors of Grain by Grain: A Quest to Revive Ancient Wheat, Rural Jobs, and Healthy Food.

The book details Quinn’s journey over the last several decades to turn his dryland farm in Big Sandy, Montana into a powerhouse of organic and regenerative agriculture. Through his multi-million dollar heirloom grain company, Kamut International, Quinn has managed to create a durable network of around 200 organic farmers.

Quinn was also instrumental in shaping the country’s first organic food standards back in the late 1990s. Before that, in the 1980s, he helped establish standards for his home state. 

Liz Carlisle is a lecturer in the School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University. Her first book, Lentil Underground, prominently features Bob Quinn’s work and also won the Montana Book Award and the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature. She’s a forager of regenerative agriculture wisdom — and also a recovering country and western singer.

1 hour, 4 minutes

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Hosted by Ryan Slabaugh

Good day and welcome to Tractor Time podcast brought to you by Acres U.S.A., the Voice of Eco-Agriculture. I’m your host Ryan Slabaugh, and today our episode is focused on soil health, and the philosophies of Glen Rabenberg. Glen has spent a lifetime journey building a system that works across climates and soil types, and in the next hour, we’re going to ask him to walk through his journey, and how he piece together the knowledge – and wisdom – he needed to eventually start his company, Soil Works, which helps so many farmers around the world.

As you will also hear, Glen will be leading a farm tour at our Healthy Soil Summit, August 21-22 in Davis, California. Registration is open at www.acresusa.com, and we are only allowing about 150-200 into the event, so sign up soon. Glen is also working with us to produce a series of podcasts we will release this summer focused on short, simple tactics you can employ on your farm to increase and improve your soil life.

One other announcement: We will also be opening registration to our annual conference, this year in Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 9-12, in May. We have a ton of great speakers — some new, including Marty Travis, the start farmer in the movie, Sustainable. We really want to see you there – we’ll be talking about biodiversity, regenerative agriculture and diversification tactics and a whole lot more. But today’s program is soil-soil-soil with Glen Rabenberg, and his life journey.

Our guest today, Glen Rabenberg is the founder and owner of Soil Works LLC. Born and raised in Bancroft, SD, he graduated from Desmet High School in 1980. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science, General Agriculture and Agriculture Economics from South Dakota State University in 1985.  Glen then went to work for Walco International as an Animal Science Technical Advisor. He spent most of the following years with Walco working with animal pharmaceuticals, veterinarians, and farmers. Through his experience he began to notice trends in the animal science industry.  He saw that many of the diseases he was employed to treat were the result of nutritional deficiencies from poor grains and forage that the animals were consuming.

Rather than conforming to the traditional methods of soil science, Glen brings his knowledge of animal science and applies it to the soil. Glen continues to search for new ways to restore the soil and aid in the production of quality food.  He aims to “bring soil back to the way nature intended.” He still maintains his third generation farm in Bancroft, SD and travels the world solving the world’s soil problems with a little bit of simplicity and the “rite” tools.

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Hosted by Ryan Slabaugh. Sponsored by Albert Lea Seed.

Good day and welcome to Tractor Time podcast brought to you by Acres U.S.A., the Voice of Eco-Agriculture. We are happy to be bringing you another episode, our 1st of season 3 starting this year, and 24th overall.

On today’s program, we’re going to honor our 2018 Eco-Ag Award winner, who we celebrated in December at our 43rd annual conference. Jeff Moyer, is a longtime organic farmer, author, lecturer. His work with Rodale Institute, both in hands-on farming and as executive director, is advancing the state of the art of organic agriculture and building bridges to bring these methods to mainstream, conventional farmers.

His talk at our conference was aimed at helping farmers see the future of the organic certification industry, and how words like “regenerative” and “sustainable” are already being fought about in the advertising board rooms across the world.

“Like it or not, we’re in a food fight,” he says. “Right now, organic is in the middle of that fight. So is the word regenerative. And sustainable. And sustainability.”

Other past winners who have showed up on the Tractor Time podcast have included Dr. Vandana Shiva, who won in 2017, Gary Zimmer in 2011, Ronnie Cummins in 2009, Joel Salatin in 2006, and Neal Kinsey in 2003.

Learn more about Rodale Institute here.  

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Good day and welcome to Tractor Time podcast brought to you by Acres U.S.A., the Voice of Eco-Agriculture. We are happy to be bringing you another episode, our 11th this year and 23rd overall, and I think we’re going to get in at least one more before the end of the year, so stay tuned.

It’s about that time. In a couple days, Acres U.S.A. is hitting the road — or getting on a plane, actually — and heading to Louisville, Kentucky, for our 43rd annual Eco-Ag Conference & Trade show. In the office, we’re at that hybrid stage of nervousness, confidence, anxiety and adrenaline, and our days are filled with all the little odd jobs – cutting badges, ordering bags, shipping off our bookstore – and we know a lot of our listeners who will be attending are doing the same. Getting ready for the week away. 

So we though it’d be appropriate to preview a few of our upcoming speakers on the show today, and include some of our sponsors. We don’t do a lot of advertising or sponsored stuff on this, so forgive us this one time. Plus, these aren’t your normal sponsorship messages. These are folks just like you – passionate about eco-agriculture and making a difference. And paying the bills, of course.

To start, here’s a quick thank you list to the companies and organizations that make our conference, and Acres U.S.A., possible. We don’t thank them enough for their support, so here is a big, giant, thank you to our advertisers, sponsors who make this all possible. Including, those who sponsor this podcast, some of whom we interviewed especially for this episode on all things eco-agriculture:

  • The Savory Institute and their co-founder and CEO Daniela Ibarra-Howell. You can hear an entire interview with Daniela on episode 21. She’s fascinating and her story is inspiring of how we can all see a problem – overgrazing and unsustainable agriculture – and develop a solution that can be applied anywhere in the world.
  • Midwest BioSystems and Edwin Blosser & Company. Edwin is a master at explaining how to use compost on large-scale farms, and we’ll hear from him on that on this episode. He’ll be speaking next week as well, and is just an efficient, patient teacher.
  • Eden Blue Gold. They are passionate about what they do, and the time and effort they’ve put into researching their products. You’ll hear about their process for creating organic inputs for large-scale production.

We also want to thank the following folks:

  • Brandt. They have a whole line of sturdy, well-built farm equipment, and we are kind of in love with their slogan: Powerful Value, Delivered. Yep. That about says it all. They stand by their work. Search for Brandt agriculture tools and you’ll see what we’re talking about.
  • Verde Agritech. Verde’s products are derived from an ancient 570 million years old rock named “glauconitic siltstone”, rich in a mineral called glauconite. The production process is 100% natural.
  • Terreplenish is another great supporter of Acres USA. If you are farming corn, or anything that you need help in retaining your nitrogen in your fields, then I’d encourage you to look up Terreplenish. This is what they do. They have a number of biological, sustainable solutions.

But we are going to lead off our show with a bit from Wil Spencer at Environotics, who will talk about a subject we don’t discuss often on this show – soil life and biodynamics. We talked in late October on the phone about what the licensed holistic naturopath has learned on the subject

Next up, we interviewed James Arpin in late October of 2019 about Eden Blue Gold. The interview may not be what you expect. James wanted to teach us about what he sees as the true differences between plants, animals and humans, and what our similarities, and differences, can teach us about how to interact. How we can heal each other. Here’s James Arden with Eden Blue Gold --   

Our third guest today is Edwin Blosser. His company, Midwest BioSystems, lives the word. When we talked about a year ago, he was looking out his office window at harvesters picking black beans that were going off to Chipotle. We talked about large-scale biological inputs, and what he’s learned from a lifetime of farming. If you’re attending our show, Edwin is a must-see, and find him at his booth, too. I started the conversation by asking him to tell us how he got into farming.

I couldn’t let this completely be finished though without a soundbite from one of our keynote speakers next week – Daniela with the Savory Institute and legendary grower and author Eliot Coleman are two of them, and our third is Joel Salatin with Polyface Farms. I asked him what he liked better, speaking or farming, and this was his answer. He’ll be leading our conference with a resounding presentation on Thursday night.

Now, that’s our show. Thanks for tuning into another episode of Tractor Time podcast, brought to you by Acres U.S.A., the Voice of Eco-Agriculture. Find us at www.acresusa.com, at ecofarmingdaily.com, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Better yet, come find us in Louisville next week and say hello.

Thanks for listening, and have a great week.

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Good day and welcome to Tractor Time podcast. I’m your host, Ryan Slabaugh, the GM of Acres U.S.A., and we are excited to bring you another fun hour of conversation about ecology, agriculture, smart farming, human health – and more.

I want to thank our listeners. We recently went over the 20,000th download as a podcast, which is exciting for us. The world of eco-growers is always larger than we anticipate, and to us, that means things are changing for the positive. We hear so much about degenerative agriculture and its toxic toll on our world, but there is a silver lining – you. The listeners who are fighting tradition and convention with smart growing tactics, by understanding the soil, are the solution, and slowly but surely, we are making progress. It’s important we all agree on that one. It’s not that we don’t have challenges, and that they are not large and complicated, but we do not that the base-level agreement we want to get to is that the Earth, and its complicated and resilient life forms, will tell us what we need to know to grow our food. But it does require us to listen.

Okay, the high horse is getting tired, but it’s true. Our listeners are the silver lining, and one of the brightest spots on that lining is our guest today.

Daniela Ibarra-Howell is a native Argentinian, an agronomist by profession, and has more than 25 years of ranching experience. In 2009, she helped start The Savory Institute, headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, and became its CEO in 2011. Since then, she’s served on initiatives as wide as the UN Global Impact study, among a number of other roundtables and think tanks for healthy food and healthy agriculture. They are just too many to name.

Daniela will be a big part of Acres USA in the next couple months, a fact that we are very grateful for. She will be speaking at our annual conference in Louisville, Kentucky, Dec. 4-7, and keynoting an evening there. She will be featured in the November issue of our magazine, with an interview with Chris Walters. And, of course, we’re proud to have Daniela Howell on the Tractor Time podcast today.

Learn more about the Savory Institute at https://www.savory.global/.

Learn more about Acres U.S.A. at www.acresusa.com, or read our free, helpful content at www.ecofarmingdaily.com. You can find this contest on both sites, or for free in the Apple Podcast store.

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Good day and welcome to Tractor Time podcast brought to you by Acres USA. I am your host, Ryan Slabaugh, and we are excited to bring you another episode – this one will be about advocacy, and how to get involved to make real change happen.

Our guest today embodies that sentiment, Judith McGeary. Those who attend our conference every year should know her name, as she is a frequent speaker. But why we ask her to speak is most important – that she is the founder and leader of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, and represents about 1,000 ranchers and farmers in Texas who help advocate for government to better represent all of its constituents, not just the huge corporate farming interests. She’s also a rancher herself at the McGeary Family Farm a couple hours outside of Austin, Texas.

How she found her way into this role is something we’ll discuss during the podcast, and her story is inspiring. It involves a career change, and some life-changing moments with farmers and politicians. 

Not only does Judith lead FARFA, but she serves as the executive director of the Council for Healthy Food Systems and on the board of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. And this year, she’s leading the Raise Your Voice Tour to learn more about what type of advocacy farmers and ranchers need the most. We’ll get into that, and more, in this 40-minute talk.

You can learn more about FARFA at farmandranchfreedom.org, and their October conference. You can learn more about the Acres USA conference, where FARFA will be presenting, at www.acresusa.com.

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Welcome to Tractor Time, brought to you by Acres U.S.A., the Voice of Eco-Agriculture. I’m your host, Ryan Slabaugh, the GM and publisher of Acres USA.

Last week, I took a trip. I spent about 36 hours in the car driving from Colorado to Illinois, down to Columbia, Missouri, back to Illinois, and back home to Colorado. For a few days while I was in Missouri, I spent time at a sacred ground to us. At the University of Missouri, hidden among the tall brick buildings, is an open space called “Sanborn Field,” run by a guy named Tim Reinbott. You probably recognize the name if you’ve ever been to our conference.

There, Tim has built and preserved what a professor named William Albrecht built there a century ago. Prof. Albrecht started test plots in hopes of showing what happens when you grow corn, continuously without fertilizer or manure, and what that does to the soil. I’ll save you the suspense. It looks terrible. The stalks, miniature compared to the other, more well-fed test plots, were brown and only about two feet tall.

The video’s on our website, ecofarmingdaily.com, if you want to check it out, too. But it’s him talking about how, because Missouri’s soil has natural phosphorous and nitrogen, it wouldn’t take much to regenerate that continuous corn plot. But they aren’t going to do it. It’s too good of a reminder.

It was near these fields that Charles Walters met William Albrecht for the first time. Charles, while trying to piece together the information that would build the foundation for Acres USA’s belief in ecology-based agriculture, found scientists he kept interviewing telling him about Albrecht. Charles being Charles, he did his research and found out Prof. Albrecht was just down the road a couple hours. He called the university, and they told him not to bother. But, again, Charles being Charles, he got in the car anyway and drove to meet the scientist. When he knocked on the door, a voice boomed out, “Don’t knock when you enter and leave the same way.” Charles walked in – and I learned all this from his son, Fred – and when Charles walked in, without even an introduction, said, “You must be from Western Kansas. You have good teeth.”

Albrecht had pioneered research to connect local food to local health. It’s science that more should understand today. He pulled dental records from the military and matched those with the amount of calcium found in the soil and they matched. It’s an incredible study, still available for free on the University of Missouri’s academic research site.

Anyway, the conversation sparked a longtime friendship. Charles would edit more than a dozen volumes of Albrecht’s research, and used that research to develop his stubborn and accurate view of agriculture – that the only way to make money, to make farming a viable job, is to work with nature. He met other Albrecht students like Neal Kinsey, and founded a lifetime friendship – in fact, Neal and Charles may have been Albrecht’s last students.

In Columbia, we heard from more than a dozen farmers and consultants who employ the Albrecht system of growing, and have proven results. Most of them are using the mineralization techniques Albrecht preached – balancing magnesium and calcium – and advancing on that research with biological techniques of composting and manure and the like. Nobody walked away with a question of whether or not the methods lead to results. The irony – was that all this was being presented in Monsanto Auditorium. Their hold on farmers being educated is not lost, but the biological processes we were sharing in its halls were far more important. In a cynical way, it just reinforced why we were all there, and why Sanborn Field down the street is so sacred.

So anyway, all this driving and inspiration got me thinking, that for our next show, we needed to go back in time and dip into our archives, and find a good conversation with Charles Walters. We found one of the last talks of his career, and it was aptly titled, “Then, Today & Tomorrow.” Given in 2006, you will find it’s still relevant today.

Charles passed away a couple years later, so I guess we are in his tomorrow. To all those listening, let’s keep up the good work, keep our food connected to nature, and feel blessed to have those who came before us pave such a clear path ahead.

 

 

 

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Today’s guest is Brendon Rockey, a third-generation Colorado potato farmer. He spoke last October at a soil health conference near Greeley, close to our office, and when I wandered down to hear his talk, I was a bit surprised. We are surrounded by conventional ag folks in the Greeley, Colorado, area, but instead of talks about spraying schedules and storage tanks, I heard a guy talking about a wildly diverse field, about growing at 7,000 feet above sea level, about the importance of microbial life in the soil, and even how his neighbors even called him “weird.” As soon as I heard all that, I was pretty sure we had an Acres U.S.A. guy in Brendon.

Turns out, we did. He will be speaking at our conference this year in Louisville, Kentucky, about what he does on his farm, and how he went from “weird” to the envy of his community.

Today, we’re going to talk to Brendon about this journey, and explore his farming techniques that go against a lot of conventional thought, and talk to him a bit about his quinoa crops as well.

Learn more about Brendon Rockey here, and his farm here

Learn more about the 2018 Eco-Ag Conference & Trade Show, where Brendon Rockey will be speaking in December, here.

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Good day and welcome to Tractor Time Podcast by Acres USA. I’m your host, Ryan Slabaugh, and today’s guest is Dr. Nasha Winters.

I met Dr. Nasha Winters last year at our conference in Columbus, Ohio. I had heard about her talk from the large number of people who walked out inspired. After meeting her, I can understand why. She was unassuming, funny and presented a message about human health that made a lot of sense. About how we create environments in our own body – similar to how we create environments in our physical world – that either promote and foster health, or the opposite – disease and injury.

On this subject, she wrote her book, The Metabolic Approach to Cancer, which quickly became a hit with our audience of farmers and good food advocates. So much so, that at last year’s conference, we sold out of her books before her book signing. Oops. We’ll bring more this year, as she is returning to teach a full-day class on her approach to health in Louisville, Kentucky, Dec. 4-7.

Dr. Nasha Winters is the founder, CEO and visionary of Optimal Terrain Consulting. She is a naturally board certified naturapathic doctor, licensed accupunturist and a fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology. She lectures all over the world and consults on projects, including the ketogenic diet, which is showing huge promise. 

Learn more about her at https://optimalterrainconsulting.com/.

Learn more about the 2018 Acres U.S.A. Conference at www.acresusa.com/events.

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It’s that sound again – tractors, the voice of Charles Walters, and that happy little strum. It all means we are launching into a second season of Tractor Time Podcast by Acres U.S.A., the podcast for farmers who care about the Earth. My name is Ryan Slabaugh, and I’m lucky enough to be your host for a second season.

We have a lot in store this year. We are going to talk about a lot of eco-farming tactics and methods. We’re going to go back in time and listen to age-old talks that still apply today. We’re going to talk about with surveyers about the loss of farmland, and what you and I can do about it. Our goal this year is to also make sure we are talking with young f armers, to better understand how they see themselves fitting into the future of agriculture. Anyway, we’re so excited, we hope you are too. 

Today’s episode, like our very first episode, starts with the voice of Charles Walters. Charles started Acres USA in 1971 as a vehicle to report on the challenges facing small farms, and to help give farmers a resource for good, healthy, ecological growing in the face of large-scale toxic takeovers of our methods.

In today’s talk that we are re-airing from an Acres USA Eco-Ag conference in 1993, Charles introduces us to Neal Kinsey, who at the time, was new to the Acres USA family, and working on his legendary book, Hands on Agronomy. The book has sold thousands of copies to farmers and growers all over the world.

In this talk, again from 1993, Neal talks about the premises of his book, Hands on Agronomy. Enjoy, and thanks for joining us again for another season of Tractor Time.

Find all the Tractor Time episodes here, or on iTunes

 

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