On this episode, we’re talking with Darby Simpson. If Tractor Time is only but a part of your farming podcast diet, you may already know who he is. He does the Grassfed Life podcast with Diego Footer. He’s also a contributor to Acres U.S.A. magazine. And what I really value about his perspective is its practicality. Through his podcasts and online courses, it’s clear he wants to help equip farmers with the tools to run successful farms — not just act out a romantic, Instagram version of farm life. He truly puts the economical in eco-agriculture. But he’s a conscientious farmer too, running a pasture-based, non-GMO livestock operation in Indiana, located between Indianapolis and Bloomington. In this interview, we talk about everything from farm diversification to the future of farmers’ market to the impact of COVID-19. Darby’s answers are thoughtful, insightful and, hopefully, prophetic.
Archive for the 'Livestock' Category
If you’ve seen the documentary “Sustainable,” you know that Spence Farm is a special place. It’s owned and operated by Marty Travis, along with his wife, Kris and son, Will. Their farm supplies organic vegetables and heritage meats to some of the top kitchens in the City of Chicago — Fronterra Grill, Girl and the Goat and The Publican, to name a few. But that might undersell what Marty and his family have built. The way that they’ve developed relationships, not just with chefs, but also with a network of small farmers, is nothing shorting of astounding. To our mind, Spence Farm is a vision for the future of food. Marty has a new book out titled, “My Farmer, My Customer: Building Business & Community Through Farming Healthy Food” (Acres U.S.A., 2019). It's currently available for pre-order at the AcresUSA.com bookstore. Marty is also a featured speaker at the Acres U.S.A. Eco-Ag Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota in December.
Hosted by Ryan Slabaugh & Ben Trollinger / Sponsored by BCS America
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 as always, I want to say thank you to our sponsors, BCS America. Today’s theme is all about happy pigs, and profitable pig operations, and an interesting breed called Guinea Hogs.
First, I’ve got someone to introduce to everyone this episode. It will be the new host of Tractor Time, which I’m proud to say is Ben Trollinger, the new editor at Acres USA. I’m not going too far, but will stay involved helping Ben produce and grow the podcast, while I get to go focus on getting a few new exciting projects up and running.
Ben will join before he interviews Cathy Payne, our guest on this episode. Cathy is the author of Saving the Guinea Hogs, a new book that is on sale in the Acres U.S.A. bookstore.
First, I recently took a trip to Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania, and got a chance to tour their hog operation. To make sure this episode is all pig-themed, I thought I’d share some audio I got from touring their operation.
Thanks again to our listeners and our sponsor, BCS America. You can find this podcast at ecofarmingdaily.com, acresusa.com, or anywhere podcasts can be played. Thanks, and have a great week.
If you want, shoot a note to Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’d love to hear from you.
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.
Good day, and welcome to Tractor Time podcast brought to you by Acres U.S.A., the voice of eco-agriculture. This is a special episode, our 28th in our series, that will feature a friend and guest to Acres U.S.A., Dr. Paul Dettloff. A special thanks to our series sponsors, BCS America and Albert Lea Seed, who make this all possible.
Dr. Paul Dettloff has spent 50 years in large animal veterinary practice, working with farmers all over the world to help them think differently. He was well ahead of his time pushing grass as cattle feed, and working with holistic, proven tools that operate completely independent of the technology booms happening today.
His new hardcover book, A Guide to Raising Animals Organically, has captured his work in a fascinating, comprehensive way. We were very proud to be Dr. Paul’s publisher of the book, which is available now.
We are also very proud that Dr. Paul will be talking at our conference in December in Minneapolis. He will be leading a full day Eco-Ag conference session on soil preparation for cattle, cattle feed systems and will allow folks to peek inside his vet bag. He'll add on a workshop too about A2A2 milk markets that should be very helpful for today's dairy farmer looking for diversification techniques.
The last time he talked was 2007, and we wanted to share that talk with our audience today. It’s a fascinating story Dr. Paul weaves around his career as a veterinarian, and how he discovered organic along the way, and helped champion the growth and rebirth of old veterinary tools so important to sustainable and organic farmers.
So, here’s Dr. Paul’s talk from 2007, titled “Enhancing Vet Tools.” It’s more than just a story about livestock. It’s a story about how we treat animals, and how those animals can feed our farming ecosystems.
Good day and welcome to Tractor Time, brought to you by Acres U.S.A., the Voice of Eco-Agriculture. I’m your host Ryan Slabaugh, and I’m happy to bring you the 26th episode of our podcast. Thanks again to Albert Lea seeds for making this episode possible.
A few announcements — Minnesota is the theme of today’s show. Acres USA will be in Minnesota in December for our annual conference, and one of the reasons — other than the great December weather there — is the amount of trailblazing agriculture that is going on in that region. You can learn more about our event at www.acresusa.com — tickets will go on sale later this spring. But before that, we’ll get into some of that agriculture, and talk to some of the country’s original grassfed beef farmers.
Today, we’re going to have two cattlemen on the show to discuss their operations and some current topics, a few of which are creating quite a debate: Matt Maier, with Thousand Hills Cattle in Minnesota, and Will Winter, a teacher of holistic animal medicine and founder of the American Holistic Livestock Association. I met Will at our annual conference a couple years ago, and recognized his trademark cowboy hat and beard. He’s written for our magazine and spoken to our audiences before, and we’re excited to have him on the show today.
I met Matt’s team at our conference last year and learned that they had pursued Savory Institute Hub certification, and are — and have been —leading the way with regenerative agriculture. Their cattle were grazing 365 days a year in Minnesota, which is not an easy thing to accomplish, and takes a disciplined system. Will and Matt worked together in Minnesota at Thousand Hills.
During our talk, they walked me through the Polar Vortex experience, where temperatures reached -30 on their farm, and their reactions to the Green New Deal, as well as sharing some ideas and inspiration for new cattle farmers.
Here’s a video that shows off the environment at Thousand Hills: